Today, the Windy City reimagines its legendary food festival by launching Taste of Chicago To-Go, a five-day feast of free public programming that includes online cooking demonstrations, virtual music and dance events, and a series of “Community Eats” meals for nonprofits serving frontline and healthcare workers and community organizations.
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announced the celebration in a press release that included the schedule and a dining guide showcasing 42 participating eateries.
“Local restaurants make up the backbone of our neighborhoods – and we're finding creative ways to support both them and the communities they serve while prioritizing health and safety,” said Mark Kelly, DCASE Commissioner. “While this year is different for all of us, the spirit of Taste of Chicago lives on with community meals and virtual events showcasing Chicago’s diverse and legendary culinary, music and arts scene.”
Online cooking demonstrations
Taste of Chicago To-Go’s online cooking demonstrations will stream at noon each day from Wednesday, July 8, through Sunday, July 12, at youtube.com/ChicagoDCASE. Each demonstration will feature popular local chefs, including Carlos Gaytan of Tzuco, Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice of the Pies, Jessica Romanowski of Care Kitchen Chicago, Darnell Reed of Luella’s Southern Kitchen and Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde, sharing how to make one of their favorite home dishes.
Music and dance
SummerDance in Place — the new, at-home version of Chicago’s social dancing tradition — invites Chicagoans to plan smaller, socially distant dance parties in their homes, backyards, front porches and elsewhere and connect via the broadcast or social media. Maximum crowd size is up to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
On July 8, the theme is Bollywood & Bhangra with a 30-minute dance lesson by Bollywood Groove, followed by music by DJ iLLEST. The program starts at 5:30pm at youtube.com/ChicagoDCASE and simultaneously broadcasts and streams at WTTW Prime (11.2).
And if you’re looking for music, don’t miss the Millennium Park at Home music series, including the July 9 program with The Braided Janes and Jon Langford. Music starts at 6pm at youtube.com/ChicagoDCASE.
The Community Eats program encourages Taste of Chicago eateries to host a free, community meal from July 8 to 12 for neighborhood first responders and community organizations. Following last year’s debut of nine meals, the program this year extends to 21 meals for Advocate Trinity Hospital, Care Kitchen Chicago, Farm on Ogden, La Casa Norte, Lawrence Hall, MADO Healthcare – Douglas Park Center, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New Covenant Community Development Council, The Night Ministry, The Port Ministries, Salvation Army Freedom Center, South Shore Hospital, St. Anthony Hospital, West Humboldt Park Family and Community Development Council and Westside Health Authority.
Community Eats is an opportunity to create a positive social impact by extending the reach of Taste of Chicago directly into neighborhoods.
Taste of Chicago To-Go Schedule
View all programs at youtube.com/ChicagoDCASE
Wednesday, July 8
Cooking Demonstration: Chef Carlos Gaytan of Tzuco prepares Avocado Flatbread
SummerDance in Place: Bollywood & Bhangra with Bollywood Groove and DJ iLLEST
A new online edition of Chicago’s favorite social dancing tradition. This program also broadcasts and streams on WTTW Prime (11.2).
Thursday, July 9
Cooking Demonstration: Chef Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice of the Pies prepares Lemon Lime Cake
Millennium Park at Home: Music Series with The Braided Janes and Jon Langford
Friday, July 10
Cooking Demonstration: Chef Jessica Romanowski of Care Kitchen Chicago prepares Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Cookies
Saturday, July 11
Cooking Demonstration: Chef Darnell Reed of Luella’s Southern Kitchen prepares Salsa Con Queso
Sunday, July 12
Chef Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde prepares Pasta Fredda with Summer Herb Pesto
Participating neighborhood venues
Billy Goat Tavern, 430 N. Michigan Ave.
Bombay Wraps, 330 E. Ohio St.
Gayle V’s Best Ever Grilled Cheese, 108 N. State St.
Lao Sze Chuan Downtown, 520 N. Michigan Ave.
Monteverde, 1020 W. Madison St.
Tzuco, 720 N. State St.
Taste of Chicago merchandise
Taste of Chicago limited-edition, official festival merchandise is available via TasteofChicago.us. Show off your Chicago pride and support local artists by ordering these new, artist-designed t-shirts for the Taste and other summer festivals. A portion of all sales benefit the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund (ArtsforIllinois.org). Special thanks to the Design Museum of Chicago. Taste of Chicago and Taste of Chicago To-Go are produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, with advertising support from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). For more information, visit TasteofChicago.us and join the conversation on social media using #TasteofChicago.