It is only fitting that Chritiques’ 100th post is about Chicago’s biggest and best annual food and wine event, Chicago Gourmet, presented by Bon Appétit.
Chicago Gourmet is a veritable culinary heaven which takes place over the course of three days every September. Things kick off Friday evening with Hamburger Hop®, a fun and tasty burger showdown, and the weekend continues with more than 150 of, not only the city’s, but also the country’s, best restaurants and chefs who gather in Millennium Park to sample their dishes for the hungry crowds on Saturday and Sunday.
They are joined by hundreds of renowned vitners, spirit makers, and premium breweries from around the world. Live cooking demonstrations, expert seminars, gourmet tastings, and book signings also take place.
The weather during this year’s Chicago Gourmet was absolutely perfect, and Chicago’s Millennium Park and city skyline were the perfect backdrop. Both days were completely sold out and long lines formed for some of the tastings, but everyone was in a festive and happy mood.
I began my day at the Grand Cru tent, which was hosted by Master Sommeliers and boutique wineries. Grand Cru is a separate ticket on top of general admission, but allows for the ultimate in culinary indulgence with elite wines from around the world, paired with decadent bites from James Beard award winning chefs from Chicago and the Midwest, including Jimmy Bannos, Jr., of The Purple Pig, Roland Liccioni of Les Nomades, Mindy Segal of HotChocolate, and Ryan McCaskey of Acadia.
I then visited all of the various tasting tents located throughout Millennium Park, which included pavilions dedicated to everything from seafood, to barbecue, to dessert, and to neighborhood restaurants. Each had unique themes and tasty bites.
Fun and creative cocktails were also available for sampling, in addition to the plethora of beer and wine that was flowing.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Chicago Gourmet and thought that it was a great success. The event was organized nicely, plenty of water and seating areas were available, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, as captured in this photo taken at the end of the day!
I plan to attend next year, once again, and include some of the seminars and workshops, in addition to the tastings, into my schedule of events. September 25-27, 2015 has already been marked in my calendar, and it should be in yours, as well!
I attended Chicago Gourmet with a Media Pass, but all opinions expressed herein are my own.