Chef Art Smith's 50th Coming to Soldier Field

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Chef Art Smith will be turning 50 in grand style!

Our own Chef Art Smith will be celebrating his 50th birthday in grand style!  How about a celebration in Soldier Field with over 70 top chefs?  This year's Fifth Annual World Festival benefitting Common Threads will be a blowout party for Chicago's very own Art Smith on Monday, March 1st from 6-9 PM.  Participating chefs include Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill/Topolobampo) , Curtis Duffy (Avenues at the Peninsula), Graham Elliot Bowles (Graham Elliot), Gale Gand (TRU), Mario Santiago (May St. CafĂ©), Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat), Bill Kim (Urban Belly), Jason McLeod (Balsan at the Elysian), Daven Wardynski (676 Restaurant at the Omni) and Carrie Nahabedian (NAHA) to name a few.  Honorary host for the event will be Gail Simmons from Food & Wine Magazine and the host committee includes Lee Blackwell Baur, Katherine Chez, Lisa Erspamer, Brian McCaskey, Sue and Mike McCloskey, Ken O'Keefe and Jason Stephens, Mayari Pritzker, Patrick Sheahan, Marilyn Vitale, Linda Yu and yours truly.  


Silent and live auctions will feature one-of-a-kind items, including a trip to Italy sponsored by Barilla; an in-home, five-course dinner for four with Season Five Top Chef contestant Radhika Desai; and lunch for two with Nigella Lawson at her home!  General admission tickets cost $250.  Or, for $500, enjoy the VIP treatment, including access to Art's swanky Southern-style lounge and an invitation to the exclusive chef after-party at The James Chicago (55 E. Ontario)!  This will be an event not to be missed and a milestone celebration for Art's 50th!  For tickets and more info, please email or visit  (Watch for Art's new show on TLC coming in the fall, "Craving Comfort" -aren't we all?)


Common Threads teaches low-income children how to cook wholesome and affordable meals because they believe that through their hands-on cooking classes, they can help prevent childhood obesity and reverse the trend of generations of non-cookers, while celebrating their cultural differences and the things people all over the world have in common.  Recently, at the Omni, I hosted a party to celebrate the launch of their first cookbook (Eat the World: Good-For-You Food for Families, $20) which includes recipes that they prepare in their after school program.  A few of the "Small Threads" were on hand to sign the books.  Check out the party pics and I hope to see you at Art's 50th celebration!  (Additional pics by Caitlin Saville)


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