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Chicago Gourmet: Putting This To Bed Until Next Year

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Sep 30, 2008 8:45PM

  • Chicagoist hasn't been the only one covering the event. Here are some other reviews of Chicago Gourmet.
  • I don't know what festival Phil Vettel attended, but it sounded really fucking good. Mr. "One fork per plate" found no "shortage of richness"; at one point, Stolpman and I had to go to America's Dog to grab a bite.
  • Apparently, Vettel didn't bother to share that same spoil of riches with fellow Stew correspondent Chris Borrelli. I don't mind a lot of wine at a gourmet food festival, either. But the ratio of wine tents to food tents was ridiculous.
  • Vettel's rationale that "it’s a lot easier for a wine purveyor to set up a tasting than it is for a chef to cook for a few hundred people off-site" has merit, but is still pure bullshit considering that, first, many of the wine tables set up were for brands you can find at a Jewel or Dominick's and, second, the chefs tasting stations were manned by some of the best and brightest talents this city has to offer with ample preparation time. The festival needs more chefs stations and restaurant/food exhibitors, plain and simple. It's also worth noting that the Tribune was a media sponsor of the festival. But that didn't stop Borelli from reporting on what he actually saw. Just sayin'.
  • One thing Vettel wanted was better music. Personally, if I heard some old school Geto Boys while passing by the E&J Gallo table, I'd have been all over that stank.
  • If a festival sponsor is also going to host a seminar, at least try to make more than a blatant infomercial.
  • Didn't see Pat Bruno around. Maybe he was continuing his quest to review every Italian restaurant in the greater Chicago area.
  • We would have loved to see were more discussions like the Pichet Ong/Mindy Segal baking seminar. Or roundtable discussions featuring notable chefs discussing how Chicago's culinary scene has developed in recent years. A seminar featuring Rick Bayless, Gale Gand, Art Smith and Michael Kornick would have been packed, entertaining and educational.
  • Here's what the cost of two $400 connoisseur packages would get you at some major restaurants: dinner for two at Alinea (the "tour" menu @ $225 each, plus wine pairings); two grand menus at Charlie Trotter's with wine accompaniment (total of $530); two grand tasting menus and wine pairings at moto (GTM @$175 each, wine $100) or a reservation for six at Schwa (nine-course dinner: $110, BYOB).