Last weekend marked another successful, delicious, gluttonous weekend of Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet. A jam-packed, culinary all-star weekend in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Bursting with celebrity chef demos, wine and cocktail seminars, and, of course, my favorite part… tastings galore of amazing food, beer, wine and spirits. It’s a legitimate conversion of restaurants, wine purveyors, food pavilions and sweets for as far as the eye can see!
As I say, it’s the Lollapalooza of the food world. A 2-day festival dedicated to eating, imbibing and hobnobbing with chefs. Is this heaven? If not, it’s pretty damn close.
This past Chicago Gourmet marked my first full tour of all the events including Friday’s kick off, the Hamburger Hop showdown. This burger battle royale of local chefs answers the question, “where’s the beef?” and even serves it up on a pretzel bun. It was meaty magic.
My favorite burger was chef Doug Psaltis’ truffle burger from RPM Steak – TO DIEEEE! – while the burger crowned supreme by the judges panel was chef Dino Tsaknis’ porchetta burger from David Burke’s Primehouse. The Hop was the perfect omnivorous primer for the next two days to come at the fest.
Both days of the festival were filled with pure, unadulterated decadence. Everywhere you turned there was something new to try, sip, devour. The city turned out its best and brightest and spared no expense puttin’ on the ritz for its foodie friends. From bottles of Silver Oak cabernet, to platters overfloweth with charcuterie, the selection was glorious.
A few of my most treasured bites? Well, let me see. There was the fried chicken bites from Honey Butter Fried Chicken, the Oyster Po’ Boy from RL Chicago, the infused champagne portholes from Moet & Chandon, the pasta bolognese from Labriola’s new restaurant hall, La Stanza, the crispy “waffled” cheese from Four Corners Tavern Group and the coconut elotes from Rockit... just to name a few.
Actually, why don’t I just let the photos speak for themselves. Without further adieu, Chicago Gourmet…
If you’re anything like me, you’re looking at these pics thinking “I can NOT miss this next year.” And yes, you’d be right. After a full weekend of food and wine immersion, I came out thinking just how lucky we are to have such an awesome collaboration of food, wine, festivities and passion in our city. Le sigh. It was just beautiful.
Cheers to the bites, the beverages, and most importantly, the friends I experienced it with. What a wonderful weekend. See you there next year?