Chicago is known for many things: arctic winters, Da Bears, and deep-dish pizza. An underrated aspect of this city, though, is that it’s a real foodie’s dream city. This food-centric vibe makes the Windy City a natural place to host a food and drink festival. Chicago Gourmet is a premier food festival that celebrates some of the country’s most famous chefs, restaurants, wine, and more.
If you are looking for one of the most happening food events in the world, Chicago Gourmet truly ranks within the top 10 list. This is because Chicago has a rich and diverse food history and lineage, dating back hundreds of years. While people might be familiar with the Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza, what they will not be too familiar with it’s the fact that Chicago has been called as the ‘Barbecue Capital’ of the world.
We are talking about different aspects of barbecue- prime ribs, chicken wings, steak, and many more finger-smacking delicacies. The use of different types of wood especially in Chicago Barbecue, lends itself to several different flavors.
You will not want to miss this weekend of delicious fun. Read on to learn how you can have a mouth-watering weekend in Chicago.
Presented by Bon Appetit magazine, this year’s event takes place Sep. 27-29. The center of the action will be the famed Millennium Park in downtown Chicago. There, in the Pritzker Pavilion, celebrity chefs like Masaharu Morimoto, Rick Bayless, and Sarah Gruenberg will show off their favorite dishes while they cook, entertain, and take questions. Master sommeliers and mixologists will offer attendees master classes on new wines and cocktails. And if you can manage to get in town early, there’s even a VIP performance of the hit musical Hamilton on Sep. 24, featuring a Q&A session with the performers and a cocktail reception.
The event is intended to be as interactive and engaging as possible. Some of the most famous chefs are expected to interact with budding cooks and share their trade secrets with them. We also expect live cooking sessions, classes, quizzed and contests. The event organizers are also planning a cook-off between home cooks. The event is looking to encourage more and more people to take up cooking. This event is one of the most famous weekend gatherings in Chicago. Organizers expect huge crowds and a weekend full of fun and festivities.
Advance tickets are now on sale for a variety of festival events. The festival also features a myriad of competitions, late-night entertainment options, and more. Whether you are looking to learn how to perfect your cooking trade or just have some foodie fun, this event has something for everyone to enjoy. Chicago Gourmet is a 21 and over event only.
WHAT TO DO
If you are looking to visit the windy city of Chicago for the food festival, you might as well extend your stay and soak in different tourist attractions in the city. While in the area for the food festival, you will surely want to take advantage of some of the exciting attractions in Chicago. Late September is an ideal time to take a cruise down the Chicago River and marvel at all of the architectural masterpieces. Or check out one of the many museums that call Grant Park home, such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum.
Also in Grant Park, visitors will find the famous Shedd Aquarium, featuring over 32,000 aquatic animals from all over the world. Shopping enthusiasts will delight at all of the retail options located along the famed Miracle Mile shopping district. Shopping in Chicago is highly diverse. You have the famed luxurious boutiques of luxury brands. You also have many thrift shops and flea markets where you can find some beautiful artefact that is hidden under all the other goodies.
WHERE TO STAY
There is an abundance of amazing hotels near Millennium Park, making it easy to find the perfect place to call home when attending Chicago Gourmet. The Hyatt Regency Chicago is only a short stroll to Millennium Park, as well as just a few minutes to all of the dining and entertainment options along the Chicago Riverwalk. It features spacious guest rooms, a 24-hour fitness center, and a variety of onsite bars and restaurants.
The Ivy Boutique Hotel is another stylish boutique hotel with exemplary guest rooms and luxury accommodations. The hotel’s simple, chic design makes you feel like a VIP. The best part about both these establishments is their location and their in-house restaurants. The room service in these establishments is one of the best in the country. The staff try to make your stay as comfortable as possible. You can also expect certain touches of personalization, if you inform them of your stay in advance.
WHAT TO EAT
Of course, there will be a cornucopia of eats and drinks at the festival for you to enjoy. But you also should make time to sample some of Chicago’s most famous foods. Be sure to take the effort to indulge in some classic Chicago deep-dish pizza. You can find this popular offering on nearly any street corner, but iconic favorites include Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s, and Pizzeria Uno. No trip to the Windy City is complete without trying out some of the traditional Chicago hot dogs. Portillo’s is a great choice when looking to see why Chicagoans think their brand of hot dog is the best.
The city of Chicago has a string Italian connection. There are many hidden Italian jewels, which are sure to wow even the most discerning of appetites. You can expect authentic pastas, spaghetti and risottos in the tiniest of Italian eateries. If you have a sweet tooth, the city has a ton of Gelato parlors that whip up some great finger-licking goodies.
Chicago offers everyone something or the other to look forward to. It is a food connoisseurs dream. It is also high on any history buff’s places of historical importance. No matter who you are, it is hard not to fall in love with the culture, people and places of the windy city.