Art Smith to appear at Taste of Chicago

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Chef Art Smith, seen at the opening of LYFE Kitchen, will appear at the 2014 Taste of Chicago.

Chef Art Smith, seen at the opening of LYFE Kitchen, will appear at the 2014 Taste of Chicago. (May 18, 2014)

Art Smith will head a list of top Chicago chefs in this year's Pure Leaf Celebrity Chef du Jour at this year's Taste of Chicago, which runs July 9-13 in Grant Park.

This is the third year for Chef du Jour, which features a different star chef each day preparing a three-course, sit-down dinner, served in an air-conditioned, private tent on the Taste site. Dinners start at 6:30 p.m., except for the 5 p.m. dinner July 13.

Tickets are $45 (up from last year's $40) and will go on sale, with a four-ticket limit, at 10 a.m. Thursday on the Taste of Chicago website, tasteofchicago.us. In the last two years, every Chef du Jour event has sold out.

Smith, founder of Common Threads and owner/partner in Table Fifty-Two and LYFE Kitchen in Chicago, will host the July 9 dinner. The Fear no ART dinner party will occupy the tent July 10, featuring Sepia chef Andrew Zimmerman. Paul Virant, executive chef and partner at Vie and Perennial Virant, will headline on July 11. On July 12, Nico Osteria chefs Erling Wu-Bower and Amanda Rockman will host, and the final dinner on July 13 will feature Matthias Merges, chef and owner of A10, Billy Sunday and Yusho.

As in past years, students from Washburne Culinary Institute in Chicago will assist in the preparation and serving of the dinners.

Also going on sale Thursday are pavilion-seating tickets for concerts by AWOLNATION and Saints of Valory on July 9; Janelle Monae and Gary Clark Jr. on July 10, Nickel Creek, Emmylou Harris and Parker Millsap on July 11, Jeff Tweedy and Lucinda Williams on July 12, and Aloe Blacc and The Wailers on July 13. Ticket prices vary. 

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