Chicago-Area Volunteers and Culinary Artists Serve Up Support for CF Foundation at Grand Chefs Gala

February 16, 2012 

At the Greater Illinois Chapter’s Grand Chefs Gala: Havana this January, Chicago’s finest chefs prepared their signature dishes for more than 750 guests who together raised $550,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Grand Chefs Gala: Havana co-chairs Rose and Jim Kallas, and  Karen and Michael Pagliuco, helped bring together 750 friends of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Greater Illinois Chapter at the stunning Fairmont Chicago, to raise $550,000.

Grand Chefs Gala: Havana co-chairs Rose and Jim
Kallas, and Karen and Michael Pagliuco, helped bring together 750 friends of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Greater Illinois Chapter at the stunning Fairmont
Chicago – Millennium Park, to raise $550,000.

The night’s Havana theme brought a festive flair to the celebration, as volunteers enjoyed the breathtaking décor and mouth-watering food, desserts and drinks to support the “uprising” to end cystic fibrosis.

Event co-chairs Karen and Michael Pagliuco, and Rose and Jim Kallas, thanked the guests for bringing “hope, joy, generosity, kinship and, above all, celebration, to the insurgence against CF,” helping to generate funds for vital progress being made in CF research and care.

A Celebration Dedicated to the Fight Against CF

After dinner, the prestigious Jean Banchet Awards were bestowed upon Chicago’s outstanding chefs, restaurants, catering
During the Havana themed celebration, Chicago’s best chefs, restaurants, catering companies, mixologists, and sommeliers were presented with the 2011 Jean Banchet Award. Here, the winners are pictured with legendary Chef Jean Banchet (front, center).

During the Havana-themed celebration, Chicago’s best chefs, restaurants, catering companies, mixologists, and sommeliers were presented with the 2011 Jean Banchet Award. Here, the winners are pictured with legendary Chef Jean Banchet (front, center).

companies, mixologists and sommeliers. In addition, the Greater Illinois Chapter presented the Founders’ Awards to Chef Scott Harris of Francesca’s Restaurant Group and Chef Jimmy Bannos of Heaven on Seven and The Purple Pig.

Guests then began bidding on exciting live auction items, including the “Top Chef Chef’Testant Challenge,” featuring a culinary competition and private dinner for 10 by Top Chef: Texas contenders Beverly Kim Clark of Aria Restaurant and Sarah Grueneberg of Spiaggia Restaurant, as well as accommodations in luxurious suites at the Fairmont Chicago - Millennium Park and massages at My Spa. Chef Beverly sweetened the deal by also offering to cook a dinner for 10 at the winner’s home.

An inspirational video showing several local families affected by CF — and
Nantucket scallop, radish, onion and lime, courtesy of RIA Restaurant -- one of the many delectable bites guests enjoyed at the Grand Chefs Gala: Havana.

Nantucket scallop, radish, onion and lime, courtesy of RIA Restaurant — one of the many delectable bites guests enjoyed at the Grand Chefs Gala: Havana.

their stories, hopes and dreams — followed the silent auction and helped raise $170,000. Sophie Miller, 16, who has CF, thanked the crowd on behalf of everyone living with the disease. “In the video, I said that CF is a lonely disease,” Sophie said. “As I look around tonight, I don’t feel lonely at all. Thank you for your support and generosity. Together, we will make ‘CF’ stand for ‘Cure Found.’”

The gala came to a festive (and tasty) end at the after-hours Nightcap party, where guests were treated to New Year’s resolution-breaking desserts by Chicago’s top pastry chefs, custom cocktails created and served by the city’s trendsetters in mixology, and the live music of Matt Lewis and The Union.

The Greater Illinois Chapter would like to thank the event co-chairs:

  • Jim and Rose Kallas
  • Michael and Karen Pagliuco

And its corporate sponsors:

  • Abbott
  • Alpha Baking
  • Duane Morris
  • Eurest
  • Hollister
  • Jenner & Block
  • Larsen Manufacturing
  • Mesirow Financial
  • Novaspect
  • Philips
  • Tassos
  • Unilever
Watch the special video that premiered at the Chicago Chefs Gala: Havana:


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