A night at the museum assists those with Cystic Fibrosis

Sun. March 5, 2023 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation presented the Grand Chefs Experience once again at Field Museum on March 4, 2023. Beginning at 6 p.m. attendees could stroll around the second floor of the museum and sample cuisine from a variety of Chicago area restaurants. They could explore the exhibits before a seated dinner and live presentation later in the program.

Grecian gurus Avli greeted guests with a light bite as they climbed the massive stairs near the entrance to the venue. A quick stop by my previous four-year gig, Weber Grill Restaurant, provided pulled pork sandwiches thanks to an efficient team of employees such as Matthew McCormick and Ulises Regalado, among many others.

Justin Gomes from Travelle at the Langham smiled and worked the hungry crowd while Cristiano Bassani reigned supreme with hearty meatballs from Gene and Georgetti.

Frontera's tangy michelada oysters slid down easily while Evanston's Soul and Smoke served up some sickening shrimp stew that could warm anyone's stomach craving spicy gumbo. Chartwells Higher Education at UChicago Dining did its homework by spotlighting the perfect bite of the night in this circling chef adventure.

Past Top Chef contestant Fabio Viviani not only held a tasting table on the premises but he donated a dinner for 10 at his private estate for auction later in the evening. Bidders could try for other prize packages as well such as a luxurious trip to Los Arcos, Mexico that includes a four-night stay for eight and 200,000 American Airlines Advantage Miles.

Sometimes ticket holders had to sift through many samples to find a gem such as The Smith's creamy gnocchi or Lyra's sizable gyro, but it was worth the trip around the open atrium during the two hours of appetizer service.

How does one still have room left after so many tasty morsels to experience the full sit-down dinner? Hopefully, diners paced themselves throughout the six-hour night at the museum.

This included open bar options with plenty of stations around the room to enjoy before the traditional nightcap service segment for those that still found themselves thirsty.

As the clock struck midnight, revelers and donors exited the building knowing they had been fed, educated and entertained all while contributing to an important cause. Cystic fibrosis is a disorder that damages the organs and affects the cells.

Visit for more information on ways to help and find further details on upcoming events.