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First Bites Bash – Field Museum

First Bites Bash

January 18, 2024

Join your culinary colleagues at the 11th annual First Bites Bash! 

First Bites Bash is the official kick-off event for Chicago Restaurant Week, showcasing sweet and savory tastings from approximately 50 Chicago Restaurant Week participants, along with beer, wine, and cocktail pairings to a consumer audience of over 1,200 people. Additionally, each year Choose Chicago donates a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales to a local Chicago charity.

This year’s event will take place Thursday, Jan. 18 2024, from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Field Museum.

Restaurant partners to provide:

  • Tasting portions to feed 1,600 guests throughout the full three (3) hours of the event. 
  • Chef/owner for photo ops and interviews during the event
  • Chef’s assistant and service personnel for service (max of 4 individuals, including chef/owner)
  • All equipment needed to prep and dish up food item
  • Chef name, restaurant name, and menu item for signage
  • Optional roll-up signage/tablecloth

*Anticipated event attendance is approximately 1,600 guests.

Included provisions for restaurant partners: 

  • (2) 6ft. tables with linen (one to be used as prep area)
  • Small appetizer plates and utensils for serving samples
  • Onsite promotion to an audience of 1,600+
  • Digital promotion via Choose Chicago’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), Chicago Like a Local blog, and
  • Food stipend of $750 to offset some hard costs

In order to participate in First Bites Bash, you must be registered for Chicago Restaurant Week.

Submissions are due no later than Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.


For questions concerning First Bites Bash, please contact Lori Adlesick at or 312-567-8496, or Alexa Gallagher at or 224-619-9879. 

First Bites Bash timeline:
11/17/23: Complete your First Bites Bash registration with all contact information including restaurant name, chef name, and social handles

12/6/23: Submit the menu item you will be serving at First Bites Bash as well as your menu needs including plates/bowls, utensils, power, etc.

1/12/24: Submit all staff names for the event. Due to capacity at the venue, you are allowed a maximum of 4 staff members (this includes your chef). No exceptions. Beverage and specialty sponsors are allowed a maximum of 2 staff members. Wristbands will only be provided to pre-registered staff members.

1/18/24: Pack a MINIMUM of 1,200 bite-sized portions for the event. We expect approximately 1,600 attendees and please keep in mind that running out of food will be viewed negatively by attendees who include consumers, sponsors, VIPs, and media.

Social media toolkit

Social media is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your audiences. To provide you with all of the tools you will need to personalize your communications about First Bites Bash and your restaurant’s participation, we’ve created a Social Media Toolkit. Leverage our Social Media Toolkit to explore best practices, sample posts, and graphics to promote your restaurant as a part of First Bites Bash.

Social Media Toolkit – First Bites Bash


First Bites Bash Sponsors

97.1 The Drive
101.9 The Mix
Acqua Panna
San Pellegrino
James Beard Foundation
Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits
Ritual Zero Proof
Hubbard Inn

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