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Rachael Ray 0

Rachael Ray hopes her Feedback wins over Chicago

June 21st, 2016

Rachael Ray, the bubbly, confident star of Food Network, is nervous. She’s bringing her food and music festival to Chicago and she hopes there’s a crowd–and good weather.

“It’s the first time we’ve taken it on the road and I thought Chicago would be a good place to dip our toe,” Ray told me during a phone interview that was interrupted only briefly by her barking dog, Isaboo.

Feedback, as the show is called, has been part of the annual South by Southwest festival just outside of Austin for the past nine years. Saturday it debuts as Feedback Chicago at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Ray, who considers Chicago her “crib” because her company does some nonprofit work here, has come up with a festival menu that includes Chicago-inspired flavors like Italian beef nachos and a Pilsen-style Mexican hot dog.

Will Chicagoans be willing to pay the $49 admission price? The cost goes up depending on how much food, beverage or music (Grace Potter is in the line-up) you want.  VIP access with rooftop access and unlimited food and drink is $299.

“I’m a value-based person and we have a value-driven brand. I want every ticket price to seem fair,” she says.

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