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StarChefs Steak Frites from Dear Margaret
Photograph: Courtesy StarChefs

Try new dishes (and win prizes) during a celebration of rising chefs

StarChefs' Rising Stars Restaurant Week returns to Chicago, honoring 24 chefs, bartenders and sommeliers.
Written by
Zach Long

Need an excuse to eat and drink your way through some of the best restaurants in Chicago? Restaurant industry magazine StarChefs is bringing its Rising Stars Restaurant Week back to Chicago (for the first time since 2018), crowning a new group of Chicago Rising Stars—chefs, pastry chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, bakers and brewers that are creating delicious dishes (and drinks) while also making contributions to the communities where they live and work. 

Past Chicago Rising Stars honorees have included folks like Curtis Duffy, Stephanie Izard, Paul McGee, Jonathan Zaragoza and Beverly Kim—people who have become fixtures of Chicago culinary and beverage community. This year's lineup of honorees offers a glimpse at the talent in the kitchen and behind the bar that you'll be hearing about for years to come, including Chef Won Kim (of Kimski and Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream) and sommelier Kimberlee Beeler (of Alla Vita and BOKA).

From September 21 through October 5, you'll be able to visit the restaurants, bars, breweries and bakeries where the latest class of Chicago Rising Stars work and sample some of their most notable creations. StarChefs has picked a dish or drink that corresponds to each honoree—if you order it and post a photo to Instagram (tagging @StarChefs and #StarChefsRisingStars), you'll be entered to win a $100 gift card to the corresponding restaurant or bar, plus a chance to win a fancy Vitamix blender.

Not sure where to start? Check out the complete list of Rising Stars Restaurant Week honorees and locations, as well as the featured dishes and drinks.

● Won Kim - Kimski and Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream
Korean Pierogies: russet potato, goat cheese, tamari sour cream, dill
● Donavan Mitchem - Lou's Backyard and Moneygun
The Pepper LaBeija: tequila, cilantro, jalapeño, passionfruit, lime, mint

● Ryan Brosseau - Dear Margaret
Steak frites, anchovy butter, garlic aïoli, beef jus
● Damarr Brown - Virtue Restaurant
Walleye, gulf crawfish and shrimp étouffée, buttered stone-ground grits
● Luke Feltz - Smyth and The Loyalist
Warm osetra caviar, buckwheat koji butter, almond, walnut oil
● César Murillo - North Pond
Pork belly lechón, parmigiano reggiano, fennel, vanilla pork jus
● Dave Park - Jeong
Salmon tartare, yuzu, dwenjang, crème fraîche, crispy rice pearls
● Bailey Sullivan - Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio
Egg yolk raviolo, tuscan kale, garam masala, pomegranate molasses
● Chops Wat - Lao Peng You
Pork and dill dumplings, soy broth, dried shrimp, zha cai, sesame seeds

Game Changers
● Timothy Flores & Genie Kwon - Kasama
Black truffle croissant

Pastry Chefs
● Natalie Saben - One Off Hospitality Group
Chocolate baklava, walnuts, pecans, coffee frozen yogurt
● Lauren Terrill - Proxi and Sepia
Coconut panna cotta, blueberry, ginger, galangal dok jok cookie
● Lucas Trahan - Ever
Cardamom-basted peaches

● Matt Pontarelli - The Exchange
Country loaf, European butter, house strawberry honey jam
● Sam Zeitlin - Zeitlin's Delicatessen
Pastrami-spiced mushroom and potato knish

● Javier & Jose Lopez - Casa Humilde Cervecería (at District Brew Yards)
Maizal: Mexican-style lager

Tea Purveyors
● Taylor Cowan & Jordan Scherer - Spirit Tea
Bai hao yinzhen handmade tea

● Alex Augustine - Aba
Albariño, Pardevalles, Albarín Blanco, Tierra de León, Spain, 2019 paired with Toothpick Aussie lamb
● Kimberlee Beeler - Alla Vita and BOKA
Garnacha, "Navaherreros," Bernabeleva, Madrid, Spain, 2019 paired with Lone Mountain Wagyu ribeye

● Eric Simmons - Maple & Ash, Etta, Celestina
Fromage Noir: Gin, goat cheese, spiced pear, lemon, bitters
● Sarah Syman - The Dandy Crown
99% Yes: Bourbon, lemon, amaro nonino, blackcurrant, elderflower

StarChefs Supports Bonus Stop
● Victoria & Gerardo Salamanca - Cafe Tola
For every birria goat barbecue empanada sold during the Rising Stars Restaurant Week, StarChefs will donate $5 to Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).

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