Chicago Events. Food Meets Fashion at the Fashion Plates Fundraiser Kick-Off Reception

March 12, 2010 • Events

Les Dames D'Escoffier's media coordinator, Amelia Levin, speaks to the room with participating chef Martial Noguier

Earlier this week, a few of us lucky SCS gals got treated to a sneak preview of what promises to be one of the the most fun and innovative events this summer. The Chicago Chapter of Les Dames D'Escoffier International, a global society of women in the culinary arts, has teamed up with Melissa Gamble, Director of Fashion Arts & Events at Chicago's Dept. of
Cultural Affairs,
to host the Fashion Plates Fundraiser, fusing gourmet food with upscale fashion. The event is being described as "Top Chef" meets "Project Runway", as six local standout designers have been paired up with six notable culinary masters to combine their talents into one delectable ensemble. Each pair will feature a coordinating dish and outfit (based on one fashion and one food award that was picked from a hat! So cute!) in a dinner and runway show that will take place on May 10th at the Chicago Cultural Center. At the swanky Sofitel Hotel, we gathered for the kick-off reception to meet and greet the participants, sample some tasty tidbits and basically just get excited about the fabulous food and fashion!  

People view

Rick gresh
Guests mingle in the Sofitel Hotel's vibrant reception space

Of the six participating designers, three were there and many were familiar faces. Nor Del Busto, fresh from her yearlong run in the Chicago Incubator program at Macy's was all smiles when discussing her culinary counterpart, Martial Noguier of the Sofitel's Cafe des Architects. She revealed the words they had picked were "tomato" and "tassel", an interesting combination to say the least, but mentioned they were playing around with the concept to make it more unique. "Don't expect anything red!" She laughed. Edgy designer Michelle Tan seemed to have been paired perfectly with her chef, Rick Gresh, the mastermind behind the funky and unorthodox setup of David Burke's Primehouse. Bearing a graphic t-shirt honoring The Clash, Gresh's style seemed seamlessly in step with Tan's leather, fringe, and overall rocker chic that she's become known for.  Two names, or actually three, that have become synonymous with classic, sleek style were also appropriately placed together. Richard Morse and Daryl Sneed of the line 5p1t and Randy Zweiban of Province were the only trio of the group, but after hearing Zweiban's enthusiasm for his two design partners, it seemed that all the ideas of all three contributors were perfectly in sync.

Nora delbusto
Designer Nora del Busto with one of her latest designs

Richard morse
Designer Richard Morse, half of design duo behind of 5p1t, with one of his latest designs

Tonya Gross
Designer Tonya Gross with some oh her beautiful, vintage-inspired hats

Chef Rick Gresh and designer Michelle Tan

Other lines/designers participating were Tonya Gross, who heads up the gorgeously retro Tony Gross Millinery, Pierre Colorado of Blake Standard and Abigail Glaum-Lathbury. Their gourmet partners on crime include Carrie Nahabedian of Naha, Shelley Young of the Chopping Block and Takashi Yagahashi of Takashi. Needless to say, the innovations the chefs presented at the kick-off were as pleasing to the palette as the ensembles brought in by the designers. Both made us literally hungry for more and has us thinking, why has no one thought of this before?!! Stay tuned for more information on the Fashion Plates fundraiser as we get closer to the date! 

For Tickets and More Information go to

Photo Source: Second City Style

-Alia Rajput 

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