Hoping to expand your palate, sample new flavors, and observe talented chefs in action? Guests can do all that and more at the Chicago Food + Wine Festival, which takes place Saturday, August 29, and Sunday, August 30, 2015, in Lincoln Park. Sponsored by FOOD & WINE magazine, the inaugural event unites exceptional chefs, winemakers, and experts in wine and spirits from the Chicago area and across the country—all with the goal of producing a world-class culinary experience. The James Chicago can help guide you to some highlights of the Chicago’s first Food + Wine Festival.

MIS EN PLACE

The talent on scene at the Chicago Food + Wine Festival reads like a who’s who of the culinary world. Local culinary superstars form the festival’s advisory board, including Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat, Little Goat), Rick Bayless (Frontera, Xoco), and Jimmy Bannos, Jr. (The Purple Pig). Expect to catch a glimpse of these and other top Chicago chefs as they lead more than 30 demonstrations that will help you sharpen your cooking skills.

AMUSE BOUCHE

Food meets fun at the festival’s three evening events: On Friday, the Feast Under the Stars serves up an intimate five-course meal featuring fare from Izard, Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot Bistro), Jimmy Bannos, Sr. (Heaven on Seven), and other celebrated chefs. Saturday evening, the action moves to Grant Park, where guests can sample gourmet dishes while enjoying live music. Later that night, get your just desserts—and a signature cocktail—in a tasty nightcap.

THE MAIN COURSE

The centerpiece of the festival is the Grand Tasting, a sumptuous array of samples from more than 90 wine, spirits, and artisanal food purveyors. At the Chef Showcase, visitors can try flavors from top local and regional chefs, including Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde), Chris Anderson (Moto Restaurant), Brian Huston (Boltwood), and Jared Wentworth (Longman and Eagle, Dusek’s Board and Beer, The Promontory).

For more information and to purchase tickets to the inaugural Chicago Food + Wine Festival, visit chicagofoodandwinefestival.com.

To savor the entire Chicago Food + Wine Festival, reserve a room at The James Chicago.

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