Press Release

Chefs Michael Kornick, Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp to be Guest Chefs at Humanities Luncheon


Media Contact:
Carlos Velázquez
(312) 422-5580, x233   

CHICAGO, IL- April 15, 2014— The Illinois Humanities Council is honoring two outstanding leaders in business and in the arts with The Public Humanities Award on May 20th, 2014—David Herro, portfolio manager of the Oakmark International Fund, and Jay Franke, co-founder of the Chicago Dancing Festival. The Luncheon will be a spectacular culinary experience with surprise signature dishes prepared by special guest chefs, Michael Kornick of MK Restaurant, Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp of Sunday Dinner Club and Honey Butter Fried Chicken. The Luncheon will also feature a chocolate tasting and demonstration by Chicago-based Luxury chocolatier, Vosges Haut-Chocolat. 

Michael Kornick of MK Restaurant is a nationally recognized leader in the culinary arts, and was named one of “Chicago’s true culinary masters” by Esquire Magazine. Although known primarily for his accomplishments as a chef, Michael Kornick has developed into one of the country’s leading restaurateurs. He is the founder and owner of MK Restaurant, along with co-owner of Chicago-based DMK Burger Bar, Fish Bar, Ada Street, and County Barbeque restaurants.  

Chefs Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp are the founders and chefs behind Sunday Dinner Club, a dinner club that since 2006 has been hosting dinner parties in home settings in Chicago. In 2013, Cikowski and Kulp launched Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. Both are recipients of a Chicago Tribune 2014 Dining Award. 

Vosges Haut-Chocolat was named by Bon Appétit magazine as Food Artisan of the Year and a top innovator in chocolate by Food and Wine Magazine, as well as one of the 10 Best Chocolatiers in the World by National Geographic

“We are thrilled to have our guest chefs participate in this year’s luncheon and help make this a memorable event for our guests,” mentioned Angel Ysaguirre, Executive Director of the Illinois Humanities Council. “There is a congruence among the generous spirit of these extraordinary chefs, the IHC’s commitment to strengthening society and the remarkable contributions of Jay and David. We are all in a way doing our part to bring out the richness and vitality of our city and state.” 

Jay Franke and David Herro are committed to a wide variety of civic and charitable activities, especially in education, youth and the arts and humanities. Jay Franke and David Herro were instrumental in the founding and growth of the Chicago Dancing Festival, and have had significant influence on various organizations including the MCA of Chicago, ChiArts, the Field Museum, and WTTW, through their philanthropy and service. 

The Public Humanities Award Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 11:30am at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, where more than 400 guests from Chicago’s cultural, financial, and civic communities are expected to attend. Single tickets to the Public Humanities Award Luncheon are available from $175 and tables range from $2,500 to $25,000. Tickets may be purchased online at For more information on the event or ticket options please call (312) 422-5584 or e-mail Proceeds from the Public Humanities Award will support the Illinois Humanities Council’s education and outreach programs. 

About the Illinois Humanities Council 

The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is a philanthropic and educational organization dedicated to making the humanities a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities in Illinois, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. This year, it marks 40 years of developing or funding educational activities and programs throughout the state, including lectures, seminars, performances, exhibitions, films, library discussions, and written materials – all free and open to the public. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) supported by state, federal, and private funds.