Tag Archives: Festival

Chicago Gourmet 2011 is Almost Here

21 Sep

If you’re in Chicago this weekend and you’re a food and wine lover, then chances are you’re heading to the annual Chicago Gourmet Festival. With an amazing lineup of chefs, sommeliers, restaurants and participants, this will be the most delicious place in the city this weekend. Take a look at who’s going to be there. I will be attending Sunday and reporting a full recap. Tickets are still available!

2011 chefs

Ted Allen, Robert Mondavi Food and Wine Ambassador
Rodelio Aglibot
, The Food Buddha
Michael Altenberg, Bistro Campagne
Luis Arturo “Artie” Aucaquizhpi, Gene & Georgetti
Jerome Bacle, Courtright’s Restaurant
Ariel Bagadiong, Aja at the dana hotel and spa
Jimmy Bannos, Heaven On Seven and The Purple Pig
Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig
Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill/Topolobampo/XOCO
Jonathan Beatty, Davanti Enoteca
Greg Biggers, Café des Architectes at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Brian Binzer, Zapatista Lincoln Park
David Blonsky, Bull & Bear/ Public House
Viraj Borkar, Vermilion
Francis Brennan, L2O
George Bumbaris, Prairie Grass Café/ Prairie Fire
Cyril Calmet, The Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago
Niall Campbell, Firefly Grill
Evandro Caregnato, Texas de Brazil
John Coletta, Quartino
Federico Comacchio, Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush
Steve Coppolillo, Rosebud Steakhouse
Abel Cortes, e.leaven Food Company
Chris Curren, Blue 13 Restaurant & Bar
Jesse DeGuzman, Sunda New Asian
John des Rosiers, Inovasi
Stephen Dunne, Paramount
Kendal Duque, The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant
Graham Elliot and Brian Runge, graham elliot/Grahamwich
Greg Elliot, Lockwood at the Palmer House Hilton
Patrick Fahy, Café des Architects at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Christian Fantoni, Filini Bar and Restaurant
Joseph Farina, Salatino’s Restaurant
Dirk Flanigan, Henri/ The Gage
John Folse, Restaurant R’evolution
Mark Freedman, Myron & Phil Steakhouse
Jo-Marie Frigo, Nonna Santi’s Biscotti
Dirk and Terry Fucik, Dirk’s Fish and Gourmet Shop
Meg Galus, NoMI Kitchen
Gale Gand, Tru
Luigi Garcia, RIVA Restaurant
John Gatsos, Tavern on Rush
Carlos Gaytan, Mexique
James Gottwald, Rockit Bar & Grill
Elvia Granados, Francesca’s Restaurant
Rick Gresh, David Burke’s Primehouse
Tim Griffin, N9NE Steakhouse
Mark Grosz, Oceanique
Jeffrey Hedin, Leopold
Thomas Heinrich, Stetson’s Chop House & Bar at the Hyatt Regency Chicago
Perry Hendrix, Custom House
Roger Herring, Socca and Redd Herring Food & Wine
Kevin Hickey, Four Seasons Hotel
John Hogan, Keefer’s Restaurant/ Tavern at the Park
Sandra Holl, Floriole Bakery & Café
Trevor Hoyte, IPO
Tony Hu, Lao Szechuan
Dan Huebschmann, Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House
Jun Ichikawa, Japonais Restaurant/ Mirai Sushi
Stephanie Izard, The Girl & The Goat
Noel Jaramillo, Bacardi at the Park
Stefan Karlsson, Fond Restaurant
Paul Katz, Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group
Ryan Kikkert, Jake Melnick’s
Beverly Kim Clark, aria Restaurant and Bar at the Fairmont Chicago
Diane Kochilas, AVLI Estiatorio
Michael Kornick, MK The Restaurant
Sarah Kosikowski, Sixteen
Eddie Lakin, Edzo’s Burger Shop
Mariano Lanfranconi, 5411 Empanadas
Gilbert Langlois, Chalkboard
Ryan LaRoche, NoMI Kitchen
Chan Le, Le Colonial
Kai Lermen, The Peninsula Chicago
Aaron Lirette, Duchamp
Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia
Anthony Martin, Tru
Justin Martin, Uncommon Ground
Shawn McClain, Green Zebra/ Sage Restaurant
Michael McDonald, one sixtyblue
Charlie McKenna, Lillie’s Q
John McLean, Sono Wood Fired Pizzeria
Mary Sue Milliken, Border Grill Restaurants
Cory Morris, Mercat a la Planxa
Jason Mousseau, HEARTY
Carrie Nahabedian, NAHA
Fernando Navas, SUSHISAMBA rio
Tommy Nevill, III Forks
Martial Noguier, bistronomic
Mary Nolan, Bon Appétit
Jessica Oloroso, Black Dog Gelato
Terry Opalek and Michael Frontier, Terry’s Toffee
Dan Pancake, Autre Monde Café
Chris Pandel, The Bristol
Beth Partridge, Autre Monde Café
Mark Payne, deca RESTAURANT + BAR
Nicole Pederson, C-House
Justin Perdue, LM Restaurant
Ryan Pitts, RL Restaurant
Celine Plano, The Peninsula Chicago
Ryan Poli, Tavernita
Tony Priolo, Piccolo Sogno
Patrick Quakenbush, ZED451
Joe Rosetti, Market Bar
Patty Rothman, MORE
Arun Sampanthavivat, Arun’s
Patricio Sandoval, Mercadito
Mario Santiago, May St. Cafe & Catering
Anthony Schmidt, Pierrot Gourmet at The Peninsula Chicago
Brian Schoenbeck, Stetson’s Chop House & Bar at the Hyatt Regency Chicago
Kevin Schulz, Fulton’s on the River/Bridge Bar
Nathan Sears, Vie
Alex Shalev, Park Grill Chicago
Patrick Sheerin, The Signature Room at the 95th
Bruce Sherman, North Pond Restaurant
Michael Shrader, Epic
Brian Shustrick, HEARTY
Larry Sinclair, Cantina Laredo
Mark Sparacino, Prosecco
Chris Spear, Uncommon Ground
Jeff Starr, Build A Better Burger
Sarah Stegner, Pairie Grass Café/ Prairie Fire
Kristine Subido, WAVE
Michael Taus, ZEALOUS Restaurant
Giuseppe Tentori, Boka Restaurant
Shin Thompson, Bonsoiree
Rick Tramonto, Restaurant R’evolution/ Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood/ RT Sushi Bar & Lounge
Melissa Trimmer, C-House
Jared Van Camp, Old Town Social
Paul Virant, Perennial Virant
Randy Waidner, Gibsons Restaurant Group
Scott Walton, Markethouse Restaurant and Bar
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto
Jared Wentworth, Longman and Eagle
Matthew Wilde, Moonshine
Erick Williams, MK The Restaurant
Keith Willis, SugarToad Restaurant at the Hotel Arista
Shelley Young, The Chopping Block
Ivan Yuen, Shanghai Terrace at The Peninsula Chicago
Celeste Zeccola, Bittersweet Pastry Shop & Café
Bob Zrenner, Hubbard Inn
Randy Zweiban, Province

2011 master

Serafin Alvarado, Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois
Jay Fletcher, Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado
Eric Hemer, Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida
Alpana Singh, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
Joseph Spellman, JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery

2011 speakers

Bridget Albert, Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois
Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig
Xavier Barlier, Maisons Marques & Domaines
Bobby Gleason, BEAM INC.
Lynn House, Blackbird
Charles Joly, The Drawing Room
Stefan Karlsson, Fond Restaurant
Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appétit
John Legnard, Blue Moon Brewing Co.
Rob and Allie Levitt, The Butcher and  Larder
Tony and Cathy Mantuano, Spiaggia
Paul Mugnier, Premium Port Wines
Ira Norof, CWE, Southern Wine & Spirits of California
Adam Rapoport, Bon Appétit
Peter Scott, Premium Port Wines
Erling Wu-Bower, The Publican
Donald Ziraldo, TWG/Equifera Icewine

2011 emcees

David Blackmon, CPS
Lin Brehmer, Radio Personality, WXRT Chicago
Joe Campagna, ChicagoNow.com
Jason Carlen, Spiaggia
Catherine DeOrio, Culinary Curator
Steve Dolinsky, ABC 7
Shebnem Ince, Henri/The Gage
Chris Koetke, Kendall College
Kiki Luthringshausen, Beauty and Her Feast
Amanda Puck, The Foodarazzi
Adam RapoportBon Appétit
LeeAnn Trotter, NBC 5



Chicago Gourmet Roundup

27 Sep


Chicago Gourmet

Photo credit: Chicagoist

As much as I was looking forward to attending and reporting on this year’s Chicago Gourmet festival, a few things with family popped up this weekend and I wasn’t able to make it to Millenium Park. One of those times when life gets in the way of plans.

But it’s okay, I made up for it by drinking delicious wine at home and making an outstanding butternut squash and sweet potato bisque risotto (recipe coming soon). But, here’s a roundup from other site’s coverage of Chicago Gourmet.

Cheers to what sounds like a good event (despite long lines) and looking forward to watching this event continue to grow.

Grub Street Chicago:

“…it was hard to discount the incredible number of big name chefs that made it out to this year’s Chicago Gourmet. That included home town chefs like Rick Bayless, Stephanie Izard, and Graham Elliot along with food personalities like Art Smith, Ted Allen, and even Marcus Samuelsson. All told, there were over a hundred chefs on the premises, not counting the sous chefs and the many culinary students that helped staff the event.”


“…With the addition of Bon Appétit magazine as presenting sponsor, the increase in the number of larger sponsor branded tents was obvious. The difference is that this year’s festival had so many tents shoehorned into Pritzker Pavilion, there was little room for walkways or ways to make the queues more manageable.”


“With the addition of Bon Appétit magazine as presenting sponsor, the increase in the number of larger sponsor branded tents was obvious. The difference is that this year’s festival had so many tents shoehorned into Pritzker Pavilion, there was little room for walkways or ways to make the queues more manageable.”


Lazy Cook Crazy Cook

“…There were dozens of pavilion tents of food and wine tastings and there were also food demonstrations, book signings and seminars by noted chefs and foodies including Bon Appetit magazine’s Andrew Knowlton and Barbara Fairchild, Cat Cora, Table 52′s Art Smith, Marcus Samuelsson, Tony Mantuano and many more.  We attended one food demo by Sunda’s Rodelio Aglibot and Todd Stein, formerly of Cibo Matto and now of the soon-to-open The Florentine. “


South Beach Wine and Food Festival Blog

“After a successful judging of the Hamptons Burger Bloodbath this summer, I decided to take my hamburger judging skills to Chicago for the Hamburger Hop competition. 15 different entrants from all over the country competed for the title.”

Chicago Gourmet: Everything you ever wanted to know…

20 Sep
Chicago Gourmet

Chicago Gourmet

With Chicago Gourmet less than a week away, I thought I’d share some information about this amazing festival, going on its third year in Chicago.

Chicago Gourmet is a premier epicurean experience aimed at promoting Chicago’s impressive culinary community. It was created by the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) to celebrate and honor both Chicago’s culinary achievements and the creative vision of the chefs, Master Sommeliers and wine and spirit makers who are participating. It also highlights Chicago as an international culinary destination via its unparalleled epicurean talent. ‐day event, presented this year by title sponsor Bon Appétit, will offer attendees the opportunity to sample hundreds of wines, beers, spirits and culinary creations; attend celebrity chef demos and booksignings, educational seminars and tastings conducted by Master Sommeliers and wine, beer, and spirit makers; and learn about today’s most interesting epicurean trends firsthand from the culinary innovators who are creating them in Chicago and nationwide.


Q. When will Chicago Gourmet take place?


A. On Friday, September 24, from 6 to 9 p.m., Chicago Gourmet will kick off the weekend with a cooking competition – featuring 15 of the city’s top chefs – to find the best burger in Chicago. Hosted by


On Saturday, Chicago Gourmet will run from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. On Sunday, the event will begin again at 12 p.m. and close to the public at 5 p.m.


Chicago Gourmet will take place Friday, September 24, through Sunday, September 26, 2010. Bon Appétit Executive Chef Cat Cora and Chef Art Smith, and presented by Allen Brothers Steaks and MillerCoors’ Blue Moon, this lively, interactive event will take place at the Harris Theatre’s Rooftop Terrace in Millennium Park. The event is open to the public and entry is $75 per person. Tickets may be purchased at http://www.ChicagoGourmet.org.

Q. Where is Chicago Gourmet being held?


A. Chicago Gourmet will be held on the grounds of Millennium Park. General admission to Chicago Gourmet includes full access to the festival area, including live cooking demonstrations presented on two stages at 30 minute intervals, premium wine and spirits tastings and seminars on epicurean trends.


Q. How much does it cost to attend Chicago Gourmet?


A.  A oneday ticket for either Saturday, September 25, or Sunday, September 26, costs $150.  A weekend pass, good for admission to both days of the festival, costs $250.


Q. What is the Grand Cru and how much does it cost?


A.  2 to 3:30 p.m. each day, will offer attendees tastings of the finest wines in the world, as selected by our Master Sommeliers. During these exclusive 90


The ultimate Chicago Gourmet wine experience, the Grand Cru Tastings, which take place from minute events, the Master Sommeliers will be on hand to present and discuss their selections. The Grand Cru is a separate ticketed event that costs $175/person and requires a general admission ticket. Attendance is limited to 200 people per day.

Q. Where can I purchase tickets for Chicago Gourmet?


A. For uptodate information about Chicago Gourmet, and to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.ChicagoGourmet.org.


Q. What’s new for Chicago Gourmet in 2010?


A. The The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade will bring to Chicago Gourmet a Fancy Food Show consumer retail event. The Fancy Food Show Pavilion will feature 60+ specialty food and beverage purveyors that will showcase and sample their products in the sprawling South Promenade Tent.


This year, the event will feature two new attractions: the Bon Appetit Marketplace Tent and the Fancy Food Show Pavilion. Bon Appétit Marketplace Tent will offer guests the opportunity to meet and mingle with the magazine’s top editors and Executive Chef Cat Cora while enjoying sips, bites, and special promotions from our favorite brands.

Q. Who are the participating chefs for 2010?

  Rodelio Aglibot, Sunda New Asian

  Ted Allen, Food and Wine Ambassador for Robert Mondavi

  Jerome Bacle, Courtright’s Restaurant

  Jimmy Bannos, Heaven on Seven

  Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig

  Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, XOCO

  Carlyn Berghoff, Berghoff Catering & Restaurant Group

  Graham Elliot Bowles, graham elliot

  Frank Brunacci, Sixteen

  George Bumbaris and Sarah Stegner, Prairie Grass Café, Prairie Fire

  Niall Campbell, Firefly Grill

  Gregory Carso, The Metropolitan Club

  Michael Cisternino, Tavern at the Park

  John Coletta, Quartino

  Federico Comacchio, Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush

  Judy Contino, Bittersweet Pastry Shop

  Cat Cora, Bon Appétit

  Chris Curren, Blue 13

  Christophe David, NOMI

  Radhika Desai, English

  Stephen Dunne, The Paramount Room

  Dirk Flanigan, The Gage/Henri

  JoMarie Frigo, Nonna Santiʹs Biscotti

  Klaus Fritsch, Morton’s The Steakhouse

  Terry Opalek and Michael Frontier, Terryʹs Toffee

  Dirk & Terry Fucik, Dirkʹs Fish & Gourmet Shop

  Gale Gand, Tru

  Jose Garces, Mercat a la Planxa

  Luigi Garcia, RIVA at Navy Pier

  John Gatsos, Tavern on Rush

  Carlos Gaytan, Mexique

  James Gottwald, Rockit Bar & Grill

  Elvia Granados, Francescaʹs Restaurants

  Laurent Gras, L2O

  Koren Grieveson, Avec

  Mark Grosz, Oceanique Restaurant

  Kevin Hickey, Seasons, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

  John Hogan, Keeferʹs Restaurant

  Sandra Holl, Floriole Bakery & Café

  Tony Hu, Lao Szechuan

  Brian Huston, The Publican

  Stephanie Izard, Girl & The Goat

  Randal Jacobs, Elate

  Paul Kahan and Michael Sheerin, Blackbird

  Gene Kato, Japonais Restaurant

  Paul Katz, Harry Carayʹs Italian Steakhouse

  Bill Kim, Belly Shack, Urban Belly

  Diane Kochilas, Avli Restaurant, Pylos Restaurant

  Eddie Lakin, Edzo’s Burger Shop

  Mariano Lanfranconi, 5411 Empanadas

  Bernie Laskowski. Park Grill

  Chan Le, Le Colonial

  Dale Levitski, Sprout

  Joshua Linton, Aja

  John Manion, Branch 27

  Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia

  Shawn McClain, Spring, Green Zebra

  Michael McDonald, one sixtyblue

  Jason McLeod, Balsan at the Elysian Hotel

  Nathaniel Meads, Fritz Pastry

  Mario Navarro, Gene & Georgetti

  Martial Noguier, Café des Architectes

  Chris Nugent, Les Nomades

  Chris Pandel, The Bristol

  Nicole Pederson, CHouse

  Ryan Poli, Perennial Restaurant

  Tony Priolo, Piccolo Sogno

  Thierry Rautureau, Rover’s

  Toni Roberts, CHouse Restaurant

  Alain Roby, Hyatt Regency Chicago

  Arun Sampanthavivat, Arunʹs Thai Restaurant

  Marcus Samuelsson, CHouse, Red Rooster

  Patricio Sandoval, Mercadito Restaurants

  Mario Santiago, May St. Café & Catering

  Mindy Segal, Hot Chocolate

  Carol Wallack and Alex Shalev, Sola Restaurant

  Patrick Sheerin, The Signature Room at the 95th

  Jackie Shen, Red Light

  Bruce Sherman, North Pond Restaurant

  Michael Shrader, N9NE Steakhouse

  Kerry Simon, Simon at Palms Place, Simon LA

  Art Smith, Table FiftyTwo

  Mark Sparacino, Prosecco

  Chad Starling, aria

  Todd Stein, cibo matto

  Giuseppe Tentori, Boka Restaurant

  Jacques Torres, Jacques Torres Chocolate

  Rick Tramonto, Tramonto’s Steak & Seafood, RT Sushi Bar & Lounge

  Jared Van Camp, Old Town Social

  Paul Virant, Vie

  Randy Waidner, Gibsons Restaurant Group

  Stephen Wambach, EPIC

  Michael Wisner, Zapatista

  Takashi Yagihashi, Takashi

  Shelley Young, Chopping Block

  Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia

  Randy Zweiban, Province


Q. Who are the participating wine, spirit, and beer experts?


A. Master Sommeliers participating in Chicago Gourmet 2010 include:

  1. Serafin Alvarado,

Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois

  1. Fred Dame,

Heirloom Wine Group

  1. Doug Krenik,

Loosen Bros. USA

  1. Geoff Kruth,

Guild of Sommeliers

  1. Alpana Singh,

Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

There will also be a wide variety of mixologists, winemakers, master brewers and master distillers taking part in Chicago Gourmet, as well as in the Dine Around program.


Q. What is the Dine Around?


A. The Bon Appétit and Chicago Gourmet Dine Around extends Chicago Gourmet beyond Millennium Park into the city’s best restaurants. From August 30 through September 26, dine in five participating restaurants, save your receipts, and redeem them for a complimentary oneday Chicago Gourmet ticket at registration. Enjoy the special prixfixe meal or simply dine from the regular menu; either receipt is valid toward the free ticket. For complete offer details visit ChicagoGourmet.org.