Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen Hosts Cooking Demonstrations by Celebrity Chefs at Taste of Chicago, July 11-15

June 13, 2018

New Themed Day Demonstrations will feature Bravo’s Top Chef Season 15 Winner Joe Flamm of Spiaggia, Kevin Hickey of Duck Inn and Jeff Mauro of Food Network’s Sandwich King among others


The Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen at Taste of Chicago, July 11-15, will dish up a full menu of cooking demonstrations by notable local and national celebrity chefs on Buckingham Fountain Plaza. Lifeway Foods is the leading U.S. supplier of kefir cultured dairy products and the kitchen area will feature chefs who will share their trade secrets each day from 11:30am to 6:30pm.

“It’s a privilege to showcase the creative culinary uses of our kefir and recipes from my book alongside some of the region’s finest chefs during the Taste of Chicago,” said Lifeway President and CEO Julie Smolyansky. “As one of our city’s premier summertime events, the Taste of Chicago allows us to reach a large audience of hungry foodies and educate them on the versatility of kefir and how can be an incredibly healthy addition to any meal.”

NEW this year, the Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen will feature a different theme each day. Highlights include chef Kevin Hickey of Duck Inn on Wednesday, July 11, at 2:30pm during Chicago Neighborhoods day representing Bridgeport. Chef Yanitzin Sanchez of Bar Takito will be part of a lineup of Wonder Women chefs on Thursday, July 12, at 12:30pm. Bravo’s Top Chef Season 15 Winner and executive chef Joe Flamm and sommelier and beverage director Rachel Lowe of Spiaggia will be talking about food and wine on Friday, July 13, at 12:30pm, as part of the lineup for Perfect Pairings day. On Saturday, July 14, Save Room for Dessert  will feature chef Leigh Omilinsky of Nico Osteria at 1:30pm and chef Dana Cree of Pretty Cool Ice Cream at 3:30pm. On Sunday, July 15, 1-5pm, the Emmy-nominated chef Jeff Mauro–Food Network's "Sandwich King"–will be hosting Sandwich Smackdown featuring friendly showdowns with two chefs battling it out for sandwich supremacy.


2018 Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen

Full Schedule Chefs–subject to change


Wednesday, June 11 - Chicago Neighborhoods

  • 11:30am - Jeni Wahl, Dia De Los Tamales & GOTC Catering (Pilsen)
  • 12:30pm - Darnell Reed, Luella's Southern Kitchen (Ravenswood)
  • 1:30pm - Kaushik Guha, Hakka Bakka Indian Kati Rolls (Lincoln Park)
  • 2:30pm - Kevin Hickey, The Duck Inn (Bridgeport)
  • 3:30pm - Chesaree Rollins, CheSa's Gluten Free Food Truck (Pilsen)
  • 4:30pm - James Lintelmann, Baptiste & Bottle (River North)
  • 5:30pm - Arun Sampanthavivat, Arun’s Thai Restaurant (Albany Park)


Thursday, June 12 – Wonder Women

  • 11:30am - Rain Truth, The Cultured Vegan
  • 12:30pm - Yanitzin Sanchez, Bar Takito
  • 1:30pm - Gloria Hafer, After School Matters Chicago
  • 2:30pm - Sr. Alicia Torres, Mission of Our Lady of the Angels and Champion of Food Network's Chopped
  • 3:30pm - Katie Dong, Strings Ramen
  • 4:30pm - Ying Stoller, Ying's Kitchen, Inc. and author of Ying's Chinese Cookbook, Authentic but Simple
  • 5:30pm - Maisha Wynn, LiveToWynn and author of The Wynning Way


Friday, June 13 – Perfect Pairings

  • 11:30am - Jorge Russomanno, Texas de Brazil
  • 12:30pm - Bravo’s Top Chef Season 15 Winner Joe Flamm with Rachel Lowe (Sommelier & Beverage Director), Spiaggia
  • 1:30pm - Cedric Harden, River Roast, and Carolina Diaz, Terzo Piano
  • 2:30pm - Corey Rice, Chef Corey's Kitchen
  • 3:30pm - Mario Palaggi, The Red Palm Bar, Grill and Banquets
  • 4:30pm - Andrea Lyons Dillon and Kendall Anthony Dillon, Bon Manger Catering & Events
  • 5:30pm - Evan Robinson, Evan The Chef and MasterChef Junior Season 5 Top 6


Saturday, June 14 – Save Room for Dessert

  • 11:30am - Wilbert Jones, The Wilbert Jones Company
  • 12:30pm - Chris Tong, My Private Chef, Inc.
  • 1:30pm - Julius Russell, A Tale of Two Chefs, Inc.
  • 2:30pm - Erin Patsiopoulos, The Chopping Block
  • 3:30pm - Dana Cree, Pretty Cool Ice Cream and author of Hello, My Name is Ice Cream
  • 4:30pm - Joe Dela Pena, Warm Belly Bakery
  • 5:30pm - Joe Dela Pena, Warm Belly Bakery


Sunday, June 15 – Jeff Mauro’s Sandwich Smackdown

  • Noon - Sunday Brunch with Henry Hill, Hank’s Fish and Chips

Jeff Mauro's Sandwich Smackdown

  • 1pm - The Rumble: Steingold’s of Chicago v. Manny's Delicatessen and Café
  • 1:45pm - El Mejor Jibarito: La Bomba v. 90 Miles Cuban Café
  • 2:30pm - The Italian Sub Smackdown: JP Graziano Grocery v. Tempesta Market
  • 3:15pm - The Battle of Da Beef: Buona Beef v. Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch
  • 4pm - The Patty Melt Mix-Up: Lou Mitchell's v. Edzo's Burger Shop
  • 5pm - Sunday Supper with Anne Lanute, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts


Taste of Chicago is produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in coordination with the Illinois Restaurant Association, which manages food and beverage operations. The festival is sponsored in part by 93XRT, CH Distillery, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Tribune, CLTV-Chicagoland’s Television, Communications Direct, Eli’s Cheesecake, Goose Island Beer Company, IL Lottery, Lifeway Foods, Pepsi, Shoreline Sightseeing, Southwest Airlines and WGN-Television.

The 38th Annual Taste of Chicago is July 11–15 in Grant Park with hours 11am–9pm, Wednesday–Friday, and 10am–9pm, Saturday and Sunday. For more information on the FREE admission festival, visit To plan your trip to Chicago, visit Join the conversation on Facebook at Taste of Chicago and follow us on Twitter, @TasteofChi (#TasteofChicago) and Instagram, @ChicagoDCASE (#TasteofChicago).


About Lifeway Foods, Inc.

Lifeway Foods, Inc. (LWAY), recently named one of Forbes’ Best Small Companies, is America’s leading supplier of the probiotic fermented beverage known as kefir. In addition to its line of drinkable kefir, the company also produces frozen kefir, specialty cheeses, probiotic supplements and a ProBugs line for kids. Lifeway’s tart and tangy cultured dairy products are now sold across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Learn how Lifeway is good for more than just you at Find Lifeway Foods on Facebook: Follow Lifeway Foods on Twitter: Watch clips on YouTube:


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.


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