As the City of Chicago continues to demonstrate a robust culinary community of noted chefs, the city’s premier food festival continues its efforts to highlight these food masters as Taste of Chicago once again features the Pure Leaf Celebrity Chef du Jour.
The dining experience offers attendees the opportunity to enjoy a sit-down, three-course meal in an air-conditioned and decorated dining pavilion for only $45 per person (limit 4 tickets per person). Tickets for the dining experience must be purchased in advance and will go on sale Friday, May 29 beginning at 10am CDT.
Once again, students from the Washburne Culinary Institute will assist the chefs in preparation and serving dining patrons. Founded more than 75 years ago, Washburne Culinary Institute is one of the oldest culinary schools in the nation. Washburne provides students with the latest culinary techniques, along with essential hands-on experience to ensure they are equipped to work in Chicago’s most successful restaurants, hotels, private clubs and other culinary establishments.
A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, Tanya Baker served as line cook and chef de cuisine in restaurants throughout the city before joining The Boarding House’s opening team. She was named executive chef in early 2014 and has since been recognized a chef on the rise by the Chicago Sun-Times and featured prominently in the Chicago Tribune, Northwest Indiana Times and Mandarin Quarterly. In 2015, she was named as a finalist in the Rising Star Chef category by the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards.
Born and raised in Monterey, California, Singh fell in love with wine during college waiting tables and discovered that it united her varied interests in traveling, history and food. By 23, she had landed the sommelier position at the world-renowned Everest Restaurant in Chicago. Just three years later, Singh went on to become the youngest female to pass the final level of the Master Sommelier exam.
For ten seasons, she served as the host of the Emmy Award-winning restaurant review television show, Check, Please!, on Chicago’s PBS station. During this period of time, Singh was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award, and moved into a corporate position as the director of wine and spirits for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. In December 2012, Singh left to open Chicago’s first Master Sommelier-owned restaurant, The Boarding House, a wine-driven concept in the River North neighborhood which has received national acclaim. For more information visit boardinghousechicago.com/dine/
Thursday, July 9, Dinner at 6:30pm
Thomas Lents was appointed executive chef of Sixteen in January 2012, after working in the world’s most celebrated fine-dining establishments. Since his arrival at Sixteen, Chef Lents has been praised for presenting the most beautiful food in Chicago, pleasing diners with a personal culinary philosophy of sourcing the highest quality ingredients from respected purveyors around the world, and showcasing the true qualities of every dish. Both Chicago magazine and the Chicago Tribune awarded him with four coveted stars shortly following his arrival, and the restaurant received , a coveted star from the 2013 Michelin Guide and Five-Star designation from the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide 2013. In 2013, Lents earned a second star for the 2014 Michelin Guide as well as Five-Diamonds from AAA. For more information visit www.trumphotelcollection.com
Friday, July 10, Dinner at 6:30pm
Opening GT Fish & Oyster in March 2011, Chef Giuseppe Tentori brought his award-winning cooking techniques to the masses, redefining the American seafood restaurant concept. The Food & Wine “Best New Chef” 2008 and James Beard Foundation “Best Chef Great Lakes” nominee, has received critical praise for GT Fish & Oyster including three-stars from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, four-stars from Time Out Chicago, and CS Magazine’s “Chef of the Year“ in 2011. In addition to GT Fish & Oyster, Tentori is the executive chef of BOKA Catering Group, a catering experience for any event that requires restaurant quality service and cuisine.
Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz
Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Co-Founders of Boka Restaurant Group James Beard nominated restaurateurs Kevin Boehm and Rob Kats have become some of the nation's most successful owner/operators. They have not only built a successful restaurant group, but have established a restaurant culture built on great chefs, inspired hospitality, and amazing design.
In 2002, Boehm partnered with Rob Katz and the two established Boka Restaurant Group. The pair would open 12 restaurants in less than 10 years. For more information visit bokagrp.com
Saturday, July 11, Dinner at 6:30pm
James Beard Award Winning Chef Jimmy Bannos Jr., a fourth generation restaurateur, was ‘born and raised’ in Heaven on Seven. Put to work bussing tables for his father at age five, Jimmy learned the trade first hand while spending days at the family owned Louisiana style restaurant. Jimmy quickly discovered that he shared his father’s passion for people and food and made the decision to attend the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Although raised on gumbo, Jimmy let his passion (and his palate) guide him to more Mediterranean styles of cuisine. He soon embarked on a six month excursion to Italy, in order to immerse himself in the culture and cuisine. Upon his return to the states, he made the move to New York City, working for 3 ½ years under Mario Batali.
Jimmy has returned home to Chicago, bringing his love for Italian food, the restaurant business and his family to become Chef/Partner of The Purple Pig, offering cheese, swine and wine at 500 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago. For more information visit www.thepurplepigchicago.com
Sunday, July 12, Dinner at 5pm
Phillip Foss, Chef and Owner of EL Ideas, turns preconceived notions of elite dining upside down with his restaurant hidden on a dead-end street and next to a train yard in Chicago’s Douglas Park neighborhood. The twenty-six seat dining room opens to the kitchen, and guests are invited and encouraged to visit and interact with the chefs preparing their dinner. The relaxed atmosphere beguiles the precision and attention given to each course, where classical cooking techniques are combined with innovative ideas. EL Ideas received its first Michelin-star in 2013, received three stars from the Chicago Tribune, and was also named a Chicago Magazine “Best New Restaurant” and Chicago Reader’s “Best Restaurant of 2011.” For more information visit www.elideas.com
July 8-12, 2015
Dinner will begin at 6:30 pm on July 8, 9 , 10 & 11; Dinner will begin at 5 pm on July 12
Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain
500 S. Columbus Dr.
Chicago, IL 60605
$45 per person (limit 4 tickets per person)
For travel information, visit www.transitchicago.com