In March, I attended my first food event in several months, WingFest, and I couldn’t have picked a better event to get back into the Chicago food scene. Since we’ve returned home from our travels I’ve found that between a busy job and a change in our general lifestyle, attending food events several times a week wasn’t as big of a priority. I still love food just as much as before our travels, but my relationship with food has evolved.
There is only one event each year that combines three of my favorite things: wine, food, and home furnishings I can dream about having for my future home someday! LuxeHome®, in partnership with Wine Spectator Magazine is hosting its tenth annual CHILL, an international wine and culinary event featuring some of the best wines from vineyards worldwide, being paired with small bites from some of Chicago’s most distinguished chefs. The best part is that you get to wine and dine your way around the Merchandise Mart’s collection of premier boutiques for home building and renovation all in the name of charity.
A few weeks ago I received an email from friend and fellow food blogger, Amanda Topper of The Ghost Guest inviting me to Sip, Simmer and Savor, a Culinary Event Series by the Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Collection. The event was being hosted by Boka and featuring chefs Paul Liebrandt and Lee Wolen for a special five-course paired dinner with cocktails made from Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Collection. Boka has been one of those restaurants on my “Must Try List” for years so I immediately jumped at the opportunity to attend and finally be able to recommend the Boka experience.
Bon Appetit’s Chicago Gourmet is one of my favorite foodie events of the entire year! It’s a chance to mingle with friends, celebrity chefs, and taste food from not only the hottest restaurants in Chicago but from several visiting global restaurants as well. I’ve been attending now for the past few years (see my post from 2014) and every year the weather turns out to be absolutely beautiful for this September affair. Amidst all the foodie fun I realized I had forgotten to take photos of most of what I ate during Chicago gourmet! I did manage to take photos of what really counted, my top 5 favorite bites of the day! Initially my day at Chicago gourmet began slowly as I was running solo without my number one taste tester in tow. I’m still adjusting to not having a partner by my side day in and day out! Luckily about an hour in, Seth of ChiCityFoodie arrived and I found another foodie friend, Allana of AllanaBytes and some of her coworkers. Writing this blog and attending these events is all about having fun and meeting new people and I’m lucky that the food blogger/Instagram community are a really nice and welcoming group.
Growing up in Northbrook, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for restaurants in Chicago’s north shore. I grew up running around the warehouse-style space at Bob Chin’s, attending Bar and Bat Mitzvah’s at Bucca Di Beppo, and most recently celebrating my bridal shower at Cooper’s Hawk. These three restaurants along with nearly two-dozen others from Wheeling’s restaurant row along with other north shore favorites are part of the Taste of the Town event happening this Wednesday, September 14.
Between Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas and New Years the past couple of months after the wedding have been packed with eating! Between planning and dieting I really had to put the food blog on pause and it’s been a lot of fun catching up with foodie friends the past couple of months! During my forced blogging break I really learned how to eat in moderation better as well as recognize that you don’t have to attend an event every night to stay in the loop. Here’s a recap of some of the restaurants I tried and events I attended this winter season since becoming a Mrs!
The following post is written by my fiance and frequent guest eater, Taste Tester #1.
The life as the partner and frequent guest of a food and culture blogger isn’t too bad. I get to eat tasty food, meet new and interesting people, and go to events and venues that wouldn’t typically be on my radar. Little did I realize that after proposing to such blogger, many of the fun events would have to take a backseat to the demands and stress that come with planning a wedding. Dammit, why didn’t I think of this before making the trip to the jewelry store! But all is okay, as once or twice this summer, Stephanie gave us the green light to cheat on the wedding diet and go to a fun event and I’m lucky one we chose to attend was The Brooklyn Brewery Mash.
While Chicago has great food events, fundraisers and showcases year round, my favorites are in summer, where I can be outside and the chefs are often making food that involves a hot grill! Recently, I attended two different outdoor food events, the 8th Annual Chefs on the Grill competition and the Green City Market BBQ. And although it rained at both BBQ-themed events (actually, a downright monsoon at Green City Market) I still managed to eat my way through some great grilled cuisine.
One of my favorite things about Chicago in the summer is that so many food events revolve around being outdoors, allowing Chicagoans to soak up as much sun as possible before the next polar vortex sets in. This year Crawfish for Cancer, CFC Inc. brought their fundraiser to Caffe Oliva at Ohio Street Beach.
As many of you know the James Beard Awards were held in Chicago this year and along with the ceremony there were dozens of food-related events leading up to the big event. On May 2, I attended the Rioja Wine and Tapas Festival at the Great Hall in Union Station.
Over 40 Wineries attended the first Rioja Wine and Tapas Festival in Chicago. Joining them were more than 30 chefs from around the country showcasing Spanish culture, wine and food. I was lucky enough to have the chance to meet with some of the best winemakers and importers representing Spain’s most prominent wine region.