Grand Chefs Gala

One of the best charitable events for a foodie is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Grand Chefs Gala.  Last week, we got a sneak peek into the big event at the Grand Chefs Gala Chef’s Social, which took place at one of the participating restaurants, Ria, a Michelin two star restaurant in the Elysian Hotel, which happens to be newly minted with the AAA Five Diamond award.  Participating chefs in attendance included Curtis Duffy of Avenues and Patrick Sheerin of The Signature Room, among others.  Many food groupies and philanthropic types mingled within the textured walls of the phenomenal restaurant, and nibbled on Jason McLeod’s creative, yet simple, fare.  Menu highlights included pheasant breast with savory granola and cauliflower puree, citrus jelly with almond crème, as well as broccoli with truffle mousse, broccoli puree and broccoli parsley salad.

The Gala itself will take place on Friday, January 28 at the Fairmont Chicago Hotel from 6-9pm.  It will consist of a lavish sit-down dinner prepared by Fairmont chef Brad Parsons, and includes a hosted cocktail and hors d’ouevres hour, live and silent auction, and postprandial dessert and mixology bar.  This year, they’ve even added an after party with the sounds of Libido Funk Circus from 9p-midnight to jazz things up for the younger (and legal) folks in attendance.

The Grand Chefs Gala displays the talents of some of Chicago’s most promising chefs, honors them with the peer-voted Jean Banchet awards presentation, and raises money for Cystic Fibrosis, an often debilitating disease that adversely affects the lungs and digestive systems of afflicted people.  Money goes toward research for a cure.  Purchase tickets here

Special thanks to guest writer J'nai Gaither for this article.  I hope you have a good time at the event and if you can't make it, you can still donate!

Michelin Stars Wheel into Chicago

Chicago is about to receive it's first ever Michelin Guide ratings and I'd be hard pressed to find anything more overdue.  This city has long been a culinary and eating mecca, not to mention having great spots for wine, beer and beverages.  The Michelin Guide has been around for about 100 years and highlights top restaurants and chefs.  Now that we've taken a bite into the coastal bias, let's get into our award winners:

3 star: Alinea, L2O

2 star: Avenues, Charlie Trotter's, Ria

1 star: Blackbird, BOKA, Bonsoirée, Crofton on Wells, Everest, Graham Elliot, Longman & Eagle, NAHA, NoMI, Schwa, Seasons, Sepia, Sixteen, Spiaggia, Takashi, Topolobampo, TRU, Vie

While the Michelin Guide has yet to be released, these results were made available through a Yelp poster leak which is currently under investigation.  In addition to the awards above, 46 other restaurants have received the Bib Gourmand Award, given to those establishments which offers good value (two courses plus a glass of wine or dessert for under $40, not including tax or gratuity).  Some of these include: Belly Shack, De Cero, Gilt Bar, Girl & The Goat, Hopleaf, La Creperie, Lula Café, Mado, Nightwood, The Purple Pig, Riccardo Trattoria and Taste of Peru, to name a few.

All of these establishments represent fine food, great beverage, excellent service and years of hard work which have become known and respected.  Congrats to our Michelin Stars and Bib Gourmand winners!