CHICAGO GOURMET 2015

As I mentioned in my very first post on CRAVING CHICAGO, there are two annual Chicago food events that you can’t miss – Cochon555 and Chicago Gourmet. Well, this past weekend, CHICAGO GOURMET set up shop in the gorgeous Millennium Park. It was, yet again, perfect weather for the event – how does that happen every year?!

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The sis and I attended on Sunday this year, and I’m glad we did. The weather was cooler than Saturday, and the crowds seemed smaller than what I saw from Saturday. So after prepping (sunscreen, sunglasses, crossover bag, empty tummies), we made our way to Millennium Park on the #4 bus. Yes, we live in the South Loop. Yes, we could’ve walked. I figured walking home would be best… some exercise post feasting. (Disclaimer: we didn’t walk home either lol.)

After picking up the passes, along with our wine glass for the day, the first stop is always to fill up that glass before wandering around. Before we even got to the main area, we stopped by the Bon Appetit section, and ran into the Bon Appetit team. They’re such nice and hospitable people, and it’s awesome to see them every year!

With Deputy Editor, Andrew Knowlton, and Chef de Cuisine, Mary Nolan

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Because we were starving, the first food booth we saw in the wine vendors’ aisle was Gaylord, and we quickly picked up some Chicken Tikka on Basmati Rice. It was delicious and a perfect start to the day. 

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Of course, there were many bites, so I’ll feature some highlights via photos.

American Airlines Pavilion #9: featuring Arami, City Winery, South Branch… plus a Stoli Mule.
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Some yummy cocktails from Hennessy #neverstopneversettle

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We also attended the ‘Bread & Butter’ seminar, hosted by Andrew Knowlton and moderated by Bon Appetit Senior Editor, Julia Kramer

It was super interesting to hear the panel of speakers (Ethan Pikas, Cellar Door Provisions; Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread; Dave Miller, Baker Miller; Jared Van Camp, Nellcôte) chat about the bread with such expertise and passion. They talked about the whole “gluten free” movement and where it stemmed from, and then went into why they choose to bake bread the way that they do.

We were served bread and butter from each restaurant/bakery – mostly 100% whole grain breads, some with sunflower seeds, some with cornmeal and potatoes. My favorite was probably the Baker Miller slice, where they’re using German bread baking techniques that produce a 100% whole wheat, dense, freshly milled loaf with a slightly tangy flavor.

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On the top right corner was a bread accompaniment from Greg Wade (PQB), and those rillettes were perfect.

The last bite was this gorgeous and delicious gold macaron from Baker Miller, in the AMEX booth.

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Needless to say, there was more food (hello, chorizo taco from Chipotle!), and more libations not pictured. In the Chicago mag booth, we got to take some awesome photos with props, and pick up current issues of their magazines.

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Huge thank you to the Isabelli media team who do a great job every single year! Here’s to Chicago Gourmet 2015… already excited about next year!

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