Chicago Gourmet 2010 has come and gone, leaving Chicago with the feeling of fulfillment on the culinary scene. With big names like Rick Bayless, Jimmy Bannos, Dirk Flanigan, Stephanie Izard, Paul Kahan, Bill Kim, Art Smith, and the list goes on, we have alot to be proud of in our great city.
I was given free passes to visit Chicago Gourmet, where chefs were giving demonstrations and food samples, and there was much wine to be tried as well. Now while the wine was relatively very accessible, the food was not. Every tent had extremely long lines to taste food samples and it seemed as though the chefs had a hard time keeping up with demand. At last year's event, the tents were very accessible and I had time to get pictures and speak with chefs, all while spending minimal time in line waiting. I think the main problem was that this year's event was oversold. I'm very glad that I chose to attend on Saturday, as I heard that with Groupon sales, Sunday was a madhouse!
I decided to make the most of my time trying wine instead of food. There were alot of very familiar names as far as wine labels are concerned, but there was also some great finds as well. Some of the better ones I tried were Schweiger Cabernet Sauvignon, Cosentino Cigarzin, Argyle Nuthouse Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and Cusumano Nero d'Avola, just to name a few.
For next year, I recommend visiting on Friday or Saturday, and early if possible. You can get all of your sampling in and leave time to hit demonstrations as well. Until then, enjoy culinary Chicago and have a glass of wine!