Taste of Chicago, the world's largest free food festival, is looking good for 2016 with 69 of the city's most exciting restaurants lining up to participate in the 36th Annual culinary celebration.
City officials including Mayor Rahm Emanuel and some of Chicago's top chefs were on hand this morning at Chicago's new hotspot MAD Social to announce the 2016 Taste of Chicago food lineup which includes a diverse mix of neighborhood and downtown eateries that will be at this year's five day fest from July 6 through July 10 in Grant Park.
In announcing the lineup, Emanuel thanked Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Commissioner Michelle Boone for the re-imagined Taste, which the mayor said five years ago was somewhat of an endangered species.
Taste has undergone a major facelift during the last few years under the careful watch of Boone and has become a "Taste" for the new millennium. The 2016 will showcase Chicago's second to none culinary scene with pop-up restaurants, food trucks, special Celebrity Chef three-course dining experiences and a new Cocktail Lounge along with a beer garden, wine garden and traditional favorites.
Mayor Emanuel elaborated explaining that our city has become an important player in the culinary world hosting many high-profile events including the James Beard awards and because of this "our culinary reputation has grown on both the national and international stage."
The 2016 Taste will be reflective of this growth.
Twenty newcomers will be participating in this year's fest including six new food trucks and 11 new pop-ups.
The list includes: Abundance Bakery; Arami; Auntie Vee's; BRGRBELLY; Da Lobstra; Demera Ethiopian Restaurant: Doom Street Eats; Firecakes Donuts; Frannie's Cafe Inc; Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken; The Happy Lobster Truck; La Jefa; La Patrona; MAD Social; nana; Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine; Pork & Mindy's; Rojo Gusano; Taco in a Bag and Texas de Brazil.
The popular Celebrity Chef du Jour that offers an opportunity for guest to experience a sit-down, three-course meal in an air-conditioned decorated dining pavilion for $45 per person is back for 2016. This year's chef line-up features: Graham Elliot of Graham Elliot Bistro with Masterchef Junior Season 4 Winner Addison Smith on July 6: Kevin Hickey of The Duck Inn, July 7; Patrick Sheerin of Trencherman, July 8; Chris Macchia of Nonnina, July 9 and Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice on July 10.
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Filed under: Taste of Chicago