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: