Fall technically started on the 23rd, but I think that Chicago’s fall starts after Chicago Gourmet, partially because the weather at Chicago Gourmet has been excellent in recent years. I was curious to see how this long established food festival put on by Bon Appetit would fare now that some new competition has invaded the scene, but ChiGourmet 2015 was as big and well attended as always. Chicago Gourmet specializes in presenting food demonstrations from elite chefs, wine tastings, and small bites from dozens of Chicago’s best restaurants. The weekend kicked off on Friday with the Hamburger Hop (something I have yet to attend, but have heard the best things about), and continues on Saturday and Sunday with the main event.
I returned from Kansas City in time to attend Chicago Gourmet on Sunday, where I ate and drank my way through the afternoon. Here is a list of the highlights:
When I asked my friend Samantha (aka Chicago Food Authority) what I needed to try, her instant response was the “waffle cheese” at the Four Corners Tavern Group booth. The bar group was indeed placing cheese on a waffle iron and toasting it until crisp. Yes, please. The deviled eggs with thick cut crispy bacon were equally wonderful.
Stan’s Doughnuts was scooping a Belgian ice cream with bits of doughnut. I definitely appreciated the combination of two of my favorite foods.
Labriola had homemade pasta in a ragu with a bit of Parmesan. I love simple, but well-executed, dishes like this, and I need to dine at their restaurant ASAP!
The beer tent has always been one of my favorite parts of Chicago Gourmet. It has live music and a more casual vibe – plus you can get full glasses of beer. I grabbed a Lagunitas Pils and headed over to Fat Rice where they were serving a pork belly pineapple stir fry and peri peri chicken. Word on the street was that Fat Rice was serving something different every hour.
The Rockit Ranch tent had no line and a refreshing mulled strawberry and vodka cocktail.
The Duck Inn was serving up Chicago style duck hot dogs that were almost too pretty to eat.
Tavern on Rush had pork tacos with pineapple and I loved the flavor.
Tesori prepared a seafood salad – it was fun that they served seafood even though they were in the Italian Pavilion and not the Seafood Pavilion.
Another highlight of the day was seeing so many of my foodie friends. And I finally, finally, got to meet Daniel from This is My Take! He is a WCBC member and someone I communicate with frequently via social media, but it took us over a year to meet in person!
Did you attend Chicago Gourmet this year? What was your favorite thing?