Taste of the Nation Chicago returns August 13th for another night of culinary enchantment on the edge of Lake Michigan!
Join us once again at the stunning Navy Pier Grand Ballroom and lakeside plaza for a spectacular summer evening with the most incredible gathering of innovative, influential and talked-about chefs and mixologists in town. Join event chair R.J. Melman (Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises) and nearly 100 of Chicago's most renowned chefs and mixologists as we gather together to end childhood hunger in Illinois and America. Guests will also enjoy live entertainment, delicious craft beer and wines, Navy Pier's stunning fireworks display and a silent auction featuring many unique experiences and delightful packages.
Please note that Taste of the Nation Chicago is a 21 and over event.
2013 Local Presenting Sponsors
Announcing Taste of the Nation Chicago's 2013 Honoree - Chef Mindy Segal
In 2013, when Share Our Strength's work needed a boost in Chicago, Mindy answered the call, marshaling every resource she could find to help raise the public awareness of the issue of childhood hunger and to reinvigorate our largest fundraiser in the Midwest, Taste of the Nation Chicago. The result of her work, which has been both public (as a chef spokesperson, ambassador and ally) and quiet, thankless, and behind the scenes, is the premier culinary event in Chicago, which gathers the very best chefs and mixologists annually to raise critically needed funds to support the work of Share Our Strength and our grantees. In addition to serving as the architect of Taste of the Nation's re-launch, Chef Segal chaired the event for three years, served as a Share Our Strength spokesperson at events such as Oprah's Live Your Best Life Weekend in New York and helped to lay the public groundwork for No Kid Hungry Illinois by hosting private events and fundraisers. Within a community of No Kid Hungry's celebrity rich supporters, remains one of our most important and influential chef voices.
We are thrilled to present the 2013 No Kid Hungry Champion Award to Chef Segal for her heartfelt, authentic and enduring commitment to ensure no child in Chicago, Illinois or America goes hungry.
Mindy Segal specializes in contemporary American cuisine, placing a modern twist on traditional classics. What makes her one of the best pastry chefs in America is her mastery of temperature, texture and taste. In a word, balance. Chef Segal refined her craft as pastry chef in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the country, with early professional positions stationing her at Spago, Gordon, Charlie Trotter’s, Ambria and MK.
Segal’s subtle combinations of hot and cold, crispy and smooth, salty and sweet raise her desserts to the level of perfection. But her desserts don’t come off as meticulous, manufactured or precious, but rather as heartfelt dishes of pure craftsmanship—a craftsmanship that is rooted in Midwestern wholesomeness and more importantly comfort. Eating one of Mindy’s desserts can transport you back to a fond childhood memory of sweetness that has been taken apart and somehow reassembled into something better.
Mindy’s restaurant, HotChocolate is the culmination of 25+ years of dedication to her craft and the passion she has for the entire culinary experience. The urban café is a marriage of contemporary sweet and savory food, inspired by seasonal, local ingredients. It features an innovative, ever-evolving menu presented with gracious, polished first-class service in a friendly, inviting atmosphere.
Segal was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in the Country in 2012, and was nominated for this category five times prior in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. She captured the Jean Banchet award for Best Celebrity Pastry Chef in Chicago and was named Pastry Chef of the Year by Chicago Magazine. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 she was recognized for her commitment to sustainability as guest chef for Outstanding in the Field. Segal was named Share Our Strength’s 2009 Chef of the Year for her dedication to Taste of the Nation, the country's premier culinary benefit dedicated to ending childhood hunger with events in more than 45 cities across the U.S. and Canada. She served as a national spokesperson for Whole Foods Market in 2010, an ambassador for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and a spokesperson for the Idaho Potato Commission. Mindy has been called “Sugar Fiend of the Year” by Alan Richman of GQ and her Chicago restaurant, HotChocolate was named one of the best breakfast spots in the country in the William Sonoma Breakfasts Comforts Cookbook, as well as one of the best savory spots in the America by USA Today.
Most recently, Chef Segal appeared on The Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The Food Network, The Cooking Channel and First Look. Her work has been featured in O Magazine, GQ, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, CHOW.com, Bon Appétit, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
Check back soon for announcements about our 2014 chef lineup
2013 Participating Restaurants
Check back soon for announcements about our 2014 mixologist lineup
2013 Participating Mixologists
Carols E. Cuarta
Sable Kitchen Bar
Henri and The Gage
Check back soon for details about our incredible auction items!
2014 Event Chairs
R.J. Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
Elissa Narow, Vie and Perennial Virant
Lauren Polkow, GrubHub
Ben Smock, Toque and Bottle Advisory