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I don’t know about you guys, but I LOVE watching the Food Network…specifically competition shows like Chopped and Iron Chef!!  To me there is nothing better than watching people create something delicious out of unknown ingredients… which is why I am super, pumped for this year’s Key Ingredient Cook-Off: A Festival of Culinary Curiosities.

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On Friday, May 3rd, at the Bridgeport Art Center, the Chicago Reader is hosting this awesome contest!!  Twenty-six different chefs from around Chicago will go head-to-head using one of five ingredients that were voted on by the readers of the Chicago Reader’s Key Ingredient series.

Watch as your favorite chefs from restaurants such as Balena, Blackbird, El Ideas, Sprout, Nellcote, Trenchermen, and many more, create something delicious out of something as obscure as sea cucumber or smelt!  But fear not because although the ingredient may be something as dreaded as Durian – the chef’s creation could taste as delicious as fountain of chocolate!!

If the food isn’t enough for you, make sure to check out all the drink specials from Chicago’s City Winery, River North Beer, Tenzing, Four Roses, and Olmeca Altos.

The best part is that the event helps benefit Healthy Schools Campaign!! This non-profit organization advocates for policies and practices that teach students, teachers, and schools to learn all about healthier living!

This event is sure to be an amazing time!! General admission tickets are $65, which includes complimentary beer and wine, three specialty cocktails from Scofflaw, and tasting portions from all 26 chefs.  VIP tickets are $100, which includes special bites from Panozzo’s Italian Deli, cocktails from Scofflaw’s Danny Shapiro, and all the general admission perks.  So definitely don’t miss out on this delicious and exciting event!!

For more information regarding tickets and event details, contact Kristen Kaza at (312) 771-8546 or by email at

Kendall Rozell

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