Event Snapshots: Grand Chef’s Gala Cooks Up Something Special

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February marked the 20th anniversary of the Grand Chef’s Gala, an annual black tie event that benefits the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This special “Platinum Affair” continued the tradition of the popular event, which, in addition to being a major fundraiser, is also regarded as one of the city’s best culinary gatherings. It draws upwards of 50 noted chefs and mixologists such as Blackbird’s Ryan Pfeiffer, RPM Steak’s Doug Psaltis and Monteverde’s Sarah Grueneberg, who provided signature plates and cocktails. 

This year’s event, held in Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom, was hosted by Food Network’s Jeff Mauro and also honored Lettuce Entertain You chairman Richard Melman as the recipient of the lifetime achievement “Chicago Classic Award.” In addition to chef tastings, there was also a silent auction, live auction and a special “Nightcap” segment that began at 9 p.m., featuring more custom cocktails and special desserts made by noted pastry chefs including Floriole’s Sandra Holl and Sixteen’s Evan Sheridan.

Here are some sights from the night: 

Members of The Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association (IHLA) placed their bets for a good cause this summer at the 11th annual Pony Up for the Kids fundraiser event, held at Arlington International Racecourse. Proceeds went directly into a fund for the IHLA Educational Foundation Scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to local students pursuing degrees in hospitality. (See the latest winners on page 45.) To date, the program has awarded $400,000 to deserving students. Guests were able to enjoy the racecourse’s private Beverly D.

 

The work of Bob Doepel and his staff at Chicago Scenic Studios speaks for itself, having produced some of the most iconic sets for museums, TV and film and corporate events.

 

Meeting planners have more options than ever outside the city.