Friday, July 30, 2010

Things Are Heating Up!

(Pastry Chef and co-chair Mindy Segal of HotChocolate, via Joseph Storch)

To say we're feeling the weight of Taste of the Nation as it approaches us—now less than two weeks away—is an understatement. There are emails and TV appearances and tweets flying through the air and interwebs like you wouldn't believe! But, the way I see it, this is a true testament to the dedication and commitment we all have to this truly worthy event. There's not a single person involved who doesn't want this Taste to be nothing less than the premiere event of the year. And you know what? It might just be...

And as we rally up the final ticket sales and get ready for the event, we're also reaching out to all of you with a tremendous amount of opportunities to score tickets. On us. That's right, we've got quite a few tickets that we're handing out for free! So... how the heck is this gonna do down?

Several ways.

As you probably know, today was a historic day for the city of Chicago—Matt Maroni hit the road with his gaztro-wagon and sold his first naanwich! And then another and another and... yeah. You get it. Well, we're teaming up with Matt starting tomorrow and running on through August 12, when he'll be parked in front of the Aragon Ballroom to greet all of you as you arrive for the party. But tomorrow, sometime around midday, he won't be at the Aragon. No. No. Tomorrow Matt will be serving his killer street food at Green City Marketand it's there that we'll be handing out the first free pair of tickets.

How? Pretty simple. The first person to show up to the truck tomorrow, order some food, and ask for the  two tickets? They get 'em. Easy, right?

(via Green City Market's photostream)

But we won't make it so easy as the week goes on, which is when Matt will be joined by some of the city's best chefs for Taste of the Nation ride-a-longs—starting on Tuesday, August 3, when Phillip Foss hops on board and with his Tunisian Style Naanwich. Other chefs lining up are Kristine Subido (Wave), David Carrier (Kith and Kin), Todd Stein (cibo matto), and Michael Fiorello (Mercat a la Planxa)... with still more signing on. And as each chef hops on board with Matt, so too does another opportunity to win a new pair of Taste tickets.

And if that's not enough, we're teaming up with foodie the app, too! If you haven't signed up with foodie yet—well, get on it. Not having an iPhone is no longer an excuse, as foodie's new website now allows all of Chicago to enroll in their free, members-only exclusives. I'm enrolled, but I can't win the tickets. Someone win 'em for me??? Point is, a reservation may or may not score you a shot at those tickets, and you need to enroll with foodie to make those reservations... hint. hint.

We're also working closely with restaurants like Perennial and Landmark to run more opportunities to dish out the tickets, so we hope you not only stay tuned to the blog and twitter and Facebook feeds—but that you're sharing the updates with friends so increase your odds of landing the prize.

And in the meantime? Why not check out Blackbird chef Mike Sheerin with Bristol mixologist Debbi Peek and our own Elissa Narrow with Steve Dolinsky, all of whom appeared on ABC 7's Midday News this morning to give a sneak peek what what to expect this year...

And buy your tickets!!!

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