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Fastest 50 Attendees to Test Their Culinary Skills


Chicago, IL – Attendees at the Trade Show Executive (TSE) Fastest 50 Awards & Summit will be taking a little bit of Italy home with them this year, thanks to Global Experience Specialists (GES) and onPeak | GES, sponsors of the opening day activities.

Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush steakhouse will be the destination for arrival-day guests who will not only sample the Italian fare that has made it a Windy City landmark, but they will also be getting down-and-delicious themselves in a contest to turn out the best batch of pasta.

Executive Chef Christian Fantoni will be the host and coach of TSE’s Fastest 50 attendees, who will be broken out into teams. They will first learn the tricks of the trade and then battle it out “Iron Chef” style for the honor of Top Pasta Producers in the trade show industry.

Chef Fantoni has fine dining in his DNA. His father was the personal chef of an Italian prince in the northern city of Bergamo. Christian learned to master those skills at a young age, and honed his craft in the U.S. at the prestigious James Beard House, Le Cirque and La Bernadin.

After a demonstration of the “volcano” method for mixing the perfect pasta dough, the contestants will be given a batch of Fantoni’s dough to shape into ravioli, lasagna, fettuccini, orecchiette or whatever their favorite pasta may be.  Then they will choose from a selection of sauces and a basket of ingredients, including one secret something that each team must incorporate into their dish. Chef Fantoni guarantees there won’t be any wacky ingredients like artic char, sea urchin spines or horse cartilage.

The victors will, of course, have bragging rights at the opening night reception that evening. And everyone will leave 437 Rush with full stomachs, a slight smell of garlic, and a collection of Chef Fantoni’s best recipes to wow the family back home.

The Fastest 50 Awards & Summit on May 19-21 is all about picking up new ideas and learning new ways of doing things. A hands-on culinary adventure at one of the best of the Miracle Mile’s standout restaurants will be a fitting place to kick off the week.

Reach Diane Bjorklund, TSE vice president of events, at (630) 312-8915 or

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