The Good Food Festival and Conference returned to Chicago for its 13th year March 16-18, 2017 at the UIC Forum on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus welcoming more than 7,500 people, a 54% increase from 2016. Presented by FamilyFarmed, the Good Food Festival & Conference is the Midwest's premier annual celebration of the fast-growing Good Food movement. It brought together regional and national leaders in local, sustainable food - from farmers to chefs, entrepreneurs to policy makers - to discuss the movement that's transforming the way we eat.
The three-day symposium kicked off on Thursday, March 16th with the Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference sponsored by Crain's Chicago Business. The conference allowed funders to connect with food business seeking financing and hosted the Financing Fair, giving growing food businesses the opportunity to pitch business plans. Friday, March 17th continued the symposium with the Good Food Trade Show & Policy Conference along with the Good Food Industry Showcase in which more than 100 exhibitors participated.
The symposium concluded on Saturday, March 18th with the Good Food Festival, a family-friendly day of inspiring speakers, tastings from local food artisans, micro workshops on the Organic Valley Good Food Commons, chef demos and sampling, an interactive Purple Asparagus Kids' Corner and the Good Food Marketplace.
Notable attendees included Rick Bayless of Frontera Mexican Restaurant Group; Bobby Turner, vice president of Whole Foods Market's Midwest region; Marc Shulman of Eli's Cheesecake; Rob Levitt of Local Foods and The Butcher & Larder; Victor Friedberg, Co-Founder and Managing Director of S2G Ventures; Bill Weiland, Presence Marketing; Dave Donnan, Partner, Global Food & Beverage Sector Lead, A.T. Kearney; and many more!
2017 Award Recipients: ● Good Food Business of the Year Award - S2G Ventures full details here ● Beginning Farmer of the Year Award went to Chase Sanert of Sugar Grove Family Farms and Mentor of the Year Award went to Ron Sanert (presented by Routes to Farm) full details here ● Good Food Chef of the Year Award - Josh Kulp and Christine Cikowski of Honey Butter Fried Chicken full details her