If you want upgrade your attendee experience, simply “involve” the Chef in planning your menus. It costs you nothing, yet it provides a world full of ideas and unique ways to engage attendees through a their culinary experience. Here are a few ideas with up and coming ingredients and techniques from Chicago’s leading Executive Chefs. . .


“Bottagra, Nduja, and all things Ethnic”


According to the Renaissance Chicago’s Executive Chef Daniel Perez, “Ethnic cuisine and House cured meats will be big this year”.

In addition. he’s using Bottagra which is a cured fish roe that provides a big bold umami flavor – and Nduja, a spicy spreadable Calabrian style salami for the deviled egg presentation in the bar.


“Rice Three Ways”


While rice is traditionally served as an accompaniment, Executive Chef James Lintelmann from Baptiste&Bottle at the new Conrad Chicago explains how versatile the ingredient is in a Crudo dish – which is perfect on warm Chicago summer evening.

“I continuously explore the many uses of common ingredients to hit that “wow factor” we’re striving for at Baptiste. In new Crudo dish for this summer, we’re using Rice in three different and distinct  ways-Rice Powder as seasoning to brine the fish, Rice Puffs to add a crunch”


“Lighten Up”


Grand Geneva’s Executive Chef, Jason Poole, prepares for this summer in Lake Geneva, WI. He explains how, “This summer, we’re looking to lighten up all of our dishes in the restaurant. We’re going to focus on vinegars and preserved vegetables to accompany our dishes versus using heavy sauces and butters. We’re also very excited about incorporating ingredients from some of our local farmers and growers – like featuring the lamb from Pinn Oak Farms in nearby Delavan, WI.