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Chicago Gourmet Sobers Up For Second Go-Round

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jul 10, 2009 5:40PM

Photo Credit: Stolpman

His Elective Majesty and the Illinois Restaurant Association trotted out some of the city's best chefs and sommeliers yesterday to announce the second annual Chicago Gourmet festival, taking place September 26-27. Reader reporter Julia Thiel noted that the IRA is looking to atone for last year's inaugural edition, which was heavy on the wine and spirits. And that's an understatement.

The IRA announced that the festival will have "gourmet pavilions" this year highlighting four different cuisines each day. Participating restaurants will also offer prix fixe menus from August 24 - September 27 as part of a "Dine Around" program. People who eat five meals in that period get free admission to the festival (costs for the meals haven't been announced).

Additionally, the presenting sponsor of this year's Chicago Gourmet is Southern Wine and Spirits of Illinois, the state's largest wine and liquor wholesaler. 65 spirits in the SWS portfolio will be featured at the event in the capable hands of SWS mixologist Bridget Albert and the Illinois chapter of the U.S. Bartenders Guild. We're hoping that the city and IRA got a healthy sum for the sponsorship rights from SWS. However, if the city's track record on placing a value on assets (parking meters, downtown parking garages, the Skyway) is any indication, we wouldn't be surprised if SWS traded them for some magic beans and a bag of quarters for the meters.