2017 marks the 20th anniversary of Chicago’s premier culinary experience; the Grand Chefs Gala presented by The Greater Illinois Chapter of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. On, February 3 from 6 p.m. to midnight, Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom will be luminously transformed to celebrate this sterling occasion while 50 of Chicago’s most elite chefs and mixologists create signature dishes, delicious desserts, and one-of-a-kind cocktails for attendees.

The Food Network’s Jeff Mauro will emcee the gala while founder and chairman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Richard Melman, will be honored as this year’s recipient of the “Chicago Classic Award”, presented by Gene & Georgetti. The distinguished award recognizes a Chicago restaurant or restaurateur who has been influential in the city’s culinary scene, year after year. The award doubles as a lifetime achievement award, which represents the tradition, the evolution and the uniqueness of Chicago’s dynamic cuisine along with the recipient’s dedication to the local community.

“It is an honor to be able to introduce this year’s recipient, Richard Melman, for his outstanding contributions to the restaurant community in Chicago and beyond. It is a privilege to present the award to such a cherished friend and colleague,” says the Durpetti Family, owners of Gene & Georgetti.

The fun continues late into the evening with the Grand Chefs Gala’s after party, Nightcap, which runs from 9 p.m. to midnight, and will feature late-night bites, mouth-watering desserts by Chicago’s top pastry chefs and custom cocktails created and served by the city’s top trendsetters in mixology.

Money raised at the gala supports the foundation in its mission to find a cure for cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease affecting 30,000 Americans.

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