Party Recap: Chicago's 30 Under 30 at Belly Q

By Sarah Freeman  |  April 3, 2014
Credit: Philip Montgomery

Some call it the party of the year; we just call it the Chicago 30 Under 30 party - a gathering of the culinary elite to celebrate their rising-star counterparts. Monday night’s party at Belly Q was the third year we’ve celebrated such a special event in Chicago. And excuse us while we toot our own horn, but this year's was the best party yet.

Guests were welcomed with beer and cocktails from the honorees. Two bars served Begyle Brewing’s Crash Landed, in honor of its co-founders Brendan Blume and Matthew Ritchey. The Bear Hug, a tequila cocktail made with Fortaleza blanco, Aperol, passion fruit syrup, lime juice and Fresno chili juice honored Micah Melton of The Aviary, and Drumbar’s Alex Renshaw's tribute to fellow honoree Jenny Solberg of Rhine Hall was the show-stopping brandy-based cocktail called the Solberg Solstice, served out of hand-carved apples.

On the food side of things, chef Bill Kim delivered. Passed snacks, from sweet potato tempura with maple-sake glaze to dim sum carts as well as several savory stations were a hit. Guests enjoyed freshly grilled Wagyu beef tri tip and lemongrass marinated octopus from the yakitori grill as well as shaved ice flavored with passion fruit, kaffir lime or lychee yuzu. 

Between delicious bites, Tim and Nina Zagat took a moment to congratulate the honorees. Tim said, “These lists are designed for two purposes: to recognize the future of the restaurant industry - and in Chicago it's obvious that these people exemplify a great future for the industry. Secondly, we’re trying to recognize people who are not just chef. This is meant to reflect the entire restaurant industry.” 

Reflect it did, with mentors including Stephanie Izard and Charles Joly coming out to toast the up-and-coming chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, butchers, cheesemongers, baristas and entrepreneurs who continue to make Chicago a leading culinary destination. Check out all of the event photos here, and for more information on the program, visit our 30 Under 30 site.