“A MagnIfIcent Taste” CulInary Event


Dont’ miss the haute outdoor foodie event of the summer, A Magnificent Taste. Each summer, we celebrate the culinary delights of the district with delicious bites from Chicago’s best restaurants and celebrity chefs, surrounded by one of Chicago’s most iconic settings – The Magnificent Mile®. A portion of the proceeds benefit Common Threads, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to educating children from low-income families on the importance of nutrition.

Tickets are on sale now or the return of “A Magnificent Taste”on Friday, August 22, 2014. Book your tickets now for this event, space is limited!

Purchase VIP tickets for an exclusive reception with our celebrity guest chefs!

To view photos from last year’s event, click here!

2014 Restaurant and Chef Participants

- Allium, Chef Stephen Wambach
- Eataly
- Magnolia Bakery
- Sophie’s at Saks, Chef Ron Aleman
- Travelle, Chef Tim Graham

More to come soon! Enjoy delicious bites from 18 Chicago restaurants in total!



  • Sam Talbot

    Sam Talbot is a chef, author and television personality and was a semi-finalist on season 2 of Bravo’s acclaimed series “Top Chef”. He was voted the viewers “Fan Favorite” and was named one People Magazines “Sexiest Men Alive” in 2012.

    Sam is the former founding Executive Chef of the Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY. While at the helm it became nationally acclaimed and named one of the worlds 20 Sexiest Bars and Restaurants by The Travel Channel, and a premiere dining destination of the Hamptons. He went on to open Imperial No. Nine a sustainable seafood restaurant in the Mondrian Soho Hotel in New York City. During Sam’s tenure, Imperial No. Nine received two stars from New York Magazine, a 25 rating in Zagat and was a Michelin Guide-recommended destination. He is also the author of “The Sweet Life: Diabetes without Boundaries,”(Rodale).

    Sam is at the forefront of the ‘Sustainable Living’ movement, which seeks to break down the walls between the way we eat and the way we live. When conceiving dishes, Sam keeps a few simple questions in mind: What is the food? Who’s eating it? Where is it from? When? Under what circumstances? Sam’s approach to cooking is to understand how all these questions—and their answers—interconnect. His outlook on life is the same: Sam surfs, snowboards, practices yoga, travels widely and moves easily among the worlds of food, fashion, entertainment and sports. Diagnosed at a young age with juvenile diabetes, Sam lives every hour with a profound understanding of the impact of food on life and life on food. That understanding has become a uniquely driving force for his cooking style and recipes.

    A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Sam began his culinary training at Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, SC. At culinary school, Sam worked at the acclaimed J. Bistro in Charleston where he worked under chef /owner James Burns, who he considers his mentor. At age 24, Sam moved to New York City to become Executive Chef at Black Duck in the Gramercy area of Manhattan. Two years later, he opened Williamsburg Café and was nominated best brunch restaurant in Brooklyn by the New York Post. Sam’s inventive dishes have garnered praise from The New York Times, New York Magazine, the Daily News, New York Post, Zink Magazine, Time Out New York and Forbes Magazine.

    Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 12 has given Sam a great perspective on the value of life and has led to his work with numerous organizations including the JDRF, NRDC, Waves For Water, Monterrey Bay Seafood Watch Program and others close to his heart. After super storm Sandy hit Sam helped found the ‘Rockaway Lunch Truck’ that provided fresh hot food to
    the community and those displaced in hardest hit areas of The Rockaway’s. Most
    recently Sam launched a partnership with Barnabas and Beth Israel children’s
    hospital to campaign for children’s wellness.

  • Ron Aleman, Sophie’s

    Chef Ron Aleman, a Chicago local, comes to Sophie’s after a ten-year tenure with the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park, where he oversaw Aria Restaurant and Sushi Bar as well as the Eno Wine Room. Ron left a successful career in sales to pursue his passion for cooking. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in 2002, he started cooking professionally and never looked back. He is passionate about giving back to the community and can often be found cooking at charity events in the Chicago area.

    700 N. Michigan Ave. 7th Floor, (312) 525-3400, find on Facebook, or follow @SophiesChicago

  • Stephen Wambach, Allium

    Wambach brings more than a decade of experience in the culinary scene to Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. His breadth of knowledge is seen in the farm-to-table menu concept through his focus on seasonality, eye for quality ingredients and thoughtful approach to plating, all hallmarks of this well-traveled chef’s signature style. The Manhattan native began at an early age, stocking shelves at his grandparents’ country store. His first role in a professional kitchen was in 1999 as tournant at Manhattan’s 44 at the Royalton Hotel. Wambach relocated to Chicago in 2009 to open Epic, earning the restaurant numerous accolades. Most recently, in 2013, Wambach joined Michelin-starred Restaurant Marc Forgione as chef de cuisine of the contemporary American restaurant in New York.

    120 E. Delaware Pl., (312) 799-4900, find on Facebook, or follow @AlliumChicago

  • Tim Graham, Travelle

    Having earned four stars from the Chicago Tribune and a Michelin star while running Chicago’s TRU restaurant, Tim Graham is an acknowledged rising star in America’s culinary landscape. His long tenure with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (LEYE) and refined culinary skill has given him the chance to work with some of the world’s best chefs. At Travelle, Chef Graham’s contemporary Mediterranean cuisine takes diners on a journey that explores the region’s renowned flavors—from the shores of Southern France to the spice markets in Turkey.

    330 N. Wabash Ave., (312) 923-7705, find on Facebook, or follow @TravelleChicago

  • Bobbie Lloyd, Magnolia Bakery

    As part of Magnolia Bakery’s executive team, Bobbie Lloyd has played an integral role in expanding Magnolia from its original location in New York City’s West Village to its current eight locations worldwide. Most recently, Bobbie oversaw the launch of Magnolia’s first e-commerce site, now shipping a selection of baked goods nationwide. Bobbie brings her extensive expertise in managing production and operations for a variety of restaurant environments to the Magnolia team. Additionally, Bobbie brings the homemade essence of Magnolia Bakery to customers through the creation of new recipes and perfection of old classic American dessert favorites.

    Magnolia Bakery
    108 N. State St., (312) 346-7777, find on Facebook, or follow @magnoliabakery 

Watch highlights from 2011

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