Taste Talks, a national series of innovative food festivals that has hosted sold out events around the country, announced the return of Taste Talks Chicago, curated by Chef Jason Hammel of Lula Café. From September 30 to October 2, top cultural influencers and culinary luminaries will gather in Chicago for the festival, celebrating the future of taste.
First launched in Brooklyn in 2012, followed by Chicago in 2013, and expanding this year to Los Angeles, each Taste Talks weekend includes a day-long celebration of culinary innovation through a series of panels, fireside chats, workshops, and tastings; exclusive meals and VIP parties featuring top chefs and personalities; and the signature All-Star BBQ, where the biggest names in food and pop culture team up for a festive cookout with live music.
Chef and owner of Chicago's iconic Lula Café, Hammel is nationally regarded for his commitment to sustainable and local cuisine. As festival curator, Hammel will draw on the global culinary inspiration reflected in Chicago's vibrant culinary landscape, bringing together his favorite food, beverage, and music experts for a weekend of epicurean delight and culture.
"I am excited to showcase not only chefs, but the interdisciplinary worlds of music and visual art with Taste Talks; I have a lot to say about how food interacts with other cultural elements in the city," says Hammel. "As curator, I will focus on our community here in Chicago and beyond, where independent, vibrant chefs are doing really cool things. The community overlap between artists and chefs is one that I really want to highlight."
Festival highlights include appearances by:
- Jimmy Bannos, Jr.: Chef/owner, The Purple Pig
- Abe Conlon: Chef/owner, Fat Rice
- Brian Enyart: Executive Chef, Dos Urban Cantina
- Sarah Grueneberg: Chef/partner, Monteverde
- Jennifer Jones Enyart: Pastry Chef, Dos Urban Cantina
- C.J. Jacobson: Executive Chef, Ema
- Brian Jupiter: Executive Chef, Frontier
- Rachael Lowe: Beverage Director, Spiaggia
- Iliana Regan: Chef/owner, Elizabeth
- Mathew Rice: Pastry Chef, Publican
- Joanne Stachon: Executive Chef, Ada Street
- Jason Vincent: Chef/owner, Giant
And dozens more to be announced in the coming months.
"Each year, Taste Talks Chicago gets better and better—and we're thrilled to be hosting the festival once again in such a dynamic, constantly evolving culinary destination," says Taste Talks festival director Will Levitt. "The level of thought leadership and community involvement in Chicago is off the charts, and we can't wait to see what new ideas this year's lineup brings."
A limited release of Early Bird tickets and passes are now on sale.