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In Pictures: Green City Market Chefs BBQ

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jul 16, 2010 4:00PM

Unlike last year, when a fast but furious downpour hit just as the gates opened, the weather cooperated at last night's Green City Market Chefs BBQ. With the talents of most of the city's best chefs and cocktail alchemists on display, some folks have called the annual event "the real Taste of Chicago." It's certainly a Bizzaro version of Taste. While there weren't any turkey legs bigger than a baby's arm or random acts of violence, there was beer can chicken (courtesy of the folks at NoMI) and an estimated 2,000 people paying $100 a ticket for the chance to get their grub on during a hot and muggy Chicago evening.

The sheer volume of restaurants participating make it really hard for guests to hit every one of them. It's usually best here to plot out a plan of attack, share favorites with other guests and simply enjoy walking around the grounds. Rick Bayless (natch) had the longest line, but other chefs swamped by folks with hands out included Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia, Sprout's Dale Levitski and the Lula Café/Nightwood table. Even burrito chain Chipotle, which sources the meats and produce for their locations from local farms, has a good line.

The best part of the event, for me, was the all in commitment to the localvore aesthetic in the form of showcasing local wines. Lynfred Winery, August Hill Winery and Prairie State Winery — three of the best Illinois wineries — all had tables set up with attendees curious to discover if their products. Lynfred's marketing director Christina Anderson-Heller was going through cases of rosé and peach wine faster than they could be chilled.