Cultivate Festival

Over the past few years, Cultivate Festival has established itself as one of Chicago's preeminent food festivals, with a whopping 25,000-plus guests in attendance at last year's event. Hosted by Chipotle, the outdoor extravaganza is the perfect capper to summer, combining an impressive roster of local and national chefs with musicians and the overarching philosophy of sustainability in food. The third annual Cultivate Festival takes place from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. on September 7 in Lincoln Park. The event is free and open to the public, with lots to see, do, hear, and eat. Here's a preview to whet your appetite.

[more]

The Chefs

Curtis Duffy

Top-tier chefs from throughout Chicago and across the country will congregate in Lincoln Park to conduct cooking demos and spread the gospel of local, sustainable cooking. Paul Kahan (One Off Hospitality), Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot and Graham Elliot Bistro), Curtis Duffy (Grace), and Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia) will rep Chicago, joined by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint (Big Gay Ice Cream, New York City), Jonathon Sawyer (The Greenhouse Tavern and Noodlecat, Cleveland), Carla Hall (Alchemy, Maryland), Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal and Son of a Gun, Los Angeles), and Joel Holland and Nate Appleman, chefs and culinary managers for Chipotle.

The Farms

Select farms will be featured throughout the day, with chefs showcasing their wares in various dishes. Faith's Farm will be represented by Paul Kahan and Curtis Duffy, Leaning Shed Farm by Graham Elliot, and Pinn-Oak Ridge Farms by Tony Mantuano. The rest of the farms are suppliers for Chipotle, and include Harmony Valley Farm, Pero Family Farms, Degroot Vegetable Farm, and Earthbound Farm. Expect fresh new Chipotle recipes for tacos, gorditas, salads, and more, all exclusively for the festival.

The Goods

Save room to swing by artisan's hall to sample provisions from local purveyors such as Jo Snow Syrups, Puffs of Doom, Spencer's Jolly Posh Foods, Dia de los Tamales, Tiny But Mighty Popcorn, and Rare Bird Preserves. The tasting hall will be stocked with tipples from Girasole Vineyards, Goose Island, Half Acre, Arcadia Ales, Three Floyds, Virtue Cider, and more. Chipotle is even working with Chicago's 5 Rabbit Cerveceria to produce a special Cultivate Farmhouse Ale just for the fest.

The Music

Cultivate Festival

Five national music acts will be performing all day long on the music stage. Listen for Walk the Moon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Bestfriends, Youngblood Hawke, and The Mowgli's. The event is also loaded with activities, making it a veritable Disney Land of sustainable food. Visit the California Avocado Experience to learn how California avocados are grown and how to cook with them. Stop by the Cinema Experience and view short films about sustainable eating. There's even a TABASCO® experience that delves into the process of making the beloved hot sauce.

Help us keep the lights on by subscribing to Chicago Like a Local. For your efforts, we'll deliver awesome stories (like this one) to your inbox. Do we have a deal?