Gwyneth Paltrow was honoured at a prestigious gala in Chicago on Saturday night (15.06.13).

The 'Iron Man 3' actress, who recently released her second healthy eating cookbook, was thrilled to receive the annual Renaissance Award at the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute's (SAIC) gala.

Wearing a high-collared cream dress by Alexander McQueen, the 40-year-old Oscar-winner was joined by her actress pal Amanda De Cadenet at the event, titled 'A Summer Soirée with Gwyneth Paltrow,' at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, where she took to the stage to discuss her film choices as clips from some of her most notable performances were displaced on a big screen.

The 'Shakespeare in Love' star, who has two children, Apple, eight, and Moses, seven, with her rocker husband Chris Martin, also shared her artistic process and aspirations before being presented with her award by School of the Art Institute of Chicago President Dr. Walter E. Massey.

Director of the SAIC, Jean de St. Aubin previously said: ''It is a privilege to honour Ms. Paltrow, one of the most versatile actresses working today, with the Gene Siskel Film Centre's award.

''The diversity of characters she has portrayed on the screen, from the deft romance and comedy of 'Shakespeare in Love' and ''Sliding Doors,' to her heart-rending performances in 'Proof' and 'Contagion,' is truly impressive. Audiences have come to know Ms. Paltrow from the honesty and intelligence she exudes and we look forward to hearing about her inspirations and favourite memories when we celebrate her many accomplishments.''

Tickets to the event, beginning at $400, sold out well in advance and all proceeds benefited the film programming and educational initiatives of the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Previous honourees include Robert Downey Jr., Reese Witherspoon, Jamie Foxx, George Lucas, Nicole Kidman, John Woo, Michael Mann, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman.