Al Orendorff Director, Corporate Communications

For Immediate Release


(CHICAGO, April 9, 2019) – Choose Chicago, in partnership with the Illinois Restaurant Association, announces the return of James Beard Eats Week, taking place April 26–May 6, 2019.

“Chicago proudly sits at the head of the culinary table,” said David Whitaker, Choose Chicago President and CEO. “Eats Week represents both a unique opportunity for visitors and residents alike to explore and appreciate the city’s world renowned chefs and restaurants, as well as celebrate Chicago hosting the annual James Beard Awards.”

Inspired by the “Dean of American Cookery,” James Beard Eats Week is an 11-day culinary celebration featuring more than 130 restaurants offering an inspired menu or dish in honor of the culinary legend, James Beard. James Beard Eats Week precedes the 2019 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala to be held on Monday, May 6, 2019 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

“Eats Week lends a creative vehicle for chefs who wish to honor the legacy of one of America’s most iconic chefs, and provides food enthusiasts a unique opportunity to celebrate James Beard Awards season,” said Sam Toia, President and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association. “With more than 130 establishments presenting special dishes and menus, we can’t think of a more festive way to join the fun while exploring Chicago’s world-class dining scene in neighborhoods citywide.”

Every restaurant taking part in James Beard Eats Week makes a $100 donation to the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Fund, which directly supports aspiring Chicago culinary students. The James Beard Eats Week program raised $13,900 in 2018 through program donations. The James Beard Scholarship Fund was established in 1991 and has awarded nearly $8 million in financial aid to more than 2,000 recipients nationally. The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.

James Beard Eats Week is produced by Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association and supported by the exclusive local print media partner, Chicago magazine and the exclusive reservation partner, OpenTable.

About Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. For more information, visit Follow @ChooseChicago on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About the Illinois Restaurant Association

Founded in 1914, the Illinois Restaurant Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, educating and improving the restaurant industry in Illinois. The IRA owns and produces Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet – the annual food and wine festival uniting hundreds of restaurants, chefs and beverage experts for a weekend filled with food and drink tastings, entertainment, cooking demonstrations, book signings, interactive seminars and more. The Association is also a proud co-host of the James Beard Foundation Awards, which will be held in Chicago through 2027. For more information about the Illinois Restaurant Association, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Chicago magazine

Chicago magazine is the voice of the greatest American city: a fascinating and complex place brimming with passion and innovation. We spur intelligent conversation about the city’s influencers, zeitgeist-defining trends, and civic issues though award-winning, in-depth journalism. Just as important, we help our readers live better by producing the Chicago area’s most authoritative coverage of the best in dining, the arts, style, and urban life.

# # #