Wish Upon a Wedding is honored to announce the 2017 Chicago Shining Star Recipients. These three people are some of the most inspirational, motivational and giving professionals in Chicago. This is our way to thank and pay tribute to those professionals who inspire others to engage in volunteer service by their demonstrated commitment and example.
The Shining Star Award Recipients for 2017 have shown an ongoing and substantial commitment to the community and have consistently exhibited honesty, integrity and the highest ethical standards in his or her profession.
Congratulations to Curtis Duffy, Jodi Fyfe, and Nicole Zenner. Thank you for all you do!
Grace, a Michelin awarded restaurant is owned by Chef Curtis Duffy whose culinary mastery has maintained Michelin’s highest three-star rating for the past three consecutive years (2015-2017). Duffy’s style is a reflection of his personal taste and drawing upon his wealth of experience. His micro-seasonal cuisine is best described as “thoughtfully progressive” – thoughtful as he puts tremendous time, focus, research and thought into what he creates, and progressive as he utilizes modern techniques to coax the best out of the ingredients. Each dish is an expression of his personality – progressive but grounded – and puts ingredients at the forefront. He continues to source the highest-quality ingredients, allowing flavor to trump technique.
Duffy has earned numerous accolades, including Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond, and 2016 James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef, Great Lakes” Award. While Duffy continues his culinary evolution, he sits on the advisory board of Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts with a $25,000 scholarship in his name. He continues his charitable efforts by volunteering with Grand Chefs Gala, a fundraiser benefiting the Greater Illinois Cystic Fibrosis Foundation where he is Chef Chair of the gala, and hosted several dinners at Grace to further the foundation.
Passionate about hospitality and great service, Jodi Fyfe has worked in the food and beverage industry for over 25 years. As the Founder & CEO of Paramount Events, Jodi and the company’s talented team have taken the wedding, corporate, social and drop off markets to new heights, becoming Chicago’s go-to resource for events and catering. The team strives to create custom, creative menus from sustainable and local products, provide every guest with impeccable service and foster growth in community partnerships. In 2016, Jodi opened The Lakewood, a one of a kind event space, and Eden, a restaurant serving American food with Mediterranean influences, in the West Loop.
Jodi is also fiercely supportive of several non-profits close to her heart, including Tickled Pink (which she founded in 2004 in memory of her cousin who lost her battle to breast cancer), Step Up Women’s Network, Hephzibah and Wish Upon a Wedding. Jodi enjoys exploring Chicago’s culinary scene and traveling with husband her two children.
Nicole Zenner, CSEP is an award-winning wedding and event planner. Starting her professional career in Minneapolis MN 13 years ago, she worked with LK Events for the past 5.5 years, and recently launched her own company, Zen Events, primarily focusing on officiating at wedding ceremonies. She is actively involved in the International Live Events Association and is the immediate past president of the Chicago Chapter. Nicole is the only wedding planner in Chicago holding the CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional) designation.
The event industry is her passion and Nicole firmly believes in continuing education for every event professional. It not only helps the individual, but furthers the standards of the event industry. The personal growth and collaboration she finds within ILEA and attending multiple conferences a year is invaluable and she challenges her fellow event professionals to continue their growth in the industry.
Please join us at this year’s 8th Annual Blissful Wishes Ball, Monday, November 6th, 2016 at Morgan Manufacturing.