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Dine for a cause at the 16th Annual Culinary Futures Fundraiser benefiting No Matter What on Sunday, March 17th, 2024 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm. Hosted at Fairlie in the Near West Side, the evening will feature meals prepared and served by Chicago Public School (CPS) students, open bar, live music, and a silent auction – all to support the youth of Chicago’s community.

No Matter What is a not-for-profit founded by Kenneth Griffin dedicated to the youth of Chicagoland. The organization creates programs to support CPS students in their career endeavors within the restaurant and hospitality industry through mentorship, career readiness training, and mental health healing to help the students reach their highest potential. The annual Culinary Futures event raises crucial funds to support these programs.

Attendees can expect dinner entrees as well as an open bar with an assortment of wine, craft beer, and spirits. Food for the evening will be mostly prepared and catered by High School Culinary Arts Programs. More than 100 CPS students will be participating in the evening’s preparations from schools including Charles A. Prosser Career Academy, Christian Fenger Academy High School, Theodore Roosevelt High School, and others. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Sean Alvarez and there will be a silent auction featuring a variety of prizes. 

A few dishes from past years include Chicken Liver Mousse on Crostini with Pickled Mustard Seed and Parsley, Mini Puff Pastry Tarts with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, & Goat Cheese, Pork and Spinach Hand Pies with Tzatziki Sauce, Prime Ribeye Steak with Duck Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Cognac Sauce, Southern Five Spice Pork Belly with Crispy Rice, Strawberry Crunch Cake Petit Fours, Thai Curry Scallops, and Vanilla & Raspberry Petit Fours. Supporting food and drink services will be provided by friends of No Matter What.

In 2023, the Culinary Futures event raised over $67k for No Matter What. Money raised during the fundraiser is crucial for programs the organization leads like the D.T. Memorial Garden which has become a tool for students to learn about cultivating the land and growing their own food, and the Oliver Malcolm (O.M.) Summer Travel Experience, a week-long international adventure that immerses students in a different culture with visits to museums, shows, historical sites, and more. Students ventured to Ireland for the inaugural trip in 2023 and new applicants will explore Italy for the second trip in 2024.

Tickets for the Culinary Futures Fundraising Event start at $125. Those looking to make a larger, direct impact are welcome to donate to the 2024 Culinary Futures Scholarship Fund or sponsor a student for the 2024 O.M. Summer Travel Experience. Donations begin at $1,000.

Fairlie is located at 339 North Bell Avenue. 


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