Al Orendorff, Director, Corporate Communications



For Immediate Release


(CHICAGO, March 28, 2017) — Shining a spotlight on Chicago's world-class culinary scene, Choose Chicago, in partnership with CS Magazine and the Illinois Restaurant Association, announces the return of James Beard Eats Week, taking place April 21-May 1, 2017.


James Beard Eats Week is a weeklong culinary celebration inspired by James Beard, known as the "Dean of American Cookery." More than 130 restaurants will offer an inspired menu or dish for 11 days in honor of the culinary legend. James Beard Eats Week is a prelude to the 2017 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala to be held on Monday, May 1, 2017 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The 2017 Gala will be hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson of ABC-TV's award-winning program, Modern Family


"People continue to come from all over the world to experience Chicago's culinary scene and hosting the James Beard Awards gives Chicago a tremendous opportunity to celebrate our leading role as a culinary destination as well as our world-renowned chefs and restaurants," said David Whitaker, Choose Chicago President & CEO. "Eats Week gives locals and visitors alike a chance to experience it first-hand."


To kick off the James Beard Eats Week, CS Magazine will join Choose Chicago, the Illinois Restaurant Association, and the James Beard Foundation to host Sneak Peek Soireé. It is the opening event of the third-annual James Beard Eats Week, during which more than 300 Chicago foodies and influencers will gather to sample James Beard-inspired dishes from 20 top restaurants, sipping paired cocktails and wine from Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits and Stella Artois and enjoying a joint activation by JBF Greens and Candyality.


"We're thrilled the James Beard Awards will continue in Chicago through 2021 as will our partnership with Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association to elevate James Beard Eats Week," said Randy Hano, Group Publisher of CS Magazine. "Our second annual Sneak Peek Soiree kick-off event will be back for foodies to celebrate Chicago's dynamic chefs in anticipation of the nation's most prestigious food industry awards." 


"Eats Week is a creative extension of the James Beard Awards," said Sam Toia, President & CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association. "Not only does the program give chefs a chance to honor the iconic James Beard through special dishes and menus, but it also provides diners with an opportunity to try something new and celebrate the Awards in a fun, exciting way at over 130 restaurants 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 Fund was established in 1991 and has awarded more than $7 million in financial aid to more than 1,850 recipients nationally.

Chicago's James Beard Eats Week event comes on the heels of the James Beard Foundation announcing the establishment of a James Beard Foundation Greens chapter in Chicago.  JBF Greens events are for ‘foodies under 40' -food lovers between the ages of 21 and 39. Greens get to discover the newest restaurants, chefs, and culinary trends, all while enjoying great food and drinks. Greens events include walk-around tastings, multi-course dinners, wine tastings, and hands-on cooking classes and demonstrations. The initial promotion of JBF Greens Chicago will take place at Sneak Peek Soireé where attendees will be able to sign up for JBF Greens Chicago and have the chance to win a free membership.


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.


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About Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago® is the official destination marketing organization for Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to bring regional, national and international business and leisure visitors to Chicago for the economic benefit of the city, the community and its membership.


About Modern Luxury

MODERN LUXURY is the preeminent luxury lifestyle publisher in the United States, with 67 titles across 19 major cities-reaching more than 6 million affluent readers. Whether it's a revealing celebrity profile, a special feature on the chicest trends in design, cutting-edge fashion spreads or an in-depth review of city hot spots, MODERN LUXURY excels in capturing the very best of metropolitan living. Here in Chicago, the birthplace of the MODERN LUXURY brand, the company has seven publications speaking to the upscale lifestyle, fashion, home and bridal categories.


About 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 Chicago Gourmet – the annual food and wine festival held in Millennium Park that unites 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 a proud host of the James Beard Foundation Awards, which will be held in Chicago through 2021 and celebrates excellence in cuisine, culinary writing, and culinary education throughout the country.