Among this year's chefs are Zoe Schor of Ada Street, who grappled with geoduck clams for her challenge—which she called "the strangest animal on the planet"—and Lula Cafe's Sarah Rinkavage, who fried up "terrifying" gelatinous zooplankton (jellyfish). Rob Levitt and Abra Berens, who will both be part of the giant Local Foods retail and dining center when it opens this spring, will be in attendance, as will Sandra Holl of Floriole, Andres Padilla of Topolobampo, and Nicole Pederson of Found Kitchen. Returning chefs include Paula Haney of Hoosier Mama—who won in her ingredient category the first year of the Key Ingredient Cook-Off—as well as Chris Teixeira of Homestead on the Roof and John Asbaty of White Oak Tavern & Inn.
The Key Ingredient Cook-Off is this Friday, May 22, from 7:30 to 11:30 PM at the Lacuna Artist Lofts, 2150 S. Canalport, and admission is $65. VIP tickets are $125; admission begins at 6:30 PM. The Chicago Trolley will provide free rides from the Roosevelt Red Line stop to the Lacuna Artist Lofts from 5:30 to 7 PM. Below is a video from last year's KICO.