Celebrate the city’s vibrant culinary community at the official kick-off to the 13th Annual Chicago Restaurant Week

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CHICAGO – December 3, 2019 – Choose Chicago, the official destination marketing organization for the city, is thrilled to announce that tickets are now on sale for First Bites Bash, the celebratory kick-off event for the 13th annual Chicago Restaurant Week.

Dynamic husband and wife duo – Chef and Owner Thai Dang and Director and Owner Danielle Dang of the award-winning HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen and Cà Phê Dá in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood – step into the spotlight this year, serving as the Host Chef and Mixologist for the star-studded party at the Field Museum on Thursday, January 23, 2020. Guests will have the opportunity to experience exclusive tasting portions from more than 60 restaurants showcasing their respective Chicago Restaurant Week menus.

“First Bites Bash is an amazing opportunity for Chicagoans to meet many of the most celebrated chefs in the city and to preview a range of exciting flavors that will only be found during everyone’s favorite culinary moment of the year, Chicago Restaurant Week,” said Chef Dang. “We are also very passionate about the cause it supports, which bolsters opportunities for our next generation of culinary leaders.”

A portion of the proceeds from First Bites Bash will be donated to the James Beard Foundation’s Chicago EATS Week Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to a Chicagoland student who wishes to pursue a career in the culinary arts.

“We are thrilled to co-host First Bites Bash!” added Danielle Dang. “It has become a giant, iconic celebration. We are turning it up this year with brand new dishes and cocktails – getting diners even more enthusiastic about all to come in the days ahead.”

The complete list of First Bites Bash participants is available here.

A limited number of Flash Sale tickets are now available for $99 per person at firstbitesbash.com until tickets run out. Limited Early Bird tickets will be on sale for $115, then General Admission tickets to First Bites Bash will become available for $125 per person until event capacity is reached or until 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2020.

New for First Bites Bash 2020 is the coveted VIP Ticket experience available for $175. This ticketing tier provides all of the benefits of general admission, plus exclusive access to a VIP lounge with seating, full-size beverages and specialty tastings from the Host Chef and Mixologist.

“First Bites Bash is a signature celebration championing Chicago’s leading role as a culinary destination,” said David Whitaker, Choose Chicago President & CEO. “The breadth of both neighborhoods and cuisines represented at this event and throughout Restaurant Week provide an unparalleled opportunity to make memorable dining a part of an amazing Chicago experience.”

The 2020 First Bites Bash event is sponsored by 100.3 FM WSHE, 101.9 FM The MIX, Chicago Concierge, Chicago Transit Authority, Diageo, the James Beard Foundation, Metra, NBC Chicago, OpenTable, Pace, Regional Transportation Authority, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, and Telemundo Chicago.

Chicago Restaurant Week, taking place January 24 – February 9, 2020, offers locals and visitors 17 days to experience Chicago’s diverse culinary talent with the record breaking 400+ restaurants featuring prix fixe menus. Brunch and lunch menus will be available for $24 and dinner for $36 and/or $48, excluding beverage, tax and gratuity. Visit eatitupchicago.com on Wednesday, December 11 to view participating restaurants, menus and make reservations online.

Foodie fans are encouraged to follow @ChooseChicago on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Get social using #FirstBitesBash and #ChicagoRestaurantWeek.


About Choose Chicago

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

About Host Chef Thai Dang

Thai Dang uses influence from his Vietnamese heritage in his restaurant to pay homage to the flavors and recipes his mother and sister brought from Vietnam. Dang spent his early professional years honing his craft at highly regarded establishments in D.C and Michelin starred restaurants in Chicago prior to opening HaiSous in the Pilsen neighborhood. HaiSous has earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand for two consecutive years, and a two-time James Beard Nominee as Best New Restaurant 2018 and Best Chef: Great Lakes 2019. Most recently, Chef Dang has brought his modern Vietnamese fare to the newly opened Time Out Market Chicago. For more information, visit haisous.com.

About Host Mixologist Danielle Dang

Danielle Dang initially immersed herself in the wine and spirits world at the renowned Elysian Hotel prior to joining forces with Thai to open their first award-winning restaurant, Embeya. There, Dang curated and led their impressive bar program. After much success, she and Thai parted with their former co-owners and opened HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen and Ca Phe Da Vietnamese Cafe. Danielle took this opportunity to be Architect, Designer, and General Contractor through her firm, Den of Lions Design to design and build the space creating a chic yet approachable atmosphere.

Choose Chicago Media Relations
Contact: Lisa Kenny, Media Relations Director – Americas

Isabelli Media Relations
Contact: Laura Collins, Senior Partner