Culinary Events > Taste of the Nation

Chicago Taste of the Nation

August 30, 2017

Admission: $100
6:00pm - 9:00pm

Revel Fulton Market

1215 W Fulton Market
Chicago, Illinois


Chicago's Taste of the Nation® for No Kid Hungry 2017 will be held on August 30 at Revel Fulton Market

Ensure that no kid goes hungry, whether in Chicago or across the nation, by joining the city’s finest chefs, sommeliers and mixologists on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 for Chicago's Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry, a remarkable night of dining in support of No Kid Hungry’s work to end childhood hunger in America.

Guests will mix, mingle, and enjoy food and drink prepared by more than 30 top chefs and mixologists.

Please note, Chicago's Taste of the Nation is a 21+ event.

Interested in learning more about the 2017 event? Please reach out to Rebecca Woerner at 

Thank you to our Taste of the Nation 2017 sponsors!

National Presenting Sponsors

National Sponsors
Food Network


Local Sponsors

Beam Suntory
Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits

Brewery Row
Goose Island Beer Co.

Evergreen Agency

Fortune Fish & Gourmet
Klein & Partners

Local Sponsors
Voss Water



In support of No Kid Hungry, alt-rock chart topping band The Strumbellas will perform a special acoustic set during the event, presented by Citi.  Listen to their new single "Young & Wild" here.


2016 Participating Mixologists

Lisa Selman, Duck Duck Goat

Chris Neustadt, Jim Beam

Lov Carpenter, Café Spiaggia

Melissa Guadalupe, Hilton Rosemont

Dogma Group

Nikki Allen, Knife & Tine

Shaunna McCarthy, DrumBar

Chris Cavarra, Sable Bar and Kitchen

Reena Patel, Beacon Tavern

Al Klopper, Slippery Slope

Liz Pearce, The Drifter

Mary Rose Braun

Meghan Konecny, Sportsman's Club

Aaron Pollack, The Dawson



Event Chairs & Committee

Todd GundersonOpenTable - Giving Tree Chair

Michele KaminskiThe Dawson - Giving Tree Chair

Toni KleinKlein + Partners - Host Committee, Sponsorship Chair

Rob KleinKlein + Partners - Host Committee, Sponsorship Chair

Ryan McCaskeyAcadia - Honorary Chef Chair

Elissa Narow, Pastry Chef - Chef & Restaurant Chair

Debbi PeekSouthern Wine & Spirits - Honorary Beverage Chair

Corey Polkow, CBC Speciality Beverage Co. - Restaurant Chair

Egor Polonskiy, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits - Beverage Chair

Anna PowellEvergreen Agency - Public Relations Chair

Toni RobertsThe Wit - Honorary Chef Chair

Carina Sarbaugh, IRI Worldwide - Operations & Volunteer Chair



EverThrive Illinois works to improve the health of women, children, and families over the lifespan through community engagement, partnerships, policy analysis, education, and advocacy. EverThrive Illinois is Share Our Strength’s lead Cooking Matters partner in Illinois. Cooking Matters empowers families at risk of hunger with the skills, knowledge and confidence to make healthy and affordable meals.



The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. The Food Depository distributes donated and purchased food through a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters to 678,000 adults and children in Cook County every year.





The Illinois Hunger Coalition (IHC) is a statewide membership organization that has worked to end child hunger in Illinois since 1988. Through its grassroots public policy work, coalition building, advocacy, outreach, and training, IHC increases access for low-income families to federal nutrition programs that bring in tens of millions of federal dollars to feed low-income children. Through the bi-lingual, toll-free Hunger Hotline, IHC serves, on average, 10,000 households per year from urban, suburban, and rural parts of the state, adn connects them to free, healthy food all year long.


Honorary Chef Chairs

Ryan McCaskey

Executive Chef, Acadia 

A native of Saigon, Vietnam and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, McCaskey discovered his passion for cooking at an early age. As a youngster, he would watch his grandmother in the kitchen, helping her out as he could, and his interest was piqued. He began experimenting with food and around 17 years old , McCaskey was the family cook! Lucky to have traveled extensively throughout his childhood, McCaskey was exposed to many different cultures and flavors, and to this day employs a multi-cultural approach in the kitchen.

Realizing at a young age he wanted to work professionally as a cook, as a high school junior he was one of nine pilot students to attend the Harper College Culinary Arts program. He next attended the School of the Culinary Arts at Kendall College (Evanston, IL), and while at school, worked at the three-star Greenery (Barrington, IL) and subsequently, at the acclaimed Tuttaposto under Tony Mantuano, working various stations in the kitchen. McCaskey had the foresight to learn all stations, both savory and sweet , as he knew these skills would serve him one day when he ran his own kitchen. He then accepted a position as sous chef and pastry chef – at age 20 – at Goose Cove Lodge in Maine, lauded by The New York Times as one of the best restaurants in the state. Still a student, he spent his summers cooking seasonal, regional cuisine and finished his schooling in the off-season. After graduating (1996), McCaskey moved to Wisconsin, accepting a position as Chef de Cuisine and Pastry Chef at the Black Locust (Fish Creek). While at the helm, the restaurant was named one of the top three restaurants in the state by the Milwaukee Journal. Ryan then opted to return to Chicago, working as chef de cuisine at Vivere and then at the acclaimed Rushmore, where he returned to his contemporary American roots. When Rushmore closed unexpectedly (due to a fire), McCaskey took some time off, then broadened his kitchen skills staging at the four-star Trio under Grant Achatz and TRU under Rick Tramonto, as well as working at Allen’s. He next worked as Executive Chef at the Moroccan Tizi Melloul, where he garnered national media exposure. When Rushmore reopened, McCaskey returned – this time as Executive Chef – where he continued to hone his craft. In 2007, McCaskey was offered the position as Executive Chef at the four-star Courtright’s (Willow Springs, IL). In 2010, McCaskey began plans for Acadia, fulfilling a lifelong dream of opening his own restaurant. Acadia opened in late 2011 and has since garnered accolades from both local and national sources. The most noteworthy accolades in the 4 years since opening have been a Michelin star after 9 months, (have retained 2013,2014,2015), a second Michelin Star for 2016, 2017,and a 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 5- Star rating from AAA. Other awards have been Best New Restaurant- Jean Banchet Awards 2012, and 3 Semi-finalist nominations for Best Chef Great Lakes by James Beard Foundation.

Seeing a guest have a great experience, providing them a culinary memory, is what drives McCaskey to strive to provide the best he possibly can. McCaskey describes his style as “Simultaneously contemporary and classic. The first half of my career was rooted in classical cuisine, technique-driven, the fundamentals. Recently, my focus shifted to sublety, layering flavors and using contemporary techniques. But one doesn’t overshadow the other – they work in harmony, balancing out one another.” McCaskey lives in the South Loop neighborhood, just up the street from Acadia.


Toni Roberts

Executive Pastry Chef, theWit 

Chef Toni is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Chef Toni received a Jean Banchet Award for Culinary Excellence for Rising Star Pastry Chef, won the Best Dessert Menu award by, and had her dessert selected by TimeOut Chicago as one of the “100 Best We Ate This Year.” In her career, Chef Toni was privileged with the opportunity to assist Chef Marcus Samuelsson at the White House during his Guest Chef appearance for the Obama Administration’s first State Dinner.  Since leaving her role at C-House and joining theWit as Executive Pastry Chef, Chef Toni has represented theWit in multiple media events, making her one of the most sought after Pastry Chefs in the city.  Currently, Chef Toni oversees all pastry operations at State and Lake Chicago Tavern and ROOF, as well as catering and weddings at theWit.

National Presenting Sponsors

National Sponsors

Event Sponsored By

Join Us on Facebook Share our Strength

© 2017 Share Our Strength

1030 15th Street, NW, Suite 1100 W
Washington DC 20005

Additional Information

Educational Content