It was surely a night to remember at the Field Museum on Friday, February 2nd as over 900 culinary enthusiasts gathered for the Grand Chef’s Experience in support of the Greater Illinois Chapter Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The fundraiser, retooled this year from its previous form called Grand Chef’s gala, with a new name and theme saw many of Chicago’s top restaurants, chefs, pastry chefs, and mixologists curating memorable tastings for guests.
Cory Ehrenberg, Matthew Brodsky
Lining the museum’s second floor, guests circulated chefs’ tables and had the opportunity, not only to have a great bite of food, but also learn more about what the chefs were preparing. Some of the highlights included: Bar Siena’s sweet corn ravioli, Bellemore’s carrot hummus, Mi Tocaya Antojeria’s Pollo taco, and NoMi Kitchen’s smoked salmon. Guests were also welcome to participate in a silent auction to raise more funds for the CFF.
After the tasting, guests gathered back downstairs for a meatball meal from Chicago chef Fabio Viviani. Host Dina Bair kept the program rolling by revealing the Chicago Classic Award for a restaurant or restaurant group that is quintessentially Chicago. Levy Restaurants got the honors, accepted by VP of Restaurant Operations Jennifer Nickerson.
The fundraiser cumulated with a three-part live auction featuring a VIP ski trip, a backyard lobster boil for twenty, and a trip to Italy. The auction alone raised over $20,000 for the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which seeks to cure Cystic Fibrosis,a genetic disorder that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs in the body, in the over 30,000 Americans with the disease. Thanks to events such as the Grand Chef’s Experience, the CFF has been able to implement new drugs able to combat the genetic illness causing persistent lung infections.
Emma Koehler, Molly Sowar, Katy Volpenhein
Chris Rebollo, Jeanne Brassil, Akeshi Akinseye, Akin Akinseye
After the auction and CFF presentations, guests enjoyed the Nightcap portion of the night, where they got to wine and dine with Chicago’s top pastry chefs and mixologists. An unforgettable night was made more memorable with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation inching ever closer to a cure. To learn more about the work of the Chicago Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis foundation visit here.
Neelam Jani, Dimple Jani
Cheryl Lawrence, Tim Lawrence, Carlos Alonso, Isabella Alonso
Nikki Conway, John Conway, Dr. Susanna McColley
Carmen DeFalco, Tony DeFalco, Danny Simon, Dana James
Andrew Wilfong, John Masseno, Alex Zanka
Brian Boruszak and Erica Lorch
Dimple Patel and Mona Shah
Natalie Rondazzo, Kristin Neely, Lynea Martin, Christie Kollias
Images/Photo Credit: Soda Fountain Photograph
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