“Taste of Chicago To-Go" Offers Local Dining Recommendations, Online Cooking Demos and Virtual Music and Dance Events

July 1, 2020

Mayor Lightfoot and DCASE support the local restaurant industry, nonprofits, and frontline workers with more “Community Eats” meals and new, reimagined events

Christine Carrino    christine.carrino@cityofchicago.org

Jamey Lundblad    jamey.lundblad@cityofchicago.org


CHICAGO, IL — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced the reimagined “Taste of Chicago To-Go" from July 8 to12 that will still allow food lovers to enjoy one of the city’s most beloved summertime traditions. Taste of Chicago To-Go will feature a slate of free public programming including online cooking demonstrations and virtual music and dance events, and a series of “Community Eats” meals from neighborhood restaurants and food trucks for nonprofits serving frontline and healthcare workers and community organizations. A local dining guide showcasing this year’s 42 participating eateries is available online, along with the schedule of new and reimagined events, at TasteofChicago.us.

The expanded Community Eats program encourages Taste of Chicago eateries to host a free, community meal from July 8 to 12 for neighborhood first responders and community organizations. Following last year’s debut of nine meals, the program this year extends to 21 meals for Advocate Trinity Hospital, Care Kitchen Chicago, Farm on Ogden, La Casa Norte, Lawrence Hall, MADO Healthcare – Douglas Park Center, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New Covenant Community Development Council, The Night Ministry, The Port Ministries, Salvation Army Freedom Center, South Shore Hospital, St. Anthony Hospital, West Humboldt Park Family and Community Development Council and Westside Health Authority. Community Eats is an opportunity to create a positive social impact by extending the reach of Taste of Chicago directly into neighborhoods.

“Local restaurants make up the backbone of our neighborhoods – and we're finding creative ways to support both them and the communities they serve while prioritizing health and safety,” said Mark Kelly, DCASE Commissioner. “While this year is different for all of us, the spirit of Taste of Chicago lives on with community meals and virtual events showcasing Chicago’s diverse and legendary culinary, music and arts scene.”

Taste of Chicago To-Go online cooking demonstrations will stream at noon each day from Wednesday, July 8, through Sunday, July 12, at youtube.com/ChicagoDCASE. Each demonstration will feature popular local chefs, including Carlos Gaytan of Tzuco, Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice of the Pies, Jessica Romanowski of Care Kitchen Chicago, Darnell Reed of Luella’s Southern Kitchen and Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde, sharing how to make one of their favorite home dishes.

Food may be the star at Taste, but music and dancing are important parts of the experience. “SummerDance in Place,” the new, at-home version of Chicago’s social dancing tradition invites Chicagoans to plan smaller, socially distant dance parties in their homes and backyard, on front porches and elsewhere with up to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors — and connect via the broadcast or social media. On July 8, the theme is Bollywood & Bhangra with a 30-minute dance lesson by Bollywood Groove, followed by music by DJ iLLEST. The program starts at 5:30pm at youtube.com/ChicagoDCASE and simultaneously broadcasts and streams at WTTW Prime (11.2).

And if you’re looking for music, don’t miss the “Millennium Park at Home” music series, including the July 9 program with The Braided Janes and Jon Langford. Music starts at 6pm at youtube.com/ChicagoDCASE.

Taste of Chicago limited-edition, official festival merchandise is available via TasteofChicago.us. Show off your Chicago pride and support local artists by ordering these new, artist-designed t-shirts for the Taste and other summer festivals. A portion of all sales benefit the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund (ArtsforIllinois.org). Special thanks to the Design Museum of Chicago.

Taste of Chicago and Taste of Chicago To-Go are produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, with advertising support from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). For more information, visit TasteofChicago.us and join the conversation on social media using #TasteofChicago.

Like many other cultural presenters, the City of Chicago and DCASE made the difficult decision to cancel the Taste of Chicago programs that take place in Grant Park in July out of an abundance of caution related to large public gatherings. Chicago is currently in Phase 4 (Gradually Resume), allowing for additional businesses and public amenities to open with limited capacities and appropriate safeguards. Although progress has been made in order to move to Phase 4, all residents should continue to abide by important guidance including: physically distancing and wearing a face covering; limiting non-business, social gatherings to 50 persons for indoor events and 100 for outdoors; staying at home if you are considered vulnerable, feel ill or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19; and getting tested if you have symptoms. For more information and updates on the City’s response to COVID-19, text COVID19 to 78015, email coronavirus@chicago.gov or visit chicago.gov/coronavirus.


Taste of Chicago To-Go Schedule

View all programs at youtube.com/ChicagoDCASE

Wednesday, July 8
Cooking Demonstration: Chef Carlos Gaytan of Tzuco prepares Avocado Flatbread


SummerDance in Place: Bollywood & Bhangra with Bollywood Groove and DJ iLLEST
A new online edition of Chicago’s favorite social dancing tradition. This program also broadcasts and streams on WTTW Prime (11.2).


Thursday, July 9
Cooking Demonstration: Chef Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice of the Pies prepares Lemon Lime Cake

Millennium Park at Home: Music Series with The Braided Janes and Jon Langford


Friday, July 10
Cooking Demonstration: Chef Jessica Romanowski of Care Kitchen Chicago prepares Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Cookies


Saturday, July 11
Cooking Demonstration: Chef Darnell Reed of Luella’s Southern Kitchen prepares Salsa Con Queso


Sunday, July 12
Chef Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde prepares Pasta Fredda with Summer Herb Pesto


Taste of Chicago To-Go Participants

Support your favorite local restaurants and food trucks at TasteofChicago.us

Arun’s Thai Restaurant
4156 N. Kedzie Ave.

Aztec Daves Food Truck
2537 S. Wabash Ave.

Barangaroos Aussie Pies
3208 N. Sheffield Ave.

Billy Goat Tavern
430 N. Michigan Ave.

BITES asian kitchen and bar
3313 N. Clark St.

BJ’s Market & Bakery
1737 E. 95th St.

Bombay Wraps
330 E. Ohio St.

Bonchon Division
1732 W. Division St.

Chicago’s Doghouse
816 W. Fullerton Ave.

Coastline Cafe
3517 N. Spaulding Ave.

Connie’s Pizza
2373 S. Archer Ave.

Cynthia’s Gumbo Express Inc.
9725 S. Princeton Ave.

Don Pepe
3616 W. 26th St.

Doom Street Eats
324 N. Leavitt St.

Egg Rolls Etc.
503 E. 61st St.

Eli’s Cheesecake
6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr.

Franco’s Ristorante
300 W. 31st St.

Gayle V’s Best Ever Grilled Cheese
108 N. State St.

Healthy Substance
6852 W. Archer Ave.

Izakaya Mita
1960 N. Damen Ave.

Jus Sandwiches
12320 S. Wallace St.

Kasia’s Deli, Inc.
2101 W. Chicago Ave.

Kilwins Chocolates Fudge & Ice Cream
310 S. Michigan Ave.

La Cocinita Food Truck

Lao Sze Chuan Downtown
520 N. Michigan Ave.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
805 S. State St.

Luella’s Southern Kitchen
4609 N. Lincoln Ave.

1020 W. Madison St.

70 W. Huron St.

Ms. Tittle’s Cupcakes
324 N. Leavitt St.

5611 S. Pulaski St.

Robinson No. 1 Rib
225 S. Canal St.

Rolling Chicago Café
3904 W. 47th St.

Smokey Zo’s
11436 S. Emerald Ave.

Spicy Mexican Grill
3925 N. Lincoln Ave.

Surf’s Up Bronzeville
4317 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
The Lifeway Kefir Shop
1745 W. Division St.

The Original Rainbow Cone
9233 S. Western Ave.

720 N. State St.

Whadda Jerk
2300 S. Throop St.

3927 N. Lincoln Ave.
Yum Dum Food Truck


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Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors. For more information, visit chicago.gov/dcase.


Year of Chicago Music

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) have designated 2020 and 2021 as the Year of Chicago Music. This citywide, year-long focus on music is one of the first of its kind in the U.S. The City of Chicago and its partners working with the local music industry will launch a marketing campaign for Chicago music; provide additional financial grants for musicians and music projects; encourage dialog around inclusion and equity; and call on civic, philanthropic, arts and business leaders to support the music industry. Recognizing that in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the music industry has moved to #dostuffathome, DCASE is partnering with Do312 to highlight local music venues and musicians who are now sharing "Music in the Key of Chicago" on virtual platforms. Start exploring music in the key of Chicago at yearofchicagomusic.org and do312.com/yearofchicagomusic, and join the conversation on social media using #YearofChicagoMusic and #ChicagoMusic.


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