After Chef Art Smith’s great aunt and grandmother died of Alzheimer’s and his mother began showing signs of the mind-robbing disease, he thought, “Art, here you have the capacity, you have the ability, to find the best” doctors and treatment. But the fame and wealth and connections he’d made as chef to the stars and to the most famous and influential people in the world didn’t make a lick of difference. He could not save his mother. But he is devoted to helping others avoid the pain he and his family endured. In the audio clip below, Chef Art tells WGN’s Steve Alexander how he is serving his famous fried chicken and other southern comfort food to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. Thursday, June first, at Reunion, the chef’s restaurant on Navy Pier, diners can do good while devouring some of his iconic dishes. Tickets are $100 each, with half of the proceeds going to the Illinois chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. The chef also shares the importance of food in remembering those who we’ve lost.