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Chicago Gourmet, I Miss You Already!

Tommy Engstrom

“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” 
― Orson Welles

This past weekend marked my second consecutive weekend attending Bon Appétit Presents Chicago Gourmet in Millennium Park. When I say that this event would be equivalent of an adult's Disneyland, I am not joking. In fact, I would take going to Chicago Gourmet for a day over going to Disneyland for an entire week. The more I become ingrained in the food community in Chicago, the more excited I become about sharing these experiences with people who hold the same appreciation. 

Can you imagine sitting at a table eating the most delicious froie gras you've ever tasted and have the person sitting next to you say that they would rather eat a hot dog with mustard and ketchup? First of all, ketchup on a hot dog is sacrilege! Everyone in their right mind knows that a hot dog should only ever be served with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. Secondly, the two individuals at hand have completely different tastes and expectations when it comes to food. 

Chicago is quickly becoming one of the premier culinary hubs in the country and as such, a world-class festival hosted in the iconic Jay Pritzker Pavilion only seems fitting. With 13,875 people waking the grounds, some of the top restaurants, wineries, and distilleries showcased the best that they have to offer. From exquisite lobster and seafood, to the comforts of BBQ and grilling, Chicago Gourmet gives foodies everything they can ask for and more. 

The food and drinks aside, people have the unique opportunity to rub elbows with some of food and wine's greatest talents - Adam Rapoport and Andrew Knowlton to Emeril Lagasse and Rick Bayless. Some of the biggest names in the industry attend this event. For food bloggers like myself, it is a dream come true to have the chance to pick the brains of such well known individuals. 

So, if you find yourself hankering for a bit of food and wine (and beer and liquor), and you are in Chicago next September, this event is absolutely one that must not be missed. Be sure to subscribe to Smak to be notified when Tommy's full coverage of the weekend is published. 


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