7/10/2013 12:00:00 PM

Tickets to James Beard Foundation's Taste America Showcase on Sale

When the James Beard Foundation rolls into town, it attracts quite the entourage of exceptional chefs, impeccable food and craft cocktails. This year, the culinary foundation travels to 10 major food hubs during its Taste America Festival. Chicago’s “Journey Through the 
Great Lakes” dinner will be held on Friday, September 20 at Union Station.

The five-course meal is not only prepared by some of the Great Lakes's finest chefs, but also highlights the cuisine of the region. The evening is hosted by James Beard Award nominee Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia) as well as Taste America All-Star Richard Blais. Each course will feature two dual places prepared by two chefs and inspired by local ingredients. Each dish is designed to complement its accompanying dish.

Drumroll please. Here are the participating chefs: Alex Young (Zingerman's Roadhouse), Gale Gand (Tru), Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia, Cafe Spiaggia, Bar Toma and Terzo Piano), Chris Pandel (Balena and The Bristol), Giuseppe Tentori (Boka and GT Fish & Oyster), Jonathon Sawyer (The Greenhouse Tavern), Patrick Fahy (Sixteen) and Paul Virant (Perennial Virant and Vie).

Tickets for the 7 PM dinner cost $350. For that price, the chefs should cook for you and stock your fridge with leftovers, but the ticket also includes a pre-cocktail reception hosted by James Beard Award nominee for Outstanding Bar Program The Violet Hour, as well as an “After Dark” party. Tickets to the after-party alone are $75 and dinner tickets cost $300.

We know what you're thinking: where is 2013’s Outstanding Chef winner Paul Kahan? He, along with Blais, will host a free cooking demo at Sur La Table on Saturday, September 21. In addition to the demo, the event includes tastings and cookbook signings starting at 10 AM. Tickets for all events are on sale online.

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