No Small Plans devised and produced this one-of-a-kind food festival for the Chicago Reader, coordinating all logistics including catering, entertainment, audience engagement, sponsorships, public relations, logo/website design and development, and restaurant/chef communication.

Inspired by the Reader’s James Beard Award-winning series, the Key Ingredient Cook-Off saw 25 chefs (from the likes of Balena, Blackbird, El Ideas, Sprout, Nellcote, and Trenchermen) going head-to-head using one of five most unusual ingredients. The results? More than 600 culinary enthusiasts in attendance, 15% of funds raised for the Chicago Healthy Schools Campaign, and significant chatter in both social and traditional media channels.


CHICAGOIST | Reader Key Ingredient Cook-Off Features Dishes With Malört, Durian, Celery, Millet & Dried Shrimp

DNAinfo | Key Ingredient Cookoff Comes to Bridgeport Art Center

GRUB STREET | Chefs With Weird Ingredients at the Reader Key Ingredient Cook-Off

WTTW | Check Please! Planner

CHICAGO HUSTLES | Key Ingredients Cook Off 2013 Chicago

EXAMINER | Star chefs to battle in Chicago Reader's 'Key Ingredient Cook-Off' event