Dave Beran, Executive Chef at Next

We’ve picked 16 of Chicago’s most talented chefs—from such restaurants as Fat Rice, Topolobampo, Blackbird, Dos Urban Cantina, Analogue, and more—and challenged them to cook a dish using one of four chosen ingredients this Friday in the West Loop. That’s where you come in: Get a ticket to this year’s Key Ingredient Cook-Off, sample all 16 dishes, then vote for your favorite. 

To reveal the four special ingredients—chorizo, plantains, achiote seeds, and tomatillos—that will be used at this year’s “South of the Border”-themed #KICO, we’ve harnessed the power of pancake artist Dancakes. See his masterworks take shape below.