Free Top Chef Cooking Demonstrations at Chicago Botanic Gardens – May 21-Oct 2

Forty of Chicago’s top chefs share their culinary expertise, preparing a signature dish with garden-fresh ingredients during the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Garden Chef Series (CLICK BOTTOM FOR MORE INFO). Thousands of Garden visitors enjoy watching the chefs work their magic in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden Demonstration Kitchen from the open-air amphitheatre each year. Many of these chefs have graduated from the top culinary schools in America like the Culinary Institute of America and Art Instititutes.   The free culinary demonstrations take place at 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from May 21 through Oct. 2.

The 2011 Garden Chef Series schedule (subject to change) includes the following:

Saturday, May 21 Michael Kingsley of the Garden Café at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Sunday, May 22 Dave Esau of Dave’s Specialty Foods in Mt. Prospect
Saturday, May 28 Susan Maddox of Le Titi De Paris in Arlington Heights
Sunday, May 29 Karianne Soulsby of Diva Chocolates and Confections Inc. in Skokie
Saturday, June 4 Cleetus Friedman of City Provisions in Chicago
Sunday, June 5 Dawn Dlugosz of A NEW DAWN cooking school in Chicago
Saturday, June 11 Victor DeLeon of O’Donovan’s Pub & Restaurant in Chicago
Sunday, June 12 Roger Waysok of South Water Kitchen in Chicago
Saturday, June 18 Frank Brunacci of Sixteen in Chicago
Sunday, June 19 Brandon Paige of Bank Lane Bistro in Lake Forest
Saturday, June 25 Andy Novak of Tapas Gitana in Northfield
Sunday, June 26 Danny Ovanin of Glen Prairie in Glen Ellyn
Saturday, July 2 Meg Colleran Sahs of Terzo Piano at the Art Institute of Chicago
Sunday, July 3 Anthony Schmidt of Pierrot Gourmet at The Peninsula Chicago
Saturday, July 9 Sarah Kosikowski of Sixteenin Chicago
Sunday, July 10 Terry & Dirk Fucik of Dirk’s Fish and Gourmet Shop in Chicago
Saturday, July 16 Juan Carlos Media Vazquez of Café Central in Highland Park
Sunday, July 17 Joe Wojciechowski of Pensiero Ristorante in Evanston
Saturday, July 23 Jon Steinberg of Egg Harbor Café in Glenview
Sunday, July 24 Mary McMahon of Now We’re Cookin’ in Evanston
Saturday, July 30 Ramiro Velasquez of Carlos’ in Highland Park
Sunday, July 31 Mindy Segal of Hot Chocolate in Chicago
Saturday, August 6 Barilla Italian Cooking Weekend
Sunday, August 7 Barilla Italian Cooking Weekend
Saturday, August 13 Ivan Yuen of Shanghai Terrace at The Peninsula Chicago
Sunday, August 14 Gale Gand of Tru in Chicago
Saturday, August 20 Warren Jones of Bluegrass in Highland Park
Sunday, August 21 Alvaro Chavez of Masa Azul in Chicago
Saturday, August 27 Paul Fehribach of big jones in Chicago
Sunday, August 28 Dan Jacobs of Uncommon Ground in Chicago
Saturday, Sept. 3 Luca Corazzina of 312 in Chicago
Sunday, Sept. 4 Andy Motto of Quince in Evanston
Saturday, Sept. 10 Marc Bernard of Big Bowl in Chicago
Sunday, Sept. 11 Steve Nakon of Whole Journey/Northwest Yoga in Mt. Prospect
Saturday, Sept. 17 Michael Kingsley of Culinary Landscape at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Sunday, Sept. 18 Heather Terhune of Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago
Saturday, Sept. 24 Shelley Young of The Chopping Block in Chicago
Sunday, Sept. 25 Michael Paulsen of Abigail’s American Bistro in Highland Park
Saturday, Oct. 1 Michael McDonald of one sixtyblue in Chicago
Sunday, Oct. 2 Christopher Tong of My Private Chef in Chicago

Demonstrations are free (normal parking fees apply). Reservations are not needed; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. (The amphitheater holds approximately 125 people.) As there are newly planted trees in the kitchen amphitheater area and it is very sunny, visitors will need to use sun protection and wear caps. No umbrellas, please. The Garden Chef Series is made possible by the generous support of Barilla. Additional support is provided by Food Network magazine. Admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Garden Chef Series is free. Parking is $20 per car; free for Garden members. For more information, call (847) 835-5440, or


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