The author, TV host and all-around foodie icon dishes on her new Feedback Chicago event and why she loves the Windy City.
This weekend, Rachael Ray takes a break from hosting her eponymous hit cooking show to bring her annual food and music soirée, “Rachael Ray’s Feedback,” to Chicago. The mini-festival, which has been held at SXSW for the past nine years, will feature delicious eats by guest chef Charlie McKenna of Lillie’s Q and Ray herself, along with tunes by Grace Potter, Lee Fields & The Expressions, and more. We caught up with Rachael to get all the details on the summer bash.
SPLASH: You’ve previously only held this event in Austin. What made Chicago your first-choice destination for Feedback’s expansion?
RACHAEL RAY: Chicago is home to some of my favorite restaurants, chefs and dear friends. It’s a city [that] I’m always paying attention to. Like Austinites, Chicagoans dine out a lot, support the thriving local live music scene, and [the city’s] location allows for folks from neighboring states and regions to enjoy its offerings.
S: Where in Chicago do you have to go every time you visit?
RR: All things Rick Bayless, Lee Wolen, Stephanie Izard’s Duck Duck Goat, Paul Virant, Josh’s Hot Dogs.
S: What gave you the idea to combine music and food in an event like this?
RR: I cook. My husband has a band. We don’t enjoy going to overcrowded shows with limited food options and worse booze offerings. We decided to design the party we wanted to go to.
S: Can you tell us the dish you’re most excited about serving at Feedback Chicago?
RR: All of them including our guest Chefs’ creation. The corn, Pilsen dogs, beef Nachos, wings, and Dan Dan noodles [are] all favorite recipes and I’m always excited for Charlie McKenna’s BBQ and anything by Giuseppe Tentori.