Chicago’s Celebrity Chef Auction

By Kate Krader Posted May 26, 2009

Stephanie Izard

Stephanie Izard

A couple weeks ago, at the Food Bank’s Can-Do Awards, I got to see the money-raising power of celebrity chefs cooking dinner at your house (specifically, a dinner for 24 prepared by Mario Batali, Tom Colicchio and David Chang went for $60,000, twice: once to Jimmy Fallon and then again to Jon Bon Jovi). So it’s exciting to watch as some of the great chefs in Chicago, including two F&W Best New Chefs, unite to support one of their favorite farmers via an auction on Twitter.

It’s all happening because George Rasmussen of Swan Creek Farms lost his truck in a fire about three weeks ago (chefs like Paul Kahan of Blackbird, Avec and Publican, adore his chickens, and also his pork and eggs). Now 15 Chicago-area chefs, including Boka’s Guiseppe Tentori and Urban Belly’s Bill Kim, will each prepare a dinner for six at the top bidder’s house, with local Goose Island beer thrown in. Bids are starting to creep up—according to my latest Twitter update, Top Chef’s Stephanie Izard is now at $800, Vie’s Paul Virant is going for $1,500—but some chefs’ meals are still cheaper than eating at their restaurant. So anyone living in the Chicago area—or with the resources to fly the chef to your house—should go on Twitter or to You have until 9 p.m. on May 28.
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