More than 30 top Chicago chefs donated their culinary skills for the 8th annual Chefs & the City event at the Ritz-Carlton July 27th to benefit Vital Bridges Center on Chronic Care. Honorary chairs Rich Varnes, Amanda Puck and Jason Dohmann welcomed 325 guests to the Grand Ballroom for tastings from popular local restaurants. Ryan Pitts, Executive Chef of RL Restaurant, served as the event's Chef Chair.
Throughout the evening, partygoers had the opportunity to capture photo memories in the Magbooth while listening to mixes by
Vital Bridge's president and CEO, Debbie Hinde, presented RL Restaurant and Gibson's Restaurant Group with the Robert S. Mayo Extra Helping Award. "For all the people you've housed and all the people you feed, we thank you," said Hinde. Co-chair and RL Restaurant GM Rich Varnes and Chef Ryan Pitts accepted the honor.
The dance floor filled for the after-party as DJ Taylor jammed with drummer Michael Riendeau. Guests in attendance included Todd Hatoff, Mark Smithe, Joli Burrell, Jessica Zweig and Brian Fisher, John Walcher, Alan Harder, Lorin Adolph, Sanjay and Natasha Sharma, Chuck Benya, Tina Weller and Dr. Jeff Weller, Bill Lasche, Helen Melchior, Ken Norgan, Paul Iacono and Elizabeth Brodsky. For this portion of the evening, food choices included a hot dog cart from America's Dog, Swirlz cupcakes and Jake Melnick's hamburgers.
The event raised more than $100,000 to support Vital Bridges, a program of Heartland Health Outreach, which helps low-income people living with