Chicago Gourmet 2013 | chicago foodie girl


Chicago Gourmet 2013

The sixth annual Chicago Gourmet festival, aka the culinary event of the year (and the festival I had been eagerly anticipating since purchasing the tickets last November, i.e. EONS ago!), took place in Millennium Park the last weekend of September. There were 175 Chicago-area chefs, more than 100 wine and spirit producers, and just over 12,000 attendees. Yes, you read that right. A little over twelve thousand foodies made their way down to the coolest park in the city in order to rub elbows with celebrity chefs, stuff themselves with gourmet food, and drink themselves into a stupor (really, considering the amount of delicious drinks flowing through the festival, it was impossible *not* to!). 

This was my first year at Chicago Gourmet and it is now officially my new favorite festival. It had almost everything I love about a good food event: an all-exclusive ticket price, tasting portions (large portions = less room to try more food), a wide variety of fun/unique food offerings, outdoor day drinking, the opportunity to actually chat with chefs, entertaining cooking demos & panel discussions, and a well-organized layout & schedule (take note, Taste of Chicago!). The only thing missing was food trucks, but I'd say my sweet encounter with Graham Elliot more than made up for the lack of trucks. ;-)

Here's a bit of what we did/ate/drank during our whirlwind five hours of fabulous foodie fun...

 Moroccan inspired chicken & squash from Target

 Cold duck and orange salad on a crostini from Market Bar

Absolut Chicago! Coolest bottle ever.

We spent quite a bit of time in the Absolute tent. There were some really fantastic drinks - Diana and I both agreed that the Key Party Punch was our favorite (The Professor and Mary Ann wasn't far behind). We may have gone back for seconds (or even thirds). ;-)

Chef Hubert Keller: yes, he is totally adorable in person!

Polish Zephyr from Belvedere Vodka: grapefruit juice, almond syrup, lemon juice, tonic & Belvedere

Pork belly with peanut butter sauce

Lobster ceviche

Carrot cake pops

Raspberry Peach Cocktail from Grand MarnierGM Raspberry Peach, lemon juice & ginger zest

Roasted pork belly with watermelon & eel sauce from Saigon Sisters (my top food pick of the entire day!)

The many faces of the totally hilarious Graham Elliot

Red neck tacos from Real Urban Barbecue: hoe cake topped with bbq pork

Lavender Collins with rock candy



  1. how can I get one of those cool bottles? I've never seen them before!!

  2. Wow! That looks like an awesome festival. I really wish I still lived in Chicago; while I am happy with many things about upstate NY, I miss the incredible culture and fun in Chicago.

  3. @Anonymous: The bottles are part of the city series -- they're available at Binnys! There's also an Absolute Chicago Day coming up soon (Oct. 24). I'll blog more about it soon!

  4. That looks amazing!!! Let me know when tickets go on sale for next year. Andy and I might have to go!

  5. @Rubys Nails: Oh, that would be great! It is so much fun!!

  6. What a fun event! I would have been eating like a pig if i was there and my diet would have gone down the But, it seems like it would have been worth it ;)

  7. @cakewhiz: LOL! Oh, this definitely is not a diet-friendly event.

  8. I love food events like this! I just met my trainer who's originally from Chicago and she always convinces me to visit the city. I really wish to visit one day! Sounds like you had a great time!


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