On a glorious fall day, Millennium Park was filled with Chicagoans celebrating the city’s diverse, decadent and delicious food available in the culinary scene at Chicago Gourmet. On September 28 and 29, the best and brightest chefs served favorite dishes and some new options to the foodies in attendance at Chicago Gourmet 2014. From bold, smokey barbecue to delicately balance fish dishes, the afternoon lived up to the description of culinary heaven.
In its seventh year, Chicago Gourmet is a food and wine event that showcases culinary talent. From the numerous tasting pavilions to the chef demos, attendees have a plethora of food adventures throughout the day.
Saturday’s event of Chicago Gourmet started with a Mexican inspired chef demo by Chef Rick Bayless and Chef Carlos Gaytan. These two masters of Mexican cuisine had the audience captivated by the flavors and techniques presented throughout the demo.
Since watching chefs cook can many everyone hungry, the tasting pavilions offered the delicious morsels that attendees craved. New to the tasting pavilions this year was a barbecue option. The barbecue pavilion with offerings from Chicago Q and others had some of the longest lines of the day. The wait was definitely worth the smokey, southern influenced barbecue dishes. Luckily, there were plenty of wet naps at the end of the line to clean up after licking your fingers.
Other highlights of the Saturday included the offerings at the Mariano’s Pavilion, who showcased dishes from Patrick Sherrin of Trencherman, Jared Van Camp of Old Town Social, Nellcote and Martial Noguier of Bistronomic. The Seafood Pavilion always satisfies with options from Jellyfish, III Forks and The Gage. As the day continued, the lines for the dessert pavilion grew with guests seeking donuts from Glazed and Infused and other sweet treats.
For guests who splurged for the Grand Cru ticket, they were treated to dishes by James Beard award winning chefs. A must stop was Chef Stephanie Izard’s station. While her goat empanadas were amazing, the most fun was the conversations that she had with many guests. The smiles, interaction and even a few photos made for a memorable moment. Dishes by Jimmy Bannos, Jr, Andrew Zimmerman and Bruce Sherman made for a perfect accompaniment to these higher end wines and spirits.
Now that Chicago Gourmet 2014 has taken its bow, it is time to plan ahead for the next trip to culinary heaven. Mark your calendars for September 25-27, 2015 when Chicago Gourmet seeks to outshine itself yet again.