Submitted by Jennifer McDonald, Marketing Coordinator
The Art Institute of Chicago hosts hundreds of high-profile events throughout the year, but one of the hottest tickets this spring was the inaugural Chef ’s Playground benefit for the Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC).
Terzo Piano Executive Chef Tony Mantuano (also chef-partner at Spiaggia) and Bon Appétit CEO Fedele Bauccio helped host the event, which raised funds for this Chicago charter school focusing on environmental stewardship, community collaboration, and other less-traditional concepts in addition to “whole-child education.” AGC is the first net-positive energy school campus; its onsite garden helps provide nutritionally balanced meals and serves as a classroom where students learn how to grow their own food.
At this food lover’s cornucopia, nearly 500 guests station hopped and enjoyed across-the-burner access to some of the country’s top chefs. Among those serving school-themed bites: Spiaggia Executive Chef Sarah Grueneberg, Bill Kim of BellyQ, Giuseppe Tentori of Boka Restaurant Group, Jose Garces of Mercat a la Planxa, Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill, Mexican Made Easy host Marcela Valladolid, Sandwich King host Jeff Mauro, and many more.
The event raised more than $200,000 for the school, not including the $1 million gift from a local Chicago couple. It’s safe to say that school lunch never tasted so good!