Festivals make up a huge part of Chicago’s cultural scene, and they aren’t just for music. Fête Chicago is a new event celebrating the creativity the Windy City has to offer. After holding a small introductory market over the winter holidays, the festival, focused mainly on the rich spectrum of food and design in Chicago, is holding a second, longer, and more varied, run.
The fun begins with a night market on April 4, boasting the best and most innovative of vendors from the Chicago dining scene. Bartenders from Longman & Eagle will be stirring up their signature cocktails while attendees peruse selections from some of the most exciting restaurants in town. Vendors include Lillie’s Q, Trenchermen, Nellcôte, Firecakes Donuts, and many more.
Events will be held over the following days, providing in-depth looks into some of the interesting products and endeavors happening all around the city. From a discussion with brilliant chefs Matthias Merges of Yusho and John Manion of La Sirena Clandestina to an exploration of The Plant, Chicago’s revolutionary food project "incubator," Fête really seeks to give the great creators of the food and design world their time in the spotlight.
Emily Fiffer, one of the founders of Fête, described for us the dynamic process of curating the festival: "We started by choosing personalities in the food and design communities who we found interesting, or who we believed would offer insight on a particular topic. Charismatic people — folks who could speak in an engaging manner. We focused on selecting groups you wouldn't ordinarily find in the same room — people who are doing something similar creatively but may not have had a chance to speak about it. After all was said and done, we had a knockout list of events and a roster of chefs and artists that we were proud of and hoped would intrigue the masses."
Along with co-founders Jessica Herman and Heather Sperling, Fiffer looked for artisans who weren’t just new on the scene, but truly offering up something new and exciting. They sought to make an event that would challenge the traditional relationship between customer and vendor and engage people in the eclectic culinary and creative scene. Chicago, Fiffer said, was the ideal location for a project like Fête. With a diverse pool of talent and a community that really supports the success of its peers, this kind of celebration could have no better home.
Fête Chicago will be holding events from April 4 through April 7. They look to making the festival a bi-yearly event, offering the Chicago food and design community "knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and, most importantly, a hunger for more." You can find out about the offered events at the Fête Chicago website.