The best chefs go on personal quests to find local ingredients, visiting dairies to taste new cheeses or licking stop signs to figure out which ones are candied. Reap the fruits of culinary labor with this Groupon to the Taste of Chicago's Celebrity Chef du Jour event featuring Chef Stephanie Izard. For $40, you get one general-admission ticket to a three-course luncheon prepared by Chef Izard near the southwest corner of Buckingham Fountain on Saturday, July 14, at noon (seating begins at 11 a.m.) A vegetarian entree option is available. The luncheon includes the following:
Sweet onion soup, poached shrimp
Vegetarian option: Sweet onion soup
Grilled pork ribs, tomatillo-mushroom slaw, grilled-scallion vinaigrette
Vegetarian option: Chickpea fritters, stewed and fresh chickpeas, pickles, red onion, Crave Brothers mozzarella.
Quatro leches, blueberry, cereal struesel
In addition to the Taste of Chicago’s annual cavalcade of local cuisine, the 2012 festival introduces a five-day series of exclusive meals prepared by iconic Chicago chefs and served with the assistance of the Washburne Culinary Institute. Tickets to the first-ever Celebrity Chef du Jour are only available through Groupon. Saturday's event highlights Chef Stephanie Izard, who uses her formal culinary training and surprising cuts of meat to craft her celebrated cuisine. The winner of the fourth season of Bravo's Top Chef, she most recently garnered a 2012 nomination from the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef: Great Lakes.
Before agreeing to source ingredients from local farms, Chef Izard personally visits the site to ensure humane raising conditions. Ingredients deemed fit then work their way onto the seasonally rotating menu of her West Loop restaurant, Girl & the Goat, which earned a Bib Gourmand rating from the 2012 Michelin Guide for its accessibility and value. Every element of her dishes is made in-house, including the wonton skins that accompany select desserts.
During the Celebrity Chef du Jour luncheon, diners will be able to enjoy their three-course menu of meaty or vegetarian-friendly cuisine within the comfort of an air-conditioned tent at the southwest corner of Buckingham Fountain Plaza. The event also includes time for the attendees to mingle with Chef Izard while asking her to explain the advantages of using a soupspoon instead of a funnel.
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