Haute Event: Escape the Winter: Experience Australia in the Windy City

Executive Chef Frank Brunacci of Sixteen, a native of Melbourne, will host the third annual Australia Week celebration at the Trump Chicago. The festivities have become an ever-growing annual tradition at the downtown Chicago luxury hotel to commemorate Australia Day, the country’s national holiday celebrated on January 26. Guests will have the opportunity to not only experience unique menus and rare wines from Chef Brunacci’s homeland, but also art, travel, music and more.

In partnership with the Australian Government and Wine Australia, Sixteen is pleased to announce the highlights of Australia Week 2011, which include:

An Evening with the Chefs and a Week-Long Menu

Renowned Chef Craig Hopson, a native of Perth, runs New York’s acclaimed Le Cirque and is acclaimed as one of New York’s most talented chefs. This year, Chef Hopson will journey to Chicago to join Chef Brunacci for Australia Week at the downtown Chicago luxury hotel, during which the two will collaborate on a special, six-course Australian dinner menu that will be served exclusively at Sixteen on Friday, January 21. The two chefs will interact with guests throughout the evening, highlighting the distinct, indigenous ingredients featured on the menu. Wines provided by Negociants will be poured by Sommelier Rachael Lowe. That evening, the menu will be priced at $125 per person including wine pairings (exclusive of tax and gratuity).

From Saturday, January 22 through Wednesday, January 26, Chefs Hopson and Brunacci’s six-course menu will be available for $105 per person, or $155 with wine pairings, alongside Sixteen’s regular a la carte and blind tasting menus.

Australian Marketplace

On Sunday, January 23, the entire 16th Floor of Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago will turn into a veritable Australian marketplace as the property hosts Escape the Winter: Experience Australia. This spirited “walkabout”, taking place from 1 to 5 p.m., will showcase more than 30 wines provided by Wine Australia, brews from Coopers Beer, and dozens of uniquely Australian foods for sampling, along with Australian outsider and contemporary visual art, photography, jewelry, live music and more. The hotel’s Grand Ballroom, Grand Foyer and popular Skyline Room will be filled with delectable items to savor and accented with sweeping fabrics in the warm colors of Australia. In addition to hourly wine seminars, Chefs Hopson and Brunacci will also interact with guests, talking about their homeland and its cuisine, while serving authentic Australian cuisine from food stations. The wildly popular Anthony Snape and Anne McCue, both Australian acoustic pop/rock singers and songwriters, will perform live throughout the afternoon.

Escape the Winter: Experience Australia is $45 per person, with ticket proceeds benefiting Chicago’s Mercy Home for Boys & Girls. There will also be raffle tickets on sale for a chance to win impressive prizes, which include a 7-night trip for two to Australia, courtesy of Aussie Experts and Down Under Answers; a six-month membership to The Spa at Trump; overnight stays at Trump International Hotel & Tower New York and Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago; watches from Michael Hill; PUNCH Coffee caddy and reserve coffee beans; Florence Broadhurst Fabrics pillows from Urban Source; artwork from Wayne Howie Outsider (WHO); and more.

Tickets are now available and can be purchased in advance at www.trumpchicagohotel.com/australia. They can also be purchased the day of the event for $60 per person by cash or credit card only.