Deliciously Diverse: The 2019 Iconoclast Dinner Experience Series Kicks Off in Chicago With an All-Star Culinary Bash

Foodies everywhere are familiar with the James Beard Awards, the culinary-focused ceremony considered the “Oscars of food.” And those who look forward to the annual Chicago-based event are swiftly getting a taste for the hottest party of the weekend, the Iconoclast Dinner Experience All-Star Culinary bash.


Deliciousness and diversity are on the menu this Saturday, May 4 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Viking showroom (Ste. 137) in Chicago landmark the Merchandise Mart. For the second delicious year in a row, The Root is the IDE’s media sponsor—and our mouths are already watering.

The IDE All-Star Culinary Bash kicks off the 2019 Iconoclast Dinner Experience series, the annual celebration created by pediatric dentist Dr. Lezli Levene Harvell to center the talents of James Beard Foundation-recognized chefs of color. A devoted food enthusiast, Harvell is consistently on the pulse of the hottest talents in the culinary world. Case in point: Seattle-based chef Edouardo Jordan, event chair of 2018’s All-Star Culinary Bash, ended up a two-time James Beard Award winner last year, including for Best New Restaurant.

This year’s event chair is 2019 Best Chef: Southeast nominee Mashama Bailey of Savannah, Ga.’s The Grey. She’ll join fellow culinary all-stars Gregory Gourdet (Departure Restaurant & Lounge, Portland, Ore.; 2019 JBF Best Chef Semifinalist: Northwest), Jerome Grant Sweet Home Café-NMAAHC, Washington D.C.; 2019 JBF Best Chef Semifinalist: Mid-Atlantic, Gabriel Hernández Febo (Verde Mesa, San Juan, P.R.; 2018 JBF Best Chef Semifinalist: South), and Ilma Lopez (Piccolo, Portland, Maine; 2018 JBF Outstanding Pastry Chef Semifinalist). The team will be serving up delectable small plates while mixing and mingling with guests, as curated cocktails flow, courtesy of Lynn House of Chicago’s Heaven Hill Brands.

The IDE All-Star Culinary Bash promises to be a feast for the senses—and The Root will be on hand to give you a taste of the action. And remember: this is just the prelude to IDE’s signature event on June 6-8, the three-part Iconoclast Dinner Experience in New York City, based at culinary mecca the James Beard House. Tickets for both events are available on the IDE website now.


Come join us in Chicago on Saturday, May 4 for incomparable cuisine, cocktails and a truly colorful culinary experience!