Yes, here I go talking about it…again. Recently, I was lucky enough to attend the sixth annual Chicago Gourmet presented by Bon Appétit — a huge, gluttonous food and wine event. For those from Chicago, it’s like the Taste of Chicago, except much fancier and well, just better. Okay, it’s nothing like the Taste except that food is served. It’s more like a huge wine festival, but with great food.
This year, there were 12,456 attendees. Folks either laid out the cash (about $150/day) or scored a press pass (like moi) or were a friend of a restaurant or participating sponsor.
The two-day Chicago Gourmet welcomes hundreds of renowned chefs, wine makers and brew masters from around the world. Some of the chefs you may have heard of: Hubert Keller. Hugh Acheson. Sara Moulton. Gale Gand. Art Smith. Graham Elliot. Lorena Garcia. Takashi Yagihashi. Tony Mantuano. Homaro Cantu.
There were seminars and cooking competitions which I planned to attend, but never got around to because there was just too much food and wine to try.
And if all this fancy-pants foodie-food wasn’t enough, there was an even more exclusive event within this exclusive event: the Grand Cru. This ultimate wine experience, held under a tent on the Harris Theater Rooftop, offered 400 attendees each day the opportunity to taste some of the finest wines in the world, which were selected by the event’s internationally recognized MasterSommeliers.
Plus, even more food to try from internationally renowned chefs from here in Chicago and around the globe. It was a very hot fall day in Chicago and I haven’t seen that may Ray Ban sunglasses at once since I attended the Carolina Cup horse race!
It was wonderful, but also crazy-exhausting. I was on my feet walking around all day eating and drinking what I could and also trying to take photos and look for future stories. Some lines weren’t bad, but others deterred me like the decadent dessert pavilion — probably for the best. For as much as I like food, I loathe crowds, so when I was done, I was done. Until next time.