Bayless, Kahan, Gand and More To Cook at Taste of Chicago

Photo: Galdones Photography

We’d love to see a Publican Quality Meats Tent next to the Tortas Frontera one, but that isn’t what we’re talking about here. As part of the effort to make the Taste of Chicago more interesting and representative of a great food city (that doesn’t only live on deep-fried cheesecake), for the second year in a row the Taste will include the “Mazda6 Celebrity Chef Du Jour,” in which a renowned chef cooks a three-course meal in an air-conditioned pavilion for $40. Tickets go on sale Wednesday here, and the lineup is impressive: Rick Bayless on July 10, Carrie Nahabedian on July 11, Giuseppe Tentori on July 12, Gale Gand and the Hearty Boys for brunch on Saturday, July 13, and lunch from Paul Kahan and Brian Huston on Sunday, July 14. We’re sure they’ll be nice events, but we’re curious how much impact bringing notable chefs in really has on the response to the overall event; did anyone attend any of the dinners last year? What did you think? Did they draw people who otherwise wouldn’t have come to the Taste, or introduce others to some of our top chefs for the first time? [TOC]