Local foodies gear up for big-time charity event at the Aragon

Local foodies gear up for big-time charity event at the Aragon

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“Taste of the Nation” Co-Chair Mindy Segal (photo: Joseph Storch)

If you wanted to, you could attend a charity event in Chicago almost every week. With so many to choose from, I’ve whittled down my options over the last few years. Considering my whole mission is to tell people about where to eat - and I never go hungry - it only makes sense that I focus my energy on charities that actually do something to relieve hunger in Chicago.

My top three are Meals on Wheels (elderly/homebound), Share Our Strength (children) and the Chicago Food Depository (food banks). Sometimes I donate a tour of ABC 7 studios; other times I’ll offer to take the highest bidder out for dinner with me. In the case of the annual Share Our Strength’s “Taste of the Nation” event coming up August 12th at the Aragon Ballroom, I’m actually going to be the Master of Ceremonies.

This event has become one of the “must attends” on the local charity circuit, thanks to the tireless efforts of Mindy Segal (Hot Chocolate) and R.J. Melman (Hub 51). Expect DJs, a killer dessert lounge, the best mixologists in the city and a stellar lineup of chefs that could only be accomplished due to the contacts both of these chairpeople have. This year, the theme is street food. Some of the participating restaurants include:

Frontera Grill/Topolobampo/Xoco, The Purple Pig, L20, Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, Big Star, mk, Girl & the Goat, Urban Belly, Vie, Wave, Cibo Matto, Province, Graham Elliot, Sunda, Boka, Kith & Kin, Lula, Nightwood and Old Town Social.

General Admission: $95 in advance, $120 at the door 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

VIP Admission: $150 in advance, $225 at the door 7:00 - 12:00 a.m. Includes free valet parking, VIP Goody bag, Access to the VIP lounge and the Chefs’ After Party

Organizations that will benefit from the night’s event include: the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the‚ Illinois Hunger Coalition and the‚ Near North Health Service Corporation. Be sure to stop by and say hello. I’ll buy you a drink.