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.
Thank you to our Taste of the Nation 2017 sponsors!
National Presenting Sponsors
Goose Island Beer Co.
2017 Participating Restaurants
Acadia ● Avec ● Beacon Tavern ● Bin 36 ● The Blanchard ● Boeufhaus ● Bohemian House ● Cold Storage ● The Dawson ● GreenRiver ● il Porcellino ● Maple and Ash ● Margeaux Brasserie ● Mercat a la Planxa ● Quiote ● The Signature Room at the 95th ● Swift & Sons ● Tanta ● Terzo Piano ● Vistro ● The Winchester
2016 Participating Mixologists
Lisa Selman, Duck Duck Goat
Chris Neustadt, Jim Beam
Lov Carpenter, Café Spiaggia
Melissa Guadalupe, Hilton Rosemont
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 Gunderson, OpenTable - Giving Tree Chair
Michele Kaminski, The Dawson - Giving Tree Chair
Toni Klein, Klein + Partners - Host Committee, Sponsorship Chair
Rob Klein, Klein + Partners - Host Committee, Sponsorship Chair
Ryan McCaskey, Acadia - Honorary Chef Chair
Elissa Narow, Pastry Chef - Chef & Restaurant Chair
Debbi Peek, Southern Wine & Spirits - Honorary Beverage Chair
Corey Polkow, CBC Speciality Beverage Co. - Restaurant Chair
Egor Polonskiy, Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits - Beverage Chair
Anna Powell, Evergreen Agency - Public Relations Chair
Toni Roberts, The 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
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.
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 Pastryscoop.com, 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.