Taste America

Tickets are now available for the James Beard Foundation's Taste America: "Local Flavor from Coast to Coast," a traveling food festival that camps in Chicago September 20-21. This weekend-long epicurean celebration features an official benefit dinner, tastings and cookbook signings. Taste America is one of this fall's most anticipated culinary events. So if you're looking for a bite-for-bite tour of Chicago's best local cuisine, make your reservation now.

"A Journey Through the Great Lakes" Benefit Dinner at Union Station (September 20)

Hosted by Chef Andrew Zimmerman (pictured), Executive Chef at Chicago's Sepia, "A Journey Through the Great Lakes" benefit dinner serves as the event's official kick-off. The evening begins at 6 pm with a cocktail reception by The Violet Hour (a 2013 James Beard Award nominee for Outstanding Bar Program), followed be a five course meal presented by ten James Beard Award nominees from the region. Each course offers "dual plates" for a side-by-side tasting. Other Taste America dinner chefs include James Beard Award winning:

  • Alex Young (Zingerman's Roadhouse; Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Gale Gand (Tru; Chicago),
  • Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia, Cafe Spiaggia, Bar Toma, and Terzo Piano; Chicago)

As well as James Beard Award nominated:

  • Chris Pandel (Balena and The Bristol; Chicago)
  • Giuseppe Tentori (Boka and GT Fish & Oyster; Chicago)
  • Jonathon Sawyer (The Greenhouse Tavern; Cleveland)
  • Patrick Fahy (Sixteen; Chicago )
  • Paul Virant (Perennial Virant and Vie; Chicago)

Getting a Reservation

Tickets for the public are on sale and can be purchased at jbftasteamerica.org. Ticket options include:

  • All-Star Package Ticket: $350 include Cocktail Reception, Dinner, and After Dark
  • A Journey Through the Great Lakes Dinner Ticket: $300 includes Cocktail Reception and preferred seating at Journey Through the Great Lakes
  • After Dark Ticket $75 includes all-access to post-dinner event beginning at 9 pm

The Weekend Festival

In addition to the benefit dinner, a series of free, in-store consumer retail events will take place on Saturday, September 21 beginning at 10 a. at Sur La Table (900 N. Michigan Ave.). Featured chefs include James Beard Award-winning Chef Paul Kahan and All-Star Richard Blais, who will both participate in cooking demos. Activities of the day will also include cookbook signings, local artisanal tastings, and more.

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