Millennium Park   |   Sept 28 - 30

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2017 Talent
hans aeschbacher
III Forks Steakhouse

Aeschbacher's father, also a restaurant professional, led him to where he is today. At the age of 11, was mentored by his father, then Executive Chef of Lawry's...MORE
brian ahern

As a studio art major at the College of Charleston, Brian Ahern got his first real taste of the restaurant industry as a way to earn extra income. Many hours and a few kitchens later, Brian...MORE
Louie Alexakis
Avli Restaurant

Louie Alexakis is the current Chef/Owner of Avli Estiatorio, located in Winnetka, IL. Louie grew up in the food business, whose family started in the early 1900's in Chicago... MORE
cruz almanza
Cantina Laredo

Born and raised in Mexico, Cruz Almanza began his culinary career working at his family's restaurants and flour tortilla factory. He attended culinary school in Guanajuato City...MORE
Isidro arroyo
Stetsons Modern Steak + Sushi

Chef Isidro Arroyo started his culinary career with Hyatt Regency Chicago in 1996 where he worked as an intern then hired fulltime as a line cook. Chef Arroyo has worked...MORE
Marcos ascencio
Bar Lupo

Chef Marcos is the driving force behind Bar Lupo’s punk rock Italian fare. A free-ranging mix of classic regional Italian and Taylor Street red sauce cuisines, each dish balances soul and technique...MORE
Ashlee Aubin

Chef Ashlee Aubin, a Michigan native, has been cooking in Chicago for the last eight years. His first position in Chicago was at the... MORE
javier avalos
The Berghoff Restaurant

Chef Javier has been a part of the Berghoff family for 14 years. Avalos runs the main Restaurant kitchen, while assisting Berghoff’s Executive Chef Reichel with the other three...MORE
aldo AYALA

Aldo Ayala is the Executive Corporate Chef at Mercadito Hospitality. Chef Aldo received his Bachelors Degree at the Instituto Culinario de México...MORE
matt AYALA
Cochon Volant Brasserie

Matt Ayala is the executive chef of Cochon Volant Brasserie, located in the Loop neighborhood of Chicago, IL. In 2013, Ayala was named one of Zagat’s ‘30 Under...MORE
brent balika
Margeaux Brasserie

Brent Balika serves as the Executive Chef of Margeaux Brasserie & Petit Margeaux, the two new French restaurants from the Michelin Star and James Beard...MORE
Jimmy bannos, jr.
The Purple Pig

Jimmy Bannos Jr., a fourth-generation restaurateur, was born and raised in Chicago’s Heaven on Seven. Put to work for his father at age five, Jimmy learned the...MORE
Jimmy Bannos, Sr.
Heaven on Seven

Heaven on Seven at 111 N. Wabash, 7th floor, Chicago, is the original location for the authentic Cajun cuisine of critically acclaimed chef/owner Jimmy Bannos. With the ever-famous gumbo, Heaven on Seven provides... MORE
Pepe Barajas
El Solazo/La Josie

Jose Luis Barajas (Pepe) developed a passion for cooking at a very young age. His “taqueria” roots and strong work ethic go back to Mexico as a kid helping his grandfather...MORE
City Winery

Chef Barrera was first inspired to cook watching the early greats on television; greats such as Jeff Smith, Martin Yan, Julia Childs, Jack Tripper...MORE
nicole bayani

Nicole Bayani believes in a simple food philosophy– excellence in the kitchen is achieved through refined cooking techniques, utilizing seasonal...MORE
Rick Bayless
Frontera Grill / Topolobampo / Xoco / Leña Brava / Cruz Blanca Cervecería

Most people know Rick Bayless from winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, beating out the French and Italian with his authentic Mexican cuisine. His highly rated Public Television... MORE
joey beato
Community Tavern

When it comes to preparing food, Executive Chef/Partner Joey Beato says, “It has to be fun.” Uniting a lifelong passion for the culinary arts with his spirited disposition, Chef Beato invites...MORE
bob begandy
Punch House

Born and raised on the East Coast, Bob Begandy found himself in Chicago by way of film school. After graduating from Columbia College for cinematography he realized he had ...MORE
bernard bennett
The Promontory

Born in Chicago and raised in Albion, Michigan, Chef Bernard Bennett discovered his love of cooking as a child while preparing dishes alongside his mother at home. After ...MORE
Johnny besch

Johnny Besch has traveled the country extensively to apprentice under and learn from some of the best chefs in the business. During his nine years in the Pacific Northwest, Johnny...MORE
Greg Biggers
Café des Architectes

Executive Chef Greg Biggers joined Sofitel Chicago Water Tower in January of 2011 to oversee all aspects of the hotel’s dining operations, including its restaurant, Café des Architectes. The chic, Gold Coast restaurant is celebrated...MORE
Laurel Boger
Eli's Cheesecake

Chef Boger is the Executive Pastry Chef and creative Research Chef for The Eli’s Cheesecake Company. Aside from dazzling Eli’s... MORE
Lorenzo Boni
Barilla Executive Chef

Chef Lorenzo Boni grew up with a passion for Italian food in Bologna, Italy. While studying culinary arts, Lorenzo traveled extensively throughout Italy and the USA...MORE

brandon brumback
the Albert

Hotel EMC2 is pleased to welcome Chef Brandon Brumback as Executive Chef. Originally from Kansas City, Chef Brumback began his career at 16 years old, while attending...MORE
ryan burns
The Blanchard

The Blanchard in Lincoln Park, Ryan Burns enacts skills and philosophies learned throughout his career in a diverse mix of kitchens around...MORE
Joe butera
D4 Pub

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Joseph Butera found his calling to cuisine while studying finance at Syracuse University. His passion for food started at a young age...MORE
Nicolas Cabrera
STK Chicago

Chef Nicolas Cabrera joins The ONE Group to launch the renowned restaurant group’s signature steakhouse, STK Chicago. Hailing from... MORE
mike cain
Famous Dave's

In 2003, Mike Cain joined the Blue Ribbon Restaurants family. He trained in Chicago, IL, and went on to open five Famous Dave’s in the Metro Detroit area, and one...MORE
robert castaneda
Living Breathing Kitchen

Having grown up in Palm Springs to a famous chef father, renowned popup chef, Robert Castaneda, never wanted to cook. He has now been cooking for 35 years and is one of the five original...MORE
Tony Castillo

Tony Castillo is the Executive Chef and Co-owner of Longitud315 in Highwood, IL. Chef Tony brings to Highwood and to all food lovers... MORE
nathaniel cayer
Dolce Italian

Executive Chef Nate Cayer has been with The Godfrey Chicago since it opened in 2014, bringing with him an East Coast sensibility to the hotel’s culinary...MORE
sandy chen
Koi Fine Asian Cuisine & Lounge

Growing up in the Provence Wen Zhou, Zhe Jiang of Southern China, in a small village just south of Shanghai, Sandy Chen began her culinary journey as a child by helping prepare...MORE
Christine Cikowski
Honey Butter Fried Chicken

At Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, Christine Cikowski serves a menu mindful of just how comforting food can be, especially when made with high-quality...MORE
gerri clay
Polk Street Pub

Chef Gerri Clay is from the south side of Chicago, from a big Irish family. Coming from a family of Chicago Police Officers and Chicago Firefighters, she branched out...MORE

Peter Coenen
Cherry Circle Room

Peter Coenen an executive chef with Land and Sea Dept, overseeing their various concepts within the Chicago Athletic Association, which...MORE
Federico Comacchio
Coco Pazzo Restaurants

Federico is passionate about the clean, clear flavors of Tuscany. He believes that every dish should simply express the fresh ingredients from...MORE
Abraham Conlon
Fat Rice

Growing up in Lowell MA, Abraham Conlon’s culinary beginning was heavily impacted by his Portuguese heritage and a strong Southeast...MORE
steve Coppolillo
Mama's Boy Peasant Italian

Growing up in large Italian family meals were always a very important event; Some of his earliest cooking memories are of watching his mother and grandmother...MORE
Luca Corazzina
312 Chicago

312 CHICAGO, nearby theaters and Chicago’s renowned shopping district in the heart of downtown Chicago Loop has some new fire... MORE
andrea cotÉ
GT Prime

Born and raised in Everett, MA, Andrea Coté always had a natural affinity for the creative fields. Coté attended Boston University where she studied communications and became... MORE
Craig Couper
Michael Jordan's Steakhouse

A Chicago-area native, Chef Craig Couper’s love for the culinary world began at a young age and at just 11-years-old, he was already religiously reading...MORE
fernanda covarrubias
La Postría

She was Born in 1988 in Guadalajara (Jalisco, Mexico). She got a degree in Tourism Administration Business at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, while she...MORE
Luke Creagan
Bistro Campagne

Chef Luke Creagan has spent much of his life, in and out of the kitchen, learning and gleaming lessons from his experiences to celebrate food and create dishes that appeal...MORE
dana cree
The Publican

A Seattle native, Dana Cree began her culinary journey in 2000, studying at The Art Institute of Seattle. Cree first worked in the savory side of the kitchen for three years at Seattle’s...MORE
carlos cruz
Saint Lou's Assembly

Born and raised in the outskirts of Houston in Spring, Texas; Carlos Cruz first became interested in the culinary arts by taking part in a hands-on high school externship...MORE
rodolfo cuadros

As a young boy, Chef Rodolfo Cuadros would slip on an apron and pull up a stool to help his mother and aunts in the kitchen; Little did anyone know that time spent...MORE
Kevin Cuddihee

Stepping into the lead kitchen role at TWO, Kevin Cuddihee brings the dedication he’s had since the restaurant first ... MORE
diana dávila boldin
Mi Tocaya Antojería

Chef Diana Davila Boldin is the Executive Chef and Owner of Mi Tocaya Antojeria in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. A native of the Chicago suburbs...MORE
Jess DeGuzman

Born and raised in the north suburbs of Chicago, Jess DeGuzman developed a love for cooking at a very young age, cooking family...MORE
chris de la cueva
Rhyme or Reason

Chef Chris de la Cueva is best known for his out-of-the-box yet comfort style of cooking. His art is focused around the freshest...MORE

As executive chef of Tanta in Chicago, Jesus Delgado maintains a simple and traditional food philosophy, letting the flavors of his ingredients shine. Collaborating...MORE
Kymberli DeLost
Acanto / The Dawson / The Gage

Kymberli DeLost joined the culinary team at The Gage, Acanto and The Dawson, as Executive Pastry Chef in February 2015. She adds... MORE
Ali Dewjee
Bombay Wraps

When Falguni Dewjee and Ali Dewjee, a husband / wife team, opened Bombay Wraps in 2010, they had one simple mission – to share...MORE
Rohini Dey

A leading restaurateur, proponent of Indian cuisine with her unique Latin twist across Vermilion Chicago and NYC, an avid supporter of women – former World Bank economist and...MORE
Carolina Diaz
Terzo Piano at the Modern Wing of The Art Institute of Chicago

Growing up in a large Mexican family outside of Chicago, Carolina Diaz always had a special relationship with food. Whether cooking meals....MORE
justin diglia
Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Growing up in a small Midwestern town of only 1,800, Justin Diglia’s interest in hospitality didn’t stem from dining at splashy restaurants or eating the food of award-winning....MORE
katie dong
Strings Ramen Shop

Chef/executive manager of Strings Ramen, Katie Dong cooks and creates exceptionally satisfying cultural ramen and dishes. Growing up in Chicago, Katie...MORE
nick dostal

Nick Dostal was appointed executive chef of Sixteen in January 2017 after two years serving as chef de cuisine at the two Michelin-starred restaurant...MORE
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