One of the best times to visit Chicago is during the fall when all 24 acres of Millennium Park is transformed into culinary heaven, featuring more than 150 of Chicago’s greatest restaurants and chefs, including hundreds of spirit makers and premium breweries globally for the seventh annual Chicago Gourmet. Presented by Bon Appétit Magazine, the two day food festival is necessary for all dedicated foodies and people that love a cocktail, or two. The Park’s Great Lawn is transformed with chefs cooking and presenting their beautiful mini-plates, presenting live cooking demos and seminars on different stages allocated throughout the park.
My only regret from that weekend was not being able to annihilate everything due to the fact that I only had an one-day media pass for Sunday, September 26th. Nonetheless, I still had a great time tasting everything, but the biggest perk of this pass was that it gave me an all-access to attend the Grand Cru event, located on the Harris Theater Rooftop.
While just about everything I had was delicious, there were some remarkable moments. Here are my top highlights at my first Chicago Gourmet:
The Grand Cru
Hosted by James Beard Chefs, including Mindy Segal of Hot Chocolate, Ryan McCaskey of Acadia, Paul Virant of Perennial Virant, Perry Hendrix of Blackbird, master sommeliers and boutique wineries, this event is an additional $199 cost on top of the $170 entrance fee.
The Dom Pérignon Brut Champagne, 2004 from Estates and Wines at The Grand Cru
Who doesn’t love some Dom Pérignon? Anyone that knows me knows I am a huge champagne, excuse me, champs fan. There’s something sexy about vintage and if you know anything about DP, they are vintage champagnes, meaning they are not made in weak years.
The Food at The Grand Cru
The small plates were little dishes but they were every bit as intricate and flavorful versus a full plate. I couldn’t get enough of Mindy Segal’s roasted apple ice cream aka “taffy apple.”
The Food at The Chicago Gourmet
The “Ramen for the Home Chef” Live Cooking Demo
I got to watch the two of the best ramen experts, Chefs Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice and Takashi Yagihashi of Takashi/Slurping Turtle dual it out and showcase how they prepare everyone’s favorite noodles.
Thanks Chicago Gourmet for an amazing experience. Can’t wait for 2015!
* I received a complimentary ticket in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own.