A Who's Who of Chicago chefs Cook for Ukraine

A Who's Who of Chicago chefs Cook for Ukraine
Piccolo Songo’s Tony Priolo and some of his favorite specialities: Photo: Carole Kuhrt Brewer

More than 70 of Chicago’s top chefs will be cooking their specialties at “Chicago Cooks for Ukraine” at Navy Pier on Wednesday, March 16 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The grassroots effort to raise funds for humanitarian relief came about when Tony Priolo, chef and co-owner of Piccolo Sogno, one of the city’s most renowned Italian restaurants, sent an email to about 40 other chefs and restaurateurs that floated the idea of a chef-driven fundraiser to help the people of Ukraine.

Priolo explained, “After seeing the events unfold in Ukraine, we rallied our restaurant community together. We are a passionate bunch. We are united and we are going to make this happen.” 

Sarah Stegner, owner of Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, was first to reply and she said “Let’s do this.”

Prairie Grass Cafe co-owner/co-chef Sarah Stegner photo: Grant Kessler

Throughout the chef community enthusiasm for the project exploded. Within a short time 70 chefs (and counting) had come onboard.

All procedes from the chef-curated tasting event, “Chicago Cooks for Ukraine,” presented by Lifeway Foods” will be provided directly to World Central Kitchen, the organization that is first to the frontlines to provide meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. 

“We are proud to be the presenting sponsor,” said CEO of Lifeway Foods Julie Smolyansky. “I, myself, was born in Kiev and was granted asylum in the US as a refugee as an infant in 1976. A large portion of Lifeway team members are refugees & immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, Ukraine, Russia and the surrounding regions. We are grateful for the chef community for coming together on a moment’s notice to respond to this humanitarian crisis with great empathy and compassion.” 


In addition to the chef-curated tasting event, the event will feature a special VIP meet and greet chef experience. Tickets (150-500) can be purchased here

List of participating chefs as of March 10

1. Rodolfo Cuadros from Amaru

2. Lewis Alexakis from Avli On the Park

3. Linda Bacin from Bacinos

4. Ken Polk from Batter & Berries

5. Alex Pitts from Bazaar Meats by José Andrés

6. Linda Friend from Big Fat Cookie

7. Martial Nougier from Bistronomic

8. Art Smith from Blue Door Kitchen & Garden

9. Hector Guerrero from Blue Door Kitchen & Garden

10. Charles Haracz from Blue Plate Catering

11. Lee Wolen from Boka Restaurant

12. Carrie Nahabedian from Brindille

13. Chris Pandel from Cira

14. Meg Galus from Cocoa + Co

15. Bernie Laskowski from Craft Urban

16. Tigist Reda from Demera

17. Kevin Hickey from The Duck Inn

18. Lamar Moore from Eleven Eleven

19. Marc Schumann from Eli’s Cheescake

20. Dudley Nieto from Fat Rosies

21. Jonathon Sawyer from Four Seasons Hotel Chicago and Adorn Bar & Restaurant

22. Zach Steen from Frontera Group

23. Cristiano Bassani from Gene & Georgetti

24. Jason Vincent from Giant

25. Chef Jose Sosa from Gibsons Italia

26. Federico Comacchio from Gioia Ristorante e Pastificio

27. Little Goat Diner

28. Mila Furman from The Girl in the Kitchen

29. Giuseppe Tentori from GT Fish & Oyster

30. Ellen King from Hewn Bread

31. Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski from Honey Butter Fried Chicken

32. Justin DePhillips from Jaleo by José Andrés

33. Katherine Anne from Katherine Anne Confections

34. Suzy DeYoung from La Soupe, Cincinnati

35. Oliver Poilevey from Le Bouchon

36. Darnell Reed from Luella’s Southern Kitchen

37. Jason Hammel from Lula Cafe

38. Dan Raskin from Manny’s Deli

39. Sarah Grueneberg from Monteverde

40. Sam Rattanopas from NaKorn

41. John Boudouvas from Nonnina

42. Caesar Murillo from North Pond

43. Jim Kallas from Offshore Rooftop

44. Jody Fyfe and David Abrahamson from Paramount Catering

45. Tusya Korastin from Petergof Banquet Hall

46. Tony Priolo and Mike Burke from Piccolo Sogno

47. Nick Hynes from Pescadero Seafood and Oyster Bar

48. Ozzy Amelotti from Petterino’s

49. Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris from Prairie Grass Cafe

50. Dana Cree and Michael Ciapciak from Pretty Cool Ice Cream

51. Greg Wade and Paul Kahan from Publican Quality Bread

52. Pure Green Juice

53. Jimmy Bannos and Jimmy Bannos Jr. from Purple Pig

54. Robert Garvey from Robert’s Pizza and Dough Company

55. Cliff Rome from Rome’s Joy Catering

56. Sahil Sethi from ROOH

57. Joe Flamm from Rose Mary

58. Barry Sorkin from Smoque BBQ

59. Heather Bublick and D’Andre Carter from Soul & Smoke

60. Marcos Ascencio from Taqueria Chingon

61. Toni Roberts from Torali at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago

62. Nataliya from Tryzub Restaurant

63. Carlos Gaytan from Tzuco

64. Jim Louras from Umbria Caffe

65. Bill Kim from Urbanbelly

66. Sophie Evanoff from Vanille Patisserie

67. Arshiya Farheen from Verzenay Chicago

68. Michelle Anne from Victory Italian

69. Erick Williams from Virtue

70. Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark from Wherewithall

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