Tag Archives: Gourmet

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.


Southern BBQ Chicago Style

17 May

As a fan of southern style BBQ, I’m eager to check out Chef Cary Taylor’s summer menu at Wicker Park’s latest and greatest (and former Chez Lounge), The Southern. According to the Restaurant Intelegance Agency, The Southern’s getting into the warm-weather spirit with barbecue and raw oysters.

A Fried Chicken Dinner from The Southern

With BBQ season upon us (who doesn’t mind grilling in their jackets?)- The Southern is offering more elaborate and gourmet barbecue options. From the RIA:

Taylor’s fancy barbecue is so named for its innovative apricot-mustard barbecue sauce and accompanying local ingredients. Pork shoulder is the barbecued meat of choice, slathered in the sauce and served over Spence Farm wheat berries and Bare Knuckle Farm grilled ramps.

Oysters on the half shell are a refreshing counterpoint. Taylor is currently featuring oysters from the Virginia coast, which he serves with a Southern-style garnish of pepper jelly made with bell peppers and jalapeños. As the chef explains, pepper jelly is a traditional condiment in the South, and he likes it with oysters for its combination of spicy and sweet. Crushed saltines add a bit of crunch.

In addition to the barbecue fare at The Southern, delicious cocktails are a plenty, from their bacon-Bourbon Bloody Marys to the Magnolia punch bowl featuring Champagne, Grand Marnier and OJ. The menu and cocktail list looks promising,we’re eager to head over and check it out.