Festival Events

à la carte 2017 French Food Festival is proud to be hosting great events celebrating French food, wine, and the art of living in Chicago and throughout the Midwest from October 5-15. This year's program kicks off at 360 Chicago with the à la carte 2017 Launch Party. The fun continues for 10 days with special themed dinners, cooking classes with top French chefs, wine tastings, and much more.

à la carte 2017's Featured Region is Alsace, so keep a look out for some Alsatian delights and events throughout the festival!

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Discover Alsatian specialties with the French Pastry School
Thursday, October 5th / 2:00 PM
French Pastry School
The French Pastry School will provide an introduction to age-old pastry and baking techniques with a focus on classic Alsatian desserts including an Alsatian Linzer Tarte with fresh raspberry jam, traditional tea time Anise cookies, and « Flammenkuechen » Tarte flambée flat bread with sour cream, oven roasted onions and bacon bits. Guests will sample all of the items that the chef demonstrates. FREE

Special guests: Alsace delegation, proud sponsors of à la carte 2017.
Program
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM : Tour of the French Pastry School
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM : Demonstration of Alsatian specialties and tastings of all items during the demonstration

Register Here »

à la carte 2017 Launch Party — Chicago
Thursday, October 5th / 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
360 CHICAGO
$20
Get an exclusive first look at the third annual à la carte French Food Festival taking place in Chicago and throughout the Midwest! Meet the chefs, learn about our exciting events, and enjoy hors d’œuvres and beverages provided by à la carte 2017 sponsors! This event will be held at 360 CHICAGO, formerly John Hancock Observatory.

A special thanks to: Bistronomic, Café des Architectes, Champagne Lecomte, Chez Simo, Dopff & Irion, The French Pastry School, Kronebourg 1664, La Fournette, Savencia, Schweet Foods, Shaw's Crab House
Register Here »

Alsatian Demo for Alliance Française and Lycée Français de Chicago members
Friday, October 6th / 2:00 PM
French Pastry School
FREE; Members of Lycée Français & Alliance Française de Chicago Only
The French Pastry School will provide an introduction to age-old pastry and baking techniques with a focus on classic Alsatian desserts including an Alsatian Linzer Tarte with fresh raspberry jam, traditional tea time Anise cookies, and « Flammenkuechen » Tarte flambée flat bread with sour cream, oven roasted onions and bacon bits. Guests will sample all of the items that the chef demonstrates.
Closed to the Public — Lycée Français and Alliance Française de Chicago Members Only. For information/reservations call: (312) 337-1070.
View Website »

à la carte 2017 Launch Party — Des Moines
Saturday, October 7th / 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Location TBA
Get an exclusive first look at the third annual à la carte French Food Festival taking place in Chicago and throughout the Midwest! Meet the chefs, learn about our exciting events, and enjoy hors d’œuvres and beverages provided by à la carte 2017 sponsors! This event will be held in Des Moines.
View Website »

The Chopping Block

Macaron Workshop
Saturday, October 7 / 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
The Chopping Block - Lincoln Square
$80 per person
French macarons take a bit of finesse to get that... je ne sais quoi. Our expert pastry chef will guide you through every step of the technique as you learn and practice how to make three different, delicious varieties. You will go home with a box of your beautiful masterpieces! Chocolate Macarons with Raspberry Jam and Coffee Buttercream; Toasted Coconut Crunch Macarons with Salted Caramel Filling; Lemon Macarons with White Chocolate Lemon Ganache. Skills Covered in Class Include: Basic Baking Techniques; Working with Nut Flours; Selecting Chocolate; Whipping Egg Whites; Using a Piping Bag; Caramelizing Sugar; Making Ganache. 1-week cancellation policy.
Register here »

The Chopping Block

Couples Cooking: Parisian Pleasures
Saturday, October 7 / 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
The Chopping Block - Merchandise Mart
$85 per person
Ooh la la! These Parisian recipes bring a whole new meaning to the City of Light. Endive, Watercress and Apple Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette; Coq au Vin with Pomme Purée (Red Wine-Braised Chicken with Potato Purée); Roasted Haricots Verts (French Green Beans) with Shallots; Pear Clafoutis (Rustic Custard-Based Cake). Skills Covered in Class Include: Getting Familiar with French Ingredients; Working with Bitter Greens; Balancing Flavors; Selecting Chicken, Potatoes and Pears; Roasting Green Vegetables; Braising Poultry; Puréeing Potatoes; Mixing Cake Batter; Determining Cake Doneness. 1-week cancellation policy.
Register here »

Northman

Cider School: French Cider
Monday, October 9 / 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
The Northman
$30 per person
France has some of the strictest laws, and delicious cider. French cider making shows how centuries of tradition lead to specific techniques and distinct flavours. This class will take you through what France has to offer, and why their cidre is so unique.
Register here »

The Chopping Block

War and Wine: Grand Cru of Wine Classes
Tuesday, October 10 / 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
The Chopping Block - Lincoln Square
$90 per person
During World War II the Germans took control of France and began to systematically plunder the cellars of France's most revered wine regions; Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux. We will take a walk through history while drinking wines from these regions as we unfold the story of French resistance as the German wine Weinführers attempted to pillage the cellars of hundreds of wineries. We'll discuss the history of World War II through the lens of vignerons, the battles that raged inside the country and the power of the French resistance in the world of wine. You will have a new understanding of a unique struggle that occurred in WWII as well as an introduction to three of the most prominent appellations of France. Six different wines, including a reserve Champagne and some special bottles that are not on our wine list, will be sampled in class today. Christophe Bakunas has worked two and half decades in all facets of the wine and spirits world from owning/running a wine bar, producing wines and spirits in three wineries/distilleries on the West Coast to distributing alcohol nationwide as well as in Chicago. Christophe's passion for flavor and sharing knowledge is as strong today as it was 20 years ago. "The greatest gift the wine industry can give is a human awakening to the pleasure of sharing and exploring." You must be 21 or over to attend. Please present valid ID at the time of check-in.

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"My Favorite French Dish or Pastry" Contest for K-12 Students
As part of the à la carte festival, the Cultural Services at the Consulate General of France in Chicago and the American Association of Teachers of French (Chicago – North Illinois Chapter) are organizing a drawing and writing contest around the theme "My Favorite French Dish or Pastry".

Enter for a chance to win a French Treats Basket, French books, CDs and DVDs ! "My Favorite French Dish or Pastry" contest is open to all K-12 students from Chicago and the surrounding area. Write a short essay, poem, or draw a drawing about what you like the most in French cuisine!

The best works will be published on the “à la carte” website and the winners will receive their awards from the Consul General of France in Chicago during the closing ceremony of “à la carte” on October 15 at the Music Box Theatre.

The competition is open to the following categories:
- Category 1: Elementary / Middle School students
- Category 2: High School students


When: Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Location: 205 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3700 · Chicago, IL 60601
Hosted by: Consulate General of France in Chicago
Admission Details:
Free.
Deadline: All drawings, essays, and poetry must be received by the Cultural Services at the Consulate General of France in Chicago no later than Tuesday, October 10, 2017
For more information »
View winners »

Happy Hour with the Consul General
Wednesday, October 11th / 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Bistronomic
$25
Meet Consul General of France Guillaume Lacroix while sampling Alsatian wines courtesy of à la carte 2017 Presenting Sponsor Dopff & Irion. Delicious "French Tapas" will be served.
For reservations, please call Bistronomic at 312-944-8400 and mention "Happy Hour with Consul General".
View Website »

Duck Season: Talk and Tasting with David McAninch
Wednesday, October 11th / 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Alliance Française de Chicago
$10 for Non-members / Free for Alliance Française members
Armagnac-flambéed duck tenderloins; skewered duck hearts with chanterelles; a duck-confit shepherd’s pie strewn with shavings of foie gras: this is what food writer David McAninch discovered when he spent eight months in Gascony with his family, meeting extraordinary characters and eating the best meals of his life. His delicious memoir tell us more about this an ancient region in Southwest France -- where there are more ducks than people and where foie gras is not saved for special occasions.
Duck Season: Eating, Drinking, and Other Misadventures in Gascony, France's Last Best Place has been named 2017's Best Travel Books by the New York Times Book Review and is shortlisted for the American Library in Paris Book Award.
David’s talk will be followed by duck sampling, a book sale and signing.
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From Coast-to-Coast Dinner
Thursday, October 12th
Shaw's Crab House
Shaw's and guest chef Leo Waldmeier, of the iconic Drake Hotel and Cape Cod Room, are welcoming oyster growers from each of the coasts to come together for the first ever Coast-to-Coast Dinner. This interactive, four-course dinner with wine pairings will feature Hama Hama, from Washington State - repping the west coast - and Island Creek, from Massachusetts - repping the east coast - along with Chef Waldmeier's signature Bookbinder soup. The dinner is priced at $89 per guest (exclusive of tax & gratuity) and starts at 6:30 PM. Buy your tickets here.
Register Here »

Dinner in Alsace
Thursday, October 12th
Sofitel / Café des Architectes
From October 5 – October 15, patrons of Café des Architectes can taste the flavors of Alsace by ordering a prix fixe menu featuring classic Alsace dishes and wine from around the region. In addition to the 11 day prix fixe menu, a special event will be held the evening of Thursday, October 12 featuring an extended Alsace prix fixe menu, Alsace inspired wine pairings, and an intriguing open discussion about the rich history of food.
Register Here »

French Pastry School Class: "Luxurious Layer Cakes"
October 10th–12th / 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
French Pastry School
Learn to layer at the French Pastry School! Layer cake, that is. At "Luxurious Layer Cakes," a three-day, hands-on workshop with Chef Joel Reno, you will perfect your layer cake, learn new recipes and mouth-watering flavor combinations, and gain the expertise to astound at your next party.
With an à la carte 2017 discount of $100, your baking skills — and cakes —will soar sky-high!
View Website »

The Chopping Block

Couples Cooking: Parisian Pleasures
Thursday, October 12th 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
The Chopping Block - Lincoln Square
$85 per person
Ooh la la! These Parisian recipes bring a whole new meaning to the City of Light. Endive, Watercress and Apple Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette; Coq au Vin with Pomme Purée (Red Wine-Braised Chicken with Potato Purée); Roasted Haricots Verts (French Green Beans) with Shallots; Pear Clafoutis (Rustic Custard-Based Cake). Skills Covered in Class Include: Getting Familiar with French Ingredients; Working with Bitter Greens; Balancing Flavors; Selecting Chicken, Potatoes and Pears; Roasting Green Vegetables; Braising Poultry; Puréeing Potatoes; Mixing Cake Batter; Determining Cake Doneness. 1-week cancellation policy.
Register here »

The Chopping Block

Fabulous French Pastries
Friday, October 13th / 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
The Chopping Block - Lincoln Square
Learn how to whip up these awe-inspiring pastries in your own kitchen in no time! Chocolate Souffle; Palmiers; Custard-Filled Éclairs with Chocolate Glaze; Apple Tarte Tatin with Chantilly Cream. Skills Covered in Class Include: Whipping Egg Whites; Working with Puff Pastry; Preparing Pâte à Choux Dough; Making Custard; Selecting and Working with Chocolate; Caramelizing Fruit. 1-week cancellation policy.
Register here »

Circle City Sweets

Demo in Laminated Doughs - The Art of Making Breakfast Danish
Saturday, October 14th / 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
222 East Market Street - Indianapolis, IN 46204
As part of "à la carte French Food Fest 2017", join Pastry Chef Cindy Hawkins, owner of Circle City Sweets, for a demonstration on laminated dough, focuses on the art of making Danish. At this demo, guests will see every step in making Danish, from the mixing of the dough, to making butter books, to the folds and turns and finally to the shaping, proofing and baking of Danish. Guests will enjoy the fruits of the demo's labors by enjoying Danish, fresh from the oven. In addition to Danish, Chef Hawkins will demonstrate the wonderful pastry from the Brittany Region of France, the Kouign Amann.
Register here »

The Chopping Block

French Bistro
Sunday, October 15th / 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
The Chopping Block - Merchandise Mart
$85 per person
Tres Magnifique! Embrace the change of season while traveling vicariously to La Belle France. Gougères au Fromage (Cheese Puffs); Beef Bourguignon; Celery Root Puree; Tarte Normande Aux Pommes (Apple Custard Tart). Skills Covered in Class Include: Preparing Pâte à Choux Dough; Selecting and Braising Beef; Working with Celery Root; Rolling and Blind-Baking Pie Dough; Selecting Apples. Due to the layout of our kitchens and in consideration of your classmates, students will work in groups of 3 to 5 people. Parties of 6 or more will be directed to our private events department so we can accommodate them appropriately. 1-week cancellation policy.
Register here »

à la carte 2017 Closing Event
Sunday, October 15th
Music Box Theatre
$12

6:00 p.m. : Reception
7:00 p.m. : Film Screening

A film by: Daniel Cohen, Written by: Daniel Cohen
Starring: Jean Reno, Michaël Youn, Raphaëlle Agogué
In French with English subtitles · Run time: 84 min.

In the new age of molecular gastronomy, legendary chef, Alexandre Lagarde (Jean Reno), is struggling to keep up. The conniving CEO of his restaurant is trying to take away his Michelin stars and replace him with a posh new chef from England. Lagarde’s only hope is to team up with Jacky Bonnot (Michaël Youn), a young, talented, and at times obnoxiously passionate food enthusiast. Despite their differences, the odd culinary couple have to find a way to work together to navigate the new world of modern cuisine to save the restaurant. Le Chef is a feel good French comedy with all the right ingredients that celebrates people who love to cook good food.

A reception with food and beverages provided by à la carte 2017 sponsors Dopff & Irion and Kronenbourg 1664 will precede the film. After the screening, there will be a talk back with Chicago chefs and winners of the raffle will be announced.
Register Here »


2017 Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Dopff & Irion

In-kind

360 Chicago

Savencia Cheese USA

Air France

Music Box Theatre

Gold

eperience Alsace

eperience Alsace

Kronenbourg

Silver

Supreme Lobster

Bronze

Malman Law

Les Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur de la France

Sasa Demarle