Chicago is known as one of the top culinary destinations in the world, a point that was proven on the hit TV series, Top Chef, which chose Chicago as its host city for Season Four.

Three of the Season Four competing chefs jump started their careers in the windy city: winner Stephanie Izard of Scylla, which is now closed, but will likely see a rebirth when she opens her new restaurant in Spring 2009; Dale Levitski, who helped open Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Vong; and Valerie Bolon, a personal chef.

Other "top" achievements for Chicago chefs and restaurants:

Outstanding Chef Award – awarded to Alinea's Grant Achatz by James Beard Foundation (2008)

Chicago is America’s New Culinary Star – Saveur magazine (October, 2007)

Best Food/Dining & Best Pizza  – America's Favorite Cities poll, Travel + Leisure (2007)

More five diamond restaurants than any other city in the nation (Alinea, Arun’s, Avenues, Charlie Trotter’s, Everest, Seasons and Tru) – AAA (2007)

Best Restaurant City in America” – GQ magazine (2006)

Alinea was ranked the “Best Restaurant in America” – Gourmet magazine (2006)