35th Annual Taste of Chicago with Frankie Beverly
The Taste of Chicago proved its worth as more than a food fest. Food lines were long and the people were happy when they walked away. Though music has always been a part of the Taste this year’s “Food for Thought podcast brought something unique and relative the event. The podcast area presented celebrity guests, chefs, and famous Chicagoans discussing the state of food in Chicago.
I caught the Sunday 1:30 podcast hosted by The Dinner Party To Go with Elysabeth Alfano. Her guests were Janet Isabelli of Isabelli media Relations, food journalist Ari Bendersky and Chef Jared Van Camp of Nellcote, Kinmont and Old Town Social as they discussed the distinction between Chicago and New Yorks food restaurant scene. Alfano summed it up, “New York has that snub appeal,” where as according to Chef Van camp, “Chicago has the best chef community camaraderie.” Most importantly they shared with the audience that Chicago has a great restaurant community that is deserving of a world reputation.
Taiwan Excellence came onboard as a new sponsor to feed the visitor’s need for fun by showcasing over 20 innovative products all of which are noted Taiwan Excellent awarded. I stopped in and was intrigued by the drawing station where a Mozbii stylus was used on a tablet. The children enjoyed it as much as I did.
Humana was present in a big way by providing food samples of healthier choices of food and the completing an activity at the Humana Walk and Wellness Station then sharing them via Instagram and tagging Humana.
The quest for beauty was satisfied by the Revlon Love Is On Pop-Up Shop offered an unique experience using custom make-up application from ‘ latest products. Consultants, make-up artists beauty advisor were on board to assists visitors who passed through. There was also the Love Locks that visitors could decorate, dedicate to come one then share it via social media outlets.
Almay Simply American Experience was offered mini-makeovers on Saturday.
There were so many other different things this year like. The Sensodyne dental health spa that presented dental education to leave people better informed about oral health.
Back to food, one of my favorite places was In the Kitchen with Mariano’s pavilion culinary experience. World renown chefs and restaurants engaged us in cooking demonstrations that were very interesting. Chefs Dylan Lipe, Ying Stoller, DuJour: Phlillip Foss, Chris Tong, Jocelyn Delk Adams, kept us interested.
And then there was the music . . . Sunday shut it down with Frankie Beverly and Maze. Even though it was rumored that Frankie’s voice was gone the thousands of fans showed up and he didn’t disappoint. Frankie Beverly kicked it off with an old-time favorite, “We Are One,” followed by “Can’t Get Over You.” That’s all he needed to do to get the people up on their feet. And if you’ve never been to a Maze concert then take note. Once the people are up, they never sit down. Nope people do not sit down, they remain up on their feet dancing, moving , swaying, singing for the duration of the concert. As expected , as demanded Frankie sung the all times favorites, “Joy and Pain,” “I Wanna Thank You,” and more. He closed however with a song giving thanks to the Most High.
Down at the BudLight stage was A Day of Tribute Bands to James Brown, The Rat Pack( Frank Sinatra, Smmy Davis Jr., Dean Martin), Beatles and Curtis Mayfield. I caught the Curtis mayfield tribute by Reginald Torian Sr., . . . all Things Mayfield. He led with dogs from films like “Superfly,” “Claudine,” and “Let’s Do It Again,” then he went into the oldies. It was actually a wonderful tribute capturing the essence and the best of Curtis Mayfield.
This year’s Taste of Chicago by any standard was top of the line. Its added activities created a greater depth that attracted a broader market of people expanding the spectrum of types of people who attended. Those who aren’t draw to an all foods event found more reason to attend and made for a much more rounded social affair.
The 35th Annual taste of Chicago is presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and sponsored in part by Aquafina, Bud Light, Chicago Transit Authority, Communications Direct, CLTV-Chicagoland’s Television, Eli’s Cheesecake Company, Gallo Family Vineyards, Humana, Illinois Lottery, LAGROU Distribution System, Mariano’s Metra, Pure Leaf, Shoreline Sightseeing, Southwest Airlines, TAIWAN EXCELLENCE, V103, WGN-TV, 101WKQX and 93XRT.