Calendar Event

Pilot Light Gala 2023 “Feed Your Mind”

Date: November 3, 2023

For one exciting evening, Pilot Light’s founding chefs (Jason Hammel, Paul Kahan, Justin Large, and Matthias Merges) share the stage – and the kitchen – with a team of sought-after Chicago based chefs to create a one-of-a-kind four-course meal and invest in students’ futures.

The 2023 Feed Your Mind Gala was a smashing success! 

Through the support of our generous donors, guest chefs, and gala sponsors, we raised over $600,000 for Pilot Light’s Food Education classrooms across the country. Thank you to everyone who made the evening a night to remember! 

Gala guest chefs Jonathan Zaragoza, Tim Flores, Joe Flamm, and James Martin hug it out in the kitchen at the 2023 Feed Your Mind gala.
photo by Sandy Noto

About the Event

Pilot Light’s annual Feed Your Mind Gala is one of Chicago’s most anticipated fundraising & culinary events. Guests experience a one-of-a-kind evening featuring a meal crafted by Chicago’s most-sought after culinary stars, and help feed our mission to bring the power of food into classrooms across the country. 

This mix of award-winning chefs from a variety of culinary backgrounds creates an unforgettable dining experience for guests as they raise funds to invest in the future of Food Education. No other event offers the opportunity to share the room and eat the food of multiple James Beard award-winners and Rising Stars while also giving back to the community.

In 2023, we were thrilled to welcome a stellar team of Guest Chefs for the evening:

  • Joe Flamm (Rosemary & BLVD)
  • Beverly Kim & Johnny Clark (Parachute and Wherewithall)
  • Genie Kwon & Tim Flores (Kasama)
  • James Martin (Bocadillo Market)
  • Tony Priolo (Piccolo Sogno)
  • Erick Williams (Virtue, Mustard Seed Kitchen, Daisys Po Boy, Top This Mac and Cheese)
  • Jonathan Zaragoza (Birrieria Zaragoza)

Who prepared a meal curated by Pilot Light’s Founding Chefs – Matthias Merges, Jason Hammel, Paul Kahan, and Justin Large – for our Feed Your Mind Gala attendees. We were also thrilled to welcome Chef Dominique Leach of Lexington Betty Smokehouse as our gala emcee and were humbled to honor our inaugural honoree, Ken Fredrickson, during the event. 

Photo by Sandy Noto

Learn more about our 2023 Gala Sponsors and our first-ever honoree, Ken Fredrickson, here!

Thank you to our generous 2023 Feed Your Mind Sponsors! 

2023 Gala Sponsor logos

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