Looks like Chipotle is getting into the celebrity chef game. The fast-casual joint will hold the first Cultivate Chicago Festival in Lincoln Park on October 1. According to the press release, the event is “intended to get people thinking and talking about food and food issues,” and will link “celebrity chefs with great ingredients and music in a culinary celebration.” Of course, this is the same company known for its foil-wrapped burritos, so what kind of chefs can we expect? Well, how about Jonathan Waxman, Richard Blais, Michael Chiarello, and Tony Mantuano, just to start? We probably have Nate Appleman to thank for all this.
As you may remember, back in December the company hired Appleman as something of a test kitchen chef. Before joining the burrito line, he was an up-and-coming chef who had even won a James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef award. He has operated a Chipotle in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood since then, which has picked up some good reviews.
So, it’s probably inevitable that some chefs would start lining up for the company. But what will actually happen at the festival? Well, there will be cooking demonstrations by chefs, a beer garden, food “crafted by local artisans,” and, of course, burritos and other items from Chipotle. That said, even though the menu will be “based on its traditional menu,” each dish will be “featuring unique preparations.” Also, the proceeds from this menu will go to benefit FamilyFarmed.org, a “Chicago-based organization that aims to expand the production, marketing, and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food.”
The event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on October 1, and it’s free to enter. Still a little confused on how this will all work out? Definitely check the main site along with the abbreviated press release below.
Chipotle Mexican Grill will host its first-ever festival celebrating food, music and ideas on October 1, 2011 in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. “Cultivate Chicago,” a one-day festival, will occur from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and feature a unique combination of live music, art and food made with the freshest ingredients possible. Cultivate Chicago is the first festival of its kind to incorporate nationally recognized celebrity chefs, artisanal food and wine producers, and top musical acts as a way to raise awareness of the impact that food has on society.
Cultivate Chicago is intended to get people thinking and talking about food and food issues. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample and purchase food crafted by local artisans, while a beer garden will include craft ales and organic wines available for tasting. Two separate stages will host rock stars of the culinary world as they demonstrate different techniques as well as share their knowledge and love of sustainable food preparation.
Proceeds of the specially created menu (up to $50,000) will benefit FamilyFarmed.org, a Chicago-based organization that aims to expand the production, marketing, and distribution of locally grown and responsibly produced food.