James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Visits Chicago – A multi-course dinner prepared by JBF Award winning and local chefs hosted by the Four Seasons Chicago.
If you consider yourself a “foodie”, love dining out at restaurants with chefs that take their culinary talent to the next level with innovative dishes and an artistic or “eat with your eyes” presentation, then you will want to attend the next stop for the JBF Celebrity Chef Tour.
Just what is JBF? The James Beard Foundation is an organization with the mission to “celebrate, nurture and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse and sustainable for everyone.” You might have heard reference to chefs as “James Beard Award Winners”. This is where the Foundation acknowledges those who are achieving excellence in the culinary space. That, of course, includes the dishes they create but is also very much the respect and integrity that these leaders exemplify in their businesses.
Quiet. Organized. Efficient. Detailed. Extraordinary.
Chef Gerard Craft, Fried Octopus: potato cake, tonnato sauce, pickled celery, arugula
Chef Gerard Craft, Chef Greg Vernick
Chef Greg Vernick, Poached Maine Oyster: crispy sushi rice, ginger, fresh wasabi
Chef Sean Murray, Apricot and burrata: hazelnut, brown butter
Chef Lee Wolen, Smoked Carrots: nori, pickled herbs
Rose, Chef Sean Murray’s Drunken Beets cocktail
Chef Sean Murray
Now, who exactly is James Beard? Known as the “Dean of American cookery” and “America’s First Foodie”, James Beard was the host of the first food program on television way back in 1946. He innately understood the impact of how food was more than sustenance. His efforts created a culinary community that established cooking schools, cookbooks, and promoted local and sustainable ingredients. In addition to his own cooking show, he wrote articles for popular publications and served as a consultant to restaurateurs and food producers as well as ran his own restaurant. His efforts reached far and wide creating a food revolution.
Chef Sean Murray, Crispy Pork Belly: broccoli, miso, almond, pickled sultanas
Chef Hugo Ortega, Huitlasquites: mayo, housemade queso fresco
James Beard wrote the first major cookbook focused on cocktail food called Hors d’Oeuvre & Canapes and then wrote Cook It Outdoors as a follow up. Many more books followed. His culinary excellence benefitted not just chefs but home cooks as well as empowering all to enjoy the cooking experience.Chef Gerard Craft, ‘Nduja Agnolotti: sweet potato, peanuts, lime
Chef Greg Vernick, Potato Oblique: smoked Pocono trout, whipped yogurt, egg yolk
Chef Lee Wolen, Stuffed Roasted Chicken: cabbage, black garlic, rutabaga
Which is exactly what happened at Friday night’s JBF Celebrity Chef Tour held at the Four Seasons Hotel, Allium Restaurant, in Chicago. An evening of delicious food, wine and cocktails, warm and friendly culinary teams and outstanding service provided by the Four Seasons made for a memorable evening.
Photo credit: GALDONES PHOTOGRAPHY
Beginning with a cocktail reception and followed by an eight-course dinner with each of the chefs preparing a dish, the dinner was a feast to the eyes and taste buds.
Chef Jenner Tomaska, Walnut Poached Salmon: olive mosaic, lobster cream, peppered herbs
Chef Ryan Poli, Umami Crusted Snake River Farms Beef: smoked tofu puree, aged beef fat glazed carrots, fermented ramps
The Tour stops in 20 cities across the country showcasing the talents of local and JBF Award winning chefs to give diners a taste of what happens at the James Beard House in New York City. Follow the tour to join in the culinary experience. On March 15, 2018, they will be in Pine Mountain, GA, at The Lodge & Spa at Callaway Gardens. See tour stops for a location near you.
Chef Meg Galus, Dark & Milk Chocolate: banana, speculoos, creme fraiche
Chef Meg Galus
Talk about an incredible experience! This dinner is a dream come true for so many people!
They’re all drooling and not necessarily over the morsels of food – but rather over the opportunity to be in this room!
Very good point. It was very special for the Chefs too, I am sure. Quite an honor to be included in this prestigious group. Thanks!
What an amazing array of delicacies! True art and love for cooking right here!
That is so true. It is art and cooking intertwined. Thanks!
Looks like an amazing experience and meal. I’m really drawn to that apricot burrata.
I have become a big fan of that dish! Thanks!
Wow, I would be swooning. What a fabulous night!
I was in awe of all the talent of these chefs. So creative but humble. Thanks, Cindy!
Wow! So many beautiful plates of food!
Agree! Everything was just so innovative and delicious. Thanks, Jessica!