Zealous is commited to local and national charities.  Taus has lent a hand by previously chairing the March of Dimes West Suburban Chef’s Auction and participating in Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation and Meals on Wheels’ Celebrity Chef’s Brunch. Zealous is also a member of the James Beard Foundation and sponsors the Zealous Chef Scholarship Program

The James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation celebrates the country’s culinary artists, provides scholarships and educational opportunities, serves as a resource for the industry, and offers members the opportunity to enjoy the delights of fine dining. As a member of the James Beard Foundation, Zealous has raised more than $30,000 in three years with the annual “Friends of James Beard” Benefit dinner, featuring some of Chicago’s top chefs. Zealous has proudly supported the foundation since 2001.

Zealous’ Tenth Anniversary James Beard Centennial Celebration

Zealous honoring James Beard’s 100th Birthday and celebrated their tenth anniversary by offering an eight-course menu with wine pairings by Michael Taus & special guest, Chef Charlie Trotter.  The event took place on Sunday, June 22, 2003 and raised $15,000 for toward maintaining and improving the James Beard House in New York.

ZEALOUS’ Tenth Anniversary
James Beard Centennial Celebration
Featuring Special Guest, Chef Charlie Trotter
Sunday, June 22, 2003

Assorted Canapés 
(Michael Taus, Zealous)
G.H. Mumm & Cie ‘Mumm de Cramant’ Blanc de Blancs Brut, Reims NV

Timbale of Sea Scallop Tartar, Peruvian Purple Potato Salad,
Curry Mousseline and Sevruga Caviar 
(Michael Taus, Zealous)
Trimbach ‘Cuvée Frédéric Emile’ Riesling, Alsace 1998

Bleeding Heart Radish “Ravioli”
with Cashew Cheese, Spring Peas, 

Tiny Breakfast Radishes and Mustard Vinaigrette 
(Charlie Trotter, Charlie Trotter’s)
Prager Gruner Veltliner Smaragd Achleiten 1999

Grilled Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Atop Cannelloni of Asian Vegetables,
Star Anise Braised Short Rib and Natural Juices 

(Michael Taus, Zealous)
Siduri Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 2000

Japanese Hamachi with Sweetbreads, Pigs Feet, Chanterelle Mushrooms and Boudin Sauce 
(Charlie Trotter, Charlie Trotter’s)
La Rioja Alta S.A. ‘Gran Reserva 904’, Spain 1992

Roast Australian Lamb Chop, Barley,
Sheep Ricotta Filled Filo
and Heirloom Tomato-Morrel Ragout 

(Michael Taus, Zealous)
Grant Burge ‘The Holy Trinity’, Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvèdre, Barossa Valley 1999

Fire Roasted Apricot and Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey Sorbet with Tamarind Broth 
(Michael Taus, Zealous)

Venezuelan Flourless Chocolate Cake with
Sweet Cream Ice Cream,
Macerated Cherries and Cocoa Granite 

(Charlie Trotter, Charlie Trotter’s)
Inniskillin Cabernet Franc Ice Wine VQA, Niagara Peninsula 2001

We wish to acknowledge the generous donations of Fiji Water, Mumm Champagne, Siduri Winery, Grant Burge, Judge & Dolph, Vin DiVino, European Imports, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Plitt Seafood, Chicago Brands and Inniskillin.


About The James Beard Foundation…

“Musicians have Carnegie Hall. Painters have the National Gallery. For chefs there’s The James Beard Foundation.”

The James Beard Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1986 by Julia Child and the late Peter Kump to keep alive the culinary philosophy, ideals, and practices that earned James Beard his reputation as “the dean of American cooking.” Teacher, television personality, food writer and author of more than 20 cookbooks (many still in print), James Beard championed good food and great chefs. He believed in the cuisine of America as much as he loved the cooking of France. By the time he passed away in 1985, he had taught thousands of people not only how to cook, but also how to appreciate good food, fine wine, and the pleasures of the table.

Located in Beard’s townhouse in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village, The James Beard Foundation offers chefs from around the world a place to perform. Insiders refer to it as New York’s best kept gastronomic secret.

Beloved by food aficionados who dine there regularly, and revered by chefs, winemakers, cookbook authors, and teachers, who greet an invitation to “perform” at the House with the same excitement a pitcher affords a call up to the major leagues, the Beard House is at the center of the food and wine world. No matter where you’re seated, you’re bound to find yourself chatting enthusiastically with new friends, tasting new foods, and sampling the work of both well-established and rising star chefs.

For additional information on the James Beard Foundation, please visit




Zealous Chef Scholarship Program

Started in 1999, the Zealous Chef Scholarship program has given over $32,000 to the Culinary Institute of America to give promising students a chance they may not have had to enter chef’s school and begin their culinary careers.


Culinary Dreams Come True at Zealous
Proceeds from holiday party benefit aspiring chefs with summer camp sessions at Kendall College

Zealous Chef/Owner Michael Taus held his second Holiday Wish Contest, which raised money to provide three underprivileged high school students a weekend of cooking at ZEALOUS, and a scholarship enabling them to attend summer camp at Chicago’s own bastion of culinary education, Kendall College.

The Holiday Wish Contest at ZEALOUS invited high school students to write an essay explaining why they want to be culinary “superstars.”   Chef Taus then chose the candidates who presented the most compelling account of why they want to work in a professional kitchen – maybe even their own some day. Along with help from Kendall College, Chef Taus selected three winners.  In addition to the culinary scholarship, the recipients received gifts from Sur La Table and a chef’s uniform from Chefwear.

The winners were honored at the Holiday Wish Celebration at ZEALOUS . The event showcased the prowess of Taus’ 3-½ star kitchen (Phil Vettel, Chicago Tribune) with a wide array of delectable canapés. Veuve Clicquot provided the champagne and wine. Funds raised benefited the three winners and their culinary dreams.

To those that joined us, we want to thank you for your participation in this very special event.


Zealous’ 11th Anniversary To Benefit
The Greater Illinois Chapter Of The Alzheimer’s Association

Chef/Owner Michael Taus celebrated 11 years and paid tribute to his grandfather.

In honor of his grandfather and the 11th anniversary of ZEALOUS restaurant, Chef/Owner Michael Taus joined forces with the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association to forward medical research and find a cure for this affliction. For one month, ZEALOUS offered a special five-course tasting menu. Ten percent of the proceeds went to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

Additionally, ZEALOUS offered a special “pay what you can” raffle throughout the month of August, all of whose proceeds went to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Patrons were asked to donate anything they wished for a chance to win one of two prizes: the grand prize was a “Chef for a Day” package at home with Chef Taus and dinner for six; the second Prize was a “Chef for a Day” package with Chef Taus at the restaurant with dinner for two.

Chef Taus’ experience with Alzheimer’s stems from seeing his grandfather and role model, Joe Taus, battle the disease for the past 3 years. Trying to understand the complexities of this illness – as well as the need for continuous medical research and special care – inspired Taus to promote the efforts of those trying to find a cure.

“It seems as though just about everyone has some sort of connection to Alzheimer’s disease, whether it is a friend or loved one who is suffering. My beloved grandfather, who just turned 93 years old in June, has succumbed to this disorder of the mind, but not without a fight. His enthusiasm for life has given me encouragement to pursue all of my goals. He has been my hero, a boundless energetic man with a twinkle in his eye, a dry sense of humor, great artistic ability, and one of the great cooks in our family,” said Taus.

“While his words sometimes drift during our visits, his message is always clear when I can reach him. ‘I am at the end of my journey and have no regrets,’ he says. ‘I did everything I wanted to do. Don’t worry about me. Just be healthy, happy and follow your dreams.’ Zealous’ 11th Anniversary is dedicated to my grandfather, Joe Taus, and his passion and zeal for life. Without his influence, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

The Alzheimer’s Association is the national voluntary health agency dedicated to researching the prevention, cure and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders and to providing support and assistance to patients, their families and caregivers. The Greater Illinois Chapter’s mission is to meet the needs of an ethnically and culturally diverse population by providing guidance and support for persons with dementia and their caregivers; educating and informing the community; advocating for improved public policy and promoting needed legislation; and supporting research into the cause(s), prevention, treatment and cure for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. The Alzheimer’s Association national office is located at 225 N. Michigan Ave., Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601. The nationwide contact center is open 24 hours a day and may be reached at (800) 272-3900.