Chef Thierry Blouet - Ravinia Guest Chef on July 15

Chef Blouet was born in Puerto Rico in 1964, and his French parents educated him in France and Mexico, where haute cuisine is an integral ingredient of the good life.  His paternal grandfather, Max Blouet, spent 30 years as general manager of the ultra-elegant George V in Paris.

In February 2000 Chef Blouet's 20-year culinary career culminated in the most prestigious of all chef awards. Admitted to the inner circle of the "Maîtres Cuisiniers de France," he is among only a few hundred French chefs who hold the title that is the highest qualification in the world of gastronomy. His cuisine reflects both his own intuitive ability and a uniquely personal gift: an intense sense of art and beauty.

An extremely visual chef, his dishes have been described as sensual compositions.

At Café des Artistes, Chef  Blouet trains and challenges a new generation of chefs. Over the last 10 years, his chefs and ex-chefs have participated in the most important national competitions and always finish in the very top ranks.  His newest endeavor is Café des Artistes del Mar, located in Punta Mita.

In addition to his own business, Blouet, who is also a member of the Académie Culinaire de France, brings together chefs from France, Mexico, Canada and the United States to share and enrich their cooking techniques while maintaining traditionally high standards. He also devotes himself to promoting important cultural and “foodie” fiestas in Puerto Vallarta and Mexico.  His special interest lies in the Gourmet Festival held annually in Puerto Vallarta, where chefs from all over the world team up with chefs from the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta during the month of November.

Chef Blouet has participated twice in the Highland Park Sister Cities Foundation fund-raising dinners held in Highland Park.  He has collaborated with Carlos Nieto of Carlos’ Restaurant to prepare a gourmet dinner to raise money for charities in Puerto Vallarta supported by the sister cities committees of Highland Park and Puerto Vallarta.  He is unselfish in his efforts to support charities in Puerto Vallarta, and his skills and reputation have earned him status as a celebrity chef in Mexico and the rest of the northern hemisphere.  Most recently he appeared as a guest chef at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago. 

Ravinia is honored to welcome Thierry Blouet as a guest chef for the Highland Park-Puerto Vallarta sister cities concert.  We also welcome his wife, Rose, who has accompanied him on this visit.

You can experience the creations of Chef Blouet at the July 15 Beethoven Concertos featuring Jorge Federico Osorio. In addition, you'll also witness the creation of an international mural by acclaimed artist Oscar Romero and much more. Hear traditional Mexican music by Juan Rivera and Los Pichardo prior to the CSO concert. Tickets are still available.


Mr. Harza Receives Life Trustee Award

Ravinia Life Trustee Richard D. Harza received the Marion M. Lloyd Life Trustee Award at an annual gathering of Life Trustees and past Women’s Board chairs of the Festival. The award is given by the Ravinia Associates—our young professionals’ board—to honor the dedication and long-term support of one Ravinia Life Trustee each year. Mr. Harza has been involved with Ravinia since the summer of 1936, when he served as an usher at the legendary Benny Goodman concerts, and his dedication has not waned since. He became a member of the board in 1981 and a Life Trustee in 1991, and has supported many efforts of the Festival, most notably when he and his wife Dorothy named the John D. Harza Building in memory of their son. The Harza Building houses the Steans Institute for Young Artists and Bennett•Gordon Hall.
Greg Walters
Director of Development


Interview and Performance with Welz Kauffman

Ravinia’s President and CEO, Welz Kauffman was recently interviewed about the upcoming Ravinia season on Chicago Tonight. In addition, you can see him perform a Rachmaninoff piece – six hands, one piano – with Josephine Lee and Marta Aznavoorian.


Ravinia in Mystery Novel

There’s much to recommend in the Jack Doyle mystery series by Ben Franklin Award-winner John McEvoy. But The Significant Seven, the fourth novel from this Evanston writer—the former Midwest editor and senior correspondent for the Daily Racing Form—has something extra special going for it: A visit to Ravinia Festival. The hero of the story pays his $10 lawn admission to picnic on the lawn during a Martin Theatre concert. McEvoy gives a fun description of the experience and even offers up historical detail on our 106-year-old venue, noting: “This is where George Gershwin played Rhapsody in Blue in 1936. So many people attended, Doyle had read, that hundreds boosted themselves up and listened while seated on the limbs of trees that surrounded the pavilion and lawn.” McEvoy also gives a nice shout-out to Penny Tyler, Chicago’s great jazz maven, who has been booking Ravinia’s jazz lineup with Ramsey Lewis for years.

Nick Pullia
Director of Communications


Put on Your Dancing Shoes for Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club

  • 12 years old and under
  • Beginner/Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • Click to read more ...


    Manolos and Cosmos and Classics, Oh My!

    I am an avid supporter of classical music and Cosmos (and great shoes, of course!), so I can only express a fraction of my excitement in words about the Ultimate Girls' Night Out on July 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ravinia.  The price is only $50 per person for you and three of your best ladies to kick back, rest those high-heeled feet and let the sweet sounds of Mozart and Bernstein, played by the CSO, set the mood for an evening to remember.  Ravinia has even whipped up the new and exclusive Ravinia Cosmo to tickle your taste buds.  No one is going hungry either, because there will be plenty of appetizers.  Did I mention the Cosmos?!  Oh, and don't forget to dig out your favorite stillettos, pumps, or slingbacks for the event, because the owner of the best pair of shoes will be walking away with an even better pair of Manolo Blahniks.  Manolo. Blahniks. (!!!!!)  Well, I'm sold.  Time to live out my dream of being on Sex and the City. I've always considered myself more of a Charlotte.  Now I'll just have to find a Carrie, a Samantha, and a Miranda.  Can't wait to scope out all of those great shoes!  Get your tickets here.  See you ladies (or gentlemen) at the Ravinia Ultimate Girls' Night Out!

    -Kristin Ayers
    Marketing Intern



    Mom & Daughter Bond Through Music at Ravinia

    Each year Ravinia invites schools involved in the REACH*TEACH*PLAY program to perform at the festival. Thousands of students have graced our stages. This year a Ravinia's Director of Group Sales, Mindy Moore, got the thrill of watching her daughter make her Ravinia debut at the tender age of 11 year s old. Here they share their own perspectives of that concert.

    Mom Said 

    When I walked into the Bennett Gordon    Hall at Ravinia Festival and saw my daughte r, Montana,  sitting up there in her black pants, school u niform top, and her combed hair, my heart went array.  She  saw me and gave me the hairspray finger wave and I knew we were connected. When the music began I began to cry with pride and joy.  As a parent we work hard to do the r ight thing by our kids and this was a wonderful confirmation that all is well.  She is growing up and has the confidence to sit on a professional st age and play the violin. 

    Seeing her everyday is a blessing and a gift, seeing her happy and flourishing is a selfish joy.

    Daughter Said

    Hi, my name is Montana Moore I am 11 y ears old and I go to Edgewood Middle School. I play violin in my school orchestra. I played Pictures and Exabitions in the Bennet Gorden Hall with Edgewood, Elm Place, and Northwood. It was amazing for me to play on the stage at Ravinia Festival. It was probably one of the best experiences of my life. Just hearing all of the clapping made me happy because the clapping was for me all for me. I loved this event.


    A Wedding To Be Remembered

    Ravinia Festival recently hosted the wedding of Morgan Fiedler and Nathan Delack. It was a spectacular event with perfect weather for a spring wedding.  The ceremony was hosted in one of the tents on the grounds, with the sculpture path lending itself to a dramatic isle for the bride to process along.  Cocktail hour was hosted in the stunning Park View Restaurant and terraces, overlooking the idyllically manicured grounds of the park.  Afterwards, the reception was hosted in the PNC Bank Private Dining Rooms with entertainment provided courtesy of Underwater People.  The bride and groom were surprised by a sweet treat from Executive Chef Tim Radack at the end of the evening-- delicious passed home made mini ice cream sandwiches with chocolate ganache for dipping.  Every detail of the event was carefully planned and organized through Susan Cordogan from Big City Bride. 

    See more photos from the event here. Cheers to the happy couple!!

    Devin Robnick
    Levy Restaurants, Senior Sales Manager


    Autographs, anyone?

    We recently remodeled our multi-purpose room, AKA the "green room" backstage. We added color to the walls and hung an incredible array of artist performance photos at Ravinia over the years. While planning the redo, we thought to ourselves, what would be a cool way to preserve some history and show off the fact that we have so many different artists in a given season, as well as, over the years? Answer: an artist autograph wall. So that's what we did! We've created an entire wall just waiting for history to be made by artists from Sting to James Conlon.

    Country superstar Vince Gill was the very first artist to sign the wall. I can't wait to see what it looks like when we wrap the summer season in September. 


    Amy Schrage
    Associate Director of Communications


    Backstage with the T-Shirt Gun

    Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be loading up a gun as part of my job. Boy did that all change this summer when Ravinia got a new air gun to shoot out free t-shirts into the pavilion. Guess who gets to shoot it. Me! Me! Now when I tell people that I wear a lot of different hats at work, they will understand that I really mean it.  This hat comes with sequins, flashing lights and an awesome tank of power.

    I had no idea what the heck I was doing at first. I was just concentrating on steering clear of any lights or equipment above the crowd. That sounds a lot easier than it really is. Each time it gets a little more comfortable. I'm even starting to have fun! It's easy to get into it when you have a crowd full of screaming people and this incredible energy. The music is playing, the people are waving and yelling and the shirts are flying. It's a total blast! (Pun intended.)

    You can catch a t-shirt at select concerts in the pavilion. Be sure you wave your hands so I can see you and it never hurts to do a dance for a t-shirt.

    Adriana McClintock
    Marketing Manager