CHICAGO GOURMET 2017

My favorite food event, Chicago Gourmet, was held in Millennium Park last weekend and it was the 10yr Anniversary! HUGE congrats to the IMR and Bon Appetit magazine teams for putting on an amazing event in this gorgeous city.

This year, I went on both Saturday and Sunday – it was aggressive, and I’m not quite sure I was ready for it, but that didn’t stop me. It was also 90F both days, so I slathered on the SPF70, dressed in the easiest, breeziest outfits I could think of, and still ended the weekend with a new lovely tan.

We ate so many great things, and had our fill of amazing wines and spirits. My favorite thing about the event, though, is just the vibe. Everyone who attends not only appreciates great food and wine, but seems to truly enjoy each other’s company. I don’t mean within each group of friends; I mean as a whole. The entire event is just awesome. It’s a great time, with great people.

 [ DAY ONE: SATURDAY ]

On Saturday, we started our day with an awesome seminar on agave, emceed by Andrew Knowlton. I’ll do a separate post on this because I learned quite a bit from it, and have a few nuggets to share with you.

Before I share some photo highlights of the day, let’s talk about the favorite dish and favorite sip of the day.

FAVORITE BITE: LOBSTER FRITO PIE by US FOODS

Please look at this photo again. HUGE pieces of lobster claw meat, fritos, lobster bisque drizzled over it all. Let me preface my opinions on this dish by saying that this was the LAST thing I ate on Saturday. That said, I had eaten so much beforehand and was already in a food coma. However, upon seeing this, who could pass it up. And I’m so glad that I didn’t! This was our favorite dish of the day (possibly the weekend), and it wasn’t even from a restaurant – it was from the US Foods booth! Well done, guys! And just so they know – us girls are having a dinner party to replicate this dish. So delicious.

FAVORITE SIP: CHANDON SPARKLING RED

While hiding in the shade at the Chandon booth, one of the guys working at the booth came around and asked if we’d tried the sparkling red yet. We had not, and quickly presented him with our empty wine glasses for a pour to taste. Wow! I don’t think I’ve had many (any?) sparkling reds before, but this was a pleasant surprise. I immediately made a note of it on my phone and checked out where to find it after. It’s a $30 bottle and I’m definitely going to get one soon.

Our friends at the ZIYAD booth did an amazing job as well! I’m sure you’ve seen their products on the shelves at your local grocery store, but the dishes they came up with using those products were so delicious. My favorite was the fig!

ZIYAD’s dishes for the day
Delicious fig dish from ZIYAD

We did the full 6hrs of Saturday’s session and left with happy, full tummies. Thanks to this group for an awesome day together!

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[DAY TWO: SUNDAY]

Sunday was another scorcher, and I knew we’d end up spending lots of time in the beer tent for shade and refreshing cold beers. It wasn’t too busy when we arrived at 12:45pm (I missed the rose seminar), so we hopped in line for some food right away. While waiting in line, an angel appeared with cold Jell-O shots. YES, PLEASE.

I then got a my glass of the day filled with some chilled rose to sip on while we waited. We made our photo stops again (shout out to the CS/Modern Luxury booth that always puts on a fun photo experience), and generally ended up drinking more on Day 2. 🙂

We ran into lots of good friends during the day, which may be the best part of the weekend. ❤

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FAVORITE BITE: RUMCHATA TRES LECHES CAKE FROM BLUE AGAVE

I LOVE tres leches cake, and I LOVE Rumchata. The two together was DIVINE. I want this for my next birthday cake (or any occasion cake).

FAVORITE SIP: FANCY PETE AT DEEP EDDY VODKA

Our friend, Peter, was serving up an amazing FANCY PETE cocktail at the DEEP EDDY VODKA booth. Not only was it a great concoction for the heat, but he even made some of the ingredients in his home, with herbs from his garden! How’s that for dedication.

Last stop of the day was the Mexico booth for tres tacos. Each was delicious, but the pork in the center was our favorite.

Before I close this out with a myriad of awesome photos, I’d like to thank my good friends at MOET HENNESSY CHICAGO for the passes – we truly appreciate it and made the best of it! 🙂

 

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