Traditionally, New York City has been the lucky locale for majority of James Beard Foundation events. But, as of this year, Chicago is now the second city (har-har) to play host to the JBF Greens: Foodies Under 40 program. JBF Greens is a James Beard Foundation initiative that hosts exclusive events and experiences for food fanatics between the ages of 21 and 39.

“It is a wonderful way to not only gain access to exclusive events and experiences, but also a wonderful way to meet other young professionals from similar, to very different backgrounds,” says Ben Robinson, JBF Greens member and Chairperson of the JBF Young Professionals Committee.

If the focus of JBF Greens events is to create unique and exclusive experiences with the restaurant industry, there can be no better place to expand than in Chicago. From the depth of culture to the unique personalities of our neighborhoods, not to mention the heavyweight talent in this city, JBF Greens members are in for some spectacular events. The beauty of the program is its nature to collaborate culture with cuisine. “Whether that is music, dance, master paintings/sculptures, etc – it adds another layer of uniqueness to an already delicious experience,” continues Robinson.

This past week, JBF Greens hosted their inaugural event at ever-popular River North tiki bar, Three Dots and A Dash. Guests were treated to a visually stunning mixology demo by bar director Julian Cox.

There were unlimited rounds of three featured cocktails and, to this glutton’s great delight, a ongoing parade of fantastic Polynesian-inspired bites from the bar’s new menu. What better way to make new friends than to have one’s hand filled with tiki cocktails and one’s mouth filled with remarkable hors d’oeuvres? My kind of party. My kind of people.

While most JBF Greens events are open to the public, becoming a member has significant benefits. Chicago already has events in the works with Chicago Gourmet, Prime and Provisions, the Joffrey Ballet,with more to come. Ready to sign up? Do so here.

See you at the next event!