This week, the Illinois Restaurant Association announced its program lineup for the fifth annual Chicago Gourmet on Saturday, September 29 and Sunday, September 30. The event, presented by title sponsor Bon Appétit magazine in conjunction with presenting sponsor Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois, is a two-day world-class celebration of Chicago’s rich culinary heritage, from Italian beef to molecular gastronomy — and everything in between.
Throughout the weekend, attendees can interact with more than 160 of Chicago’s most innovative chefs through demonstrations, book signings, seminars and tastings. More than in past years, Chicago Gourmet will feature some of Chicago’s top celebrity chef talent, including Rick Bayless, Art Smith, Stephanie Izard, Takashi Yagihashi, Tony Mantuano, Sarah Grueneberg, Shawn McClain, Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr., Michael Kornick, Rick Tramonto, Homaro Cantu, Tony Priolo, Tony Hu, Dirk Flanigan and many others
The event has sold out, but if you’ve already secured your tickets and can’t decide what to taste first, we decided to do the homework for you. We pored over the full schedule of Chicago Gourmet programs and highlighted a few must-see events.
Rich, Bold And Beautiful: A Comparative Tasting Of Full Bodied Wines: Join Jay Fletcher Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado’s Master Sommelier to taste and explore a portfolio of full-bodied wines. As summer transitions to fall, learn how to take your palate from summer Sauvignon Blancs to rich, full wines perfect for pairing with your favorite fall and winter foods. Saturday, September 29, 12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m., Choral Room.
Kitchen Chemistry 101: If you’re fascinated by the avant-garde cuisine of Chicago’s Moto, join chefs Homaro Cantu and Richie Farina for an exciting demonstration that will get your greative juices flowing faster than you can say “molecular gastronomy.” Saturday, September 29, 4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Bon Apetit Main Stage.
Tasting Wine Like a Master Sommelier: Led by four master sommeliers from Southern Wine & Spirits, this seminar will help attendees learn how to train their palates to taste wine like a professional. If you struggle with lengthy wine lists in restaurants, this is one you’ll want to be sure to catch. Sunday, September 30, 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., Choral Room.
Simple Seafood Preparations: Sometimes the simplest things are the best. Watch Dirk and Terry Fucik from Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet Shop whip up some of their seafood specialties under an important guiding principle: the fresher the fish, the better it will taste with minimal effort. Sunday, September 30, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m, Bon Appétit Culinary Stage, South Promenade.
Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family: Chef Art Smith is known throughout Chicago for his work as persona chef to Oprah and the Obama family along with his philanthropic efforts with Common Threads. At Chicago Gourmet, the chef will be signing copies of his book that discusses how different dishes and foods can contribute to an atmosphere of family unity. Sunday, September 30 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m., Barbara’s Book Store, South Promenade.
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