Chef Liz Sweeny introduces Evolve Bistro,
which opened for lunch in April.
 Evolve Bistro is a student-run restaurant at The Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago. It operates under the supervision of Chef Jen Brooks with Chef Elizabeth Sweeney acting as the culinary director for a program that helps its students seamlessly transition from the classroom to kitchen. Each 12-week quarter acts as the capstone class for many students. Chef Brooks has implemented a perpetually evolving menu, changing its international cuisine theme every 2-3 weeks. Chef Brooks has recently started out with Spain, moved into Portugal, and will next move into North Africa. While this may seem aggressive, it allows student chefs to work with a number of proteins with which they might not be familiar.

Berbere Spiced Rack of Lamb with Yucca Gratin,
Carrot Cumin Harissa Salad and Harissa Honey yogurt.
The food focuses on seasonality while the program itself is leading into a sustainability mentality. The school is housed in a LEED-certified building and has recently launched its own sustainability project which includes discontinuing old chemicals and using all plant-based, biodegradable products—tasting spoons are stainless steel and passed appetizer plates are made of compostable bamboo. The bistro is the main focus of the institute’s first step into sustainability.
To celebrate the opening, The Illinois Institute of Art hosted An Evening of Pink to benefit breast cancer awareness and Susan G. Komen – Chicago. Drinks and dinner were accompanies by a silent auction and school tours to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen Chicago chapter. Two survivors shared laughter and tears through stories of how their lives were changed and their new-found insatiable hungers for life.
Fashion Design students at AI Chicago
contributed tabletop pieces to decorate the
Evening in Pink event.
The bistro is open for lunch Wednesday-Friday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and offers a small plate concept featuring a $20 3-plate lunch.