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10th Annual Peak Harvest Farm Dinner

Thank you to the supporters who raised nearly $100,000 for our programs!

See Event Photos

This year's Farm Dinner was a special event that connected everyone from the sustainable farmers who grow our food, to the talented chefs who give food new life, to the eaters who keep this movement thriving. It was also an evening that showcased the impact that one person can have on a movement. We recognized the work of critically acclaimed Chef, Author & Canning Expert, Paul Virant. Chef Virant has supported local farmers since his first restaurant, Vie, opened in 2004. He continues to support organizations, like Angelic Organics Learning Center, that work towards a stronger, healthier, and more sustainable local food system. He also helped foster these ideals in chefs who worked in his kitchens, and many of these protégés have continued these ideals in their own kitchens. Some of these chefs paid homage to Paul in the dishes that were served at this year's dinner.

Guests feasted on an amazing multicourse menu by chefs & protégés of Chef Virant - Ed Sura of NoMi, Spencer Blake of Naha, Brian Motyka of Spiaggia, Keith Potter of Cindy's, Ben Truesdell of The Publican, and Joe Frillman of Daisies in Logan Square. Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits outdid themselves (on the 1-year anniversary of their now infamous Pie Stand) featuring three different pies and a cobbler. New Holland Brewing & Artisan Spirits not only showcased their tasty brews, but they also created two signature cocktails using fresh herbs. CH Distillery showcased their certified organic vodka made from local Illinois grains, while also creating a freshly harvested cocktail using veggies fresh from Angelic Organics farm and their own aquavit. Candid Wines provided chardonnay and pinot noir from Girasole Vineyards one of the oldest organic wineries in the country! 

The menu showcased the flavors of our summer's peak harvest, using ingredients from Angelic Organics Farm, All Grass Farms, Local Foods, Sitka Salmon Shares, Publican Quality Bread and Jar Sessions - Paul Virant's new line of artisanal farm-to-fork products. The event featured live bluegrass from the No Name String Band, photo ops with adorable farm animals, a farm store, and special guests including Monica Eng of WBEZ & Chewing, Mike Nowak of The Mike Nowak Show w/Peggy Malecki, chefs, farmers and more. 

We also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Upper Midwest CRAFT, our sustainable farmer training alliance that's now more than 200 members strong. Our staff members, Tom Spaulding and Peg Sheaffer, helped connect the importance of supporting all parts of this system - from soil to plate - to keep this movement and the people within it strong.

Many of this year's Farm Dinner supporters have their own businesses. We encourage you to check them out (below) and support them with your patronage!

In-Kind Donors and Sponsors:

Honoring Chef Paul Virant

Thursday, July 27, 2017
Galleria Marchetti
825 W. Erie St. Chicago, IL 


Some Words about Paul Virant
– from his Chefs

“Working for Paul turned me from a green young cook to the person I am today, as I continue down the constant path in the culinary world. I learned basics: balance of acid, seasoning, use of fire, the tangible aspects of the profession, and most importantly, the intangible - what it is to be inspired, and to witness a truly great leader. Without any of those skills, I would not be the chef I am today and I am forever grateful to have been under Paul’s guidance.”

“I started working at Vie in the middle of the summer. On Wednesdays, I would go to the market with Paul and see the relationships he had with the farmers. Building good relationships with the people who grow your food is still important to me today.”

“I started working for Paul in 2008 as an intern at Vie. As much as any Chef I have ever worked for, Paul took the time to instill in me work ethic, dedication, and an amazing philosophy on food and cooking. He is a role model for us all and that is proven by his impressive lineage of talented chefs.”

Read more about Paul
and the event in 
Good Food on Every Table>>>




All Grass Farms

Angelic Organics farm

Angelos Liquors

Ann Marie & Joseph Arden 

Nicole Arbuckle

Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

Jim & Judy Bolin

Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella P.C.

Candid Wines 

CH Distillery

Chef Spencer Blake of Naha 

Chef Joe Frillman of Daisies

Chef Brian Motyka of Spiaggia 

Chef Keith Potter of Cindy’s 

Chef Ed Sura of NoMi

Chef Ben Truesdell of The Publican

Chef Paul Virant of Vie & Vistro

Chef Patrick Alberto of Octane


City Winery Chicago

Cornerstone Restaurant Group (Belly Q)

Deb Crockett

Dominic Green and Jessica Swoyer Green

Eco Achievers

Essence of Life Yoga Studio

For the Love of Chocolate Foundation

Grace Yum - Yummy Dental For Kids

Green City Market

Jeff Pines & Mary Samerdyke

Jar Sessions by Paul Virant

KRa drinks for athletes, Inc. 

Mary & Rob Khoury

Kinnikinnick Farm

Local Foods

Music Theater Works

Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas

Beth Nielsen

New Holland Brewing Company

Organic Valley

Mr. Franco Pacini

Heather Pauliks

Brenda Spitzer

Salt Block Kitchen

Stephanie Khanna

Sunday Dinner Club

Sitka Salmon Shares 

S.N. Peck, Builder, Inc.

Think Jerky

The Mike Nowak Show  

The Kitchen Chicago

The Printing Store Oak Park

The Smith-Davis-Morse Group










Contact or 815.389.8455 x162