For the second straight year Taste of Chicago will feature the Mazda6 Celebrity Chef du Jour, a daily dining experience that offers a sit-down, three course meal by one of the city's top chefs. This year's menu of celebrity chefs is: Rick Bayless, Carrie Nahabedian, Giuseppe Tentori, a special pairing of Gale Gand and The Hearty Boys and the newest James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef Award winner for 2013, Paul Kahan.
"The Celebrity Chef du Jour program brings a new and exciting dimension to the Taste of Chicago experience," said Michelle T. Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. "It presents an exciting opportunity for Taste patrons to meet and mingle with these talented chefs, and then enjoy fine dining at its best!"
For only $40 per person (limit 4 tickets per person), guests are invited to dine in an air-conditioned, decorated pavilion. Tickets go on sale Wednesday May 15 after 10am at tasteofchicago.us. Dinner is served nightly at 6:30pm from Wednesday, July 10 - Friday, July 12, as well as a special brunch at noon on Saturday, July 13 and a noon lunch on Sunday, July 14. As an added bonus, each of the celebrity chefs will demonstrate their skills at the Dominick's Cooking Corner located on the Buckingham Fountain Plaza.
Rick Bayless: Wednesday, July 10, 6:30pm
Author, television host, humanitarian Rick Bayless manages to still find time to be Bravo's Top Chef Master and one of Chicago's longtime acclaimed chefs. The multiple James Beard Award winner founded his side-by-side restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in 1987 and his empire has grown to include XOCO and Tortas Frontera located at O'Hare airport and in downtown Chicago at the Chase Building.
Carrie Nahabedian: Thursday, July 11, 6:30pm
After departing her position as Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Carrie Nahabedian returned to her native Chicago to open NAHA in 2000, which led to a James Beard Award and three consecutive Michelin stars. Nahabedian recently opened her latest restaurant, Brindille, along with partner and cousin Michael. While NAHA serves to highlight her Armenian roots, Brindille's refined Parisian fare celebrates her and Michael's favorite spots in Paris.
Giuseppe Tentori: Friday, July 12, 6:30pm
Italy's loss is Chicago's gain as a 19-year-old Giuseppe Tentori completed his culinary studies in Milan and came to the United States to work at Gabriel's in Highland Park. After a stop in Salt Lake City, Tentori spent nine years perfecting his craft at Charlie Trotter's until 2008 when he became Executive Chef at BOKA Restaurant and a partner of the BOKA Restaurant Group. In 2011, Tentori opened his second restaurant, GT Fish & Oyster, named a Bib Gourmand annually while BOKA has earned a Michelin star annually since 2010.
Gale Gand and The Hearty Boys: Saturday, July 13, Noon
Saturday at the Chef du Jour will feature three noted chefs for the price of one as Gale Gand and The Hearty Boys team up for a special meal. Gand is a partner and founding executive pastry chef at one star Michelin restaurant Tru and was recognized in 2001 as Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. She also hosted the first ever all-dessert show, "Sweet Dreams" for the Food Network which now airs on The Cooking Channel.
Joining Gand in creating the three-course brunch are Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, The Hearty Boys. The original winners of "Search for the Next Food Network Star" and hosts of Food Network's "Party Line with The Hearty Boys", Smith and McDonagh now have their own Michelin recommended restaurant, Hearty, where classic American foods are contemporized for the modern palate.
Paul Kahan: Sunday, July 14, Noon
Chef Paul Kahan will prepare lunch on Sunday, July 14. In addition to his 2013 award, Kahan is also the 2004 winner of the James Beard Best Chef of the Midwest. Kahan fostered his culinary career in his native Chicago, working in his father's delicatessen and smokehouse and then a 15-year apprenticeship in Erwin Drechsler's kitchens (Metropolis and erwin), eventually working for Rick Bayless. He opened Blackbird in 1999 and has since added The Publican, avec, Big Star and Publican Quality Meats. Publican's Chef de Cuisine Brian Huston will be creating the lunch with Kahan.
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