Last weekend concluded one of my most favorite and beloved events of the year, Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet. A full weekend of inventive eats, nectarous wines, evening events, chef demos, strolling in the sunshine, it truly doesn’t get better than this.
Like a Lollapalooza for foodies, it’s sensory overload in its finest form dedicated to nothing other than imbibing, devouring and cavorting amongst Chicago’s culinary finest.
If you have the gusto – and the appetite – to make it through the entire Chicago Gourmet weekend, you will surely have sank your teeth into some really amazing bites. I can attest firsthand there were plenty of oooohs, aaaahs and appreciative wide-eyes from this little foodie fan. From kicking off the event on Friday evening at the bold and beefy Hamburger Hop, to my last morsel on Sunday evening, there are always a nice handful of items that make a lasting impression. I’m dedicating this post to those… but first, just a little peek at all of the action.
Looks like a blast, right? Right! Such a good time is always had at Chicago Gourmet. Let’s not forget, however, it’s all about those awesome, bite-sized, tasty bites. Without further ado…
Pork Belly from Mexique | you know something is really phenomenal at Chicago Gourmet when you go back to have it TWICE. Such was the case with the succulent and tangy pork belly Carlos Gaytan laid out for the hungry masses.
Beef Salpicon Tostada from Latinicity | I’m kind of a sucker for anything with pickled onions, but beautifully braised beef a top a corn tostada with crumbly Mexican cheese is probably the best combo that pickled onions ever could find.
Chicken & Shrimp Dumpling from Saigon Sisters | perfectly prepared dumplings are really just soft, amazing presents for your mouth. If the dumpling is the gift wrapping, the fried shallots are obviously the bow.
Macaron Slider from Cafe des Architectes | macarons disguised as burgers? Oh, how darling! The playfulness of this bite luckily was matched equally with its precision. A slight crunch and moist soft interior on the macaron and delicate mousse filling made this a huge win.
Duck Mousse from Charlatan | this was an idyllic bite… with savory, sweet, rich and unctuous undertones it scratched all of the itches that can possibly exist atop a sliver of crostini.
Spätzle Knodel from The Berghoff | if an arancini and dumpling had a baby, this would be it. This rich and savory croquette with its fabulously tangy accompaniments made this a cheesy, decadent and satisfying bite.
Tuna Tataki from Kamehachi | lightly seared tuna on a pod of warm, crispy rice with punchy peppers and aioli? Yes, please. I’ll take three! Oh wait, I did.
Cheers to another Chicago Gourmet in the books! We came, we saw, we ate way too much of everything. If you didn’t make it out, I hope you’ve got your bookmark trigger finger handy — make sure you don’t miss this banner event next year!