Haute Event: 14th Annual Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Grand Chefs Gala

On Friday, January 28, 2011, co-chairs Dan Goelz and Michael Pagliuco will present the 14th Annual Fairmont Hotels and Resorts Grand Chefs Gala and Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence, benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This year’s event is titled Emerald City, a Wizard of Oz themed dining, dancing and entertaining experience. Last year, the Grand Chefs Gala helped raise over $400,000.  This year the foundation aims even higher.

The magical night starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park (200 North Columbus Drive) with more than forty of Chicago’s finest chefs from the city’s most outstanding restaurants preparing and presenting their signature hors d’oeuvres.  Brad Parsons, Executive Chef of the Fairmont Chicago will follow with a three-course dinner.  Chicago’s top pastry chefs will serve delectable desserts to complete the dining portion of the evening.  A new component of this year’s event will be custom cocktails created and served by the city’s trendsetters in Mixology.  This year, Steve Dolinsky of ABC 7 and Amanda Puck of the Experiential Agency will emcee the event. A

The 2010 Jean Banchet Award for Culinary Excellence Nominees include:

Celebrity Chef: Curtis Duffy, Avenues; Graham Elliot, Graham Elliot; Stephanie Izard, The Girl & the Goat; Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia

Celebrity Pastry Chef:  Patrick Fahy, Blackbird; Stephanie Prida, Ria; Toni Roberts, C-House; Mindy Segal, Hot Chocolate

Chef-de-Cuisine:  Brian Enyart, Topolobampo; Koren Grieveson, Avec; Ryan LaRoche, NoMI; David Posey, Blackbird

Rising Chef:  Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig; Jonathan Beatty, Davanti Enoteca; Jason McLeod, Ria; Chris Pandel, The Bristol

Rising Pastry Chef:  Todd Feitl, Prasino; Meg Galus, Café des Architectes; Amanda Rockman, The Bristol; Leticia Zenteno, Ceres’ Table; Jessica Oloroso, Black Dog Gelato.

Best Sommelier:  Steven W. Alexander, Spiaggia; Chad Ellegood, Tru; Rachael Lowe, Sixteen; Dan Pilkey, Ria

Best Neighborhood RestaurantKith & Kin, Andrew Brochu; Nightwood, Jason Hammel; Prairie Grass Café, Sarah Stegner & George Bumbaris; Sprout, Dale Levitski

Best Fine DiningAlinea, Grant Achatz; Avenues, Curtis Duffy; Ria, Jason McLeod; Sixteen, Frank Brunacci

Best Catering CompanyBerghoff Catering, Levy Restaurants, Limelight Catering,Tasty Catering

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease affecting 30,000 children and adults in the United States.  The respiratory system and the digestive tract are both compromised by CF, making involuntary activities like breathing and eating extraordinarily difficult for these patients on a daily basis.  In 1955, children with CF usually did not live long enough to attend elementary school.  Today, because of Foundation-supported research and care, patients are living to a median age of 37.  Breakthroughs have been made possible through the dedication of generous donors, with 90 cents out of every dollar directly supporting programs for CF research, drug discovery and patient care.

For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, please visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.grandchefsgala.com or call (312) 236-4491.