One thing Chicago never tires of is its food festivals and come Sept. 23-25 the biggest of them all returns. Chicago Gourmet, now in its ninth year, will take over Millennium Park once again. As always, the Friday night Hamburger Hop kicks things off where 15 chefs — like Martial Noguier (Bistronomic), Amanda Downing (Rockit Ranch), Jesse Williams (Appellation), Bob Broskey (Beacon Tavern) and Chris Pandel (Swift & Sons) — battle it out for bragging rights of having the best burger as voted by the public and a panel of judges.
The main event takes place during the day on the great lawn at Pritzker Pavilion and this year has a new spin. Celeb chef Rick Bayless serves as the first-ever host chef of the event and he’s bringing a new theme along for the ride: Food is Art. Guests will have chances to interact with chefs, food and drinks to fully understand that art behind the culinary. In addition to the tastings on the Great Lawn, the Grand Cru wine tasting will also take place during the day. On Saturday night, Bayless introduces the Tao of Tacos, where 12 chefs including Jason Vincent (Giant), Jose Garces (Garces Restaurant Group), Erling Wu-Bower (Nico Osteria), Amanda Cohen (Dirt Candy) and Abe Conlon (Fat Rice), will each whip up their own take on the Mexican favorite.
Tickets are still available for much of the weekend (two-day passes and Saturday Main Event tickets are sold out), so don’t wait and get shut out!