A Newbie’s View of the “Gourmet”


For the past few years, I have heard people discuss Chicago Gourmet . They have talked about what a wonderful experience it was and all the great food they got to try. I have to admit that I have never been either the food or wine expert. I have basically been the “I know what I like ” type when it comes to food.  Through this blog, I have learned quite a bit about food and its preparation.  Now I have a fine tuned palate that can taste spices and ingredients. Yesterday, I thought what a great way to put my knowledge to the test.

We began our journey by meeting up with the wonderful folks at Isabelli Media.  Let me tell you, blogging is a daily challenge . You have to call , email, and network constantly.  Luckily, there are the people at Isabelli who have helped us every step of the way for this event.  They have followed up , updated us daily , and been so darn helpful. Bon Apetit Magazine started us off by giving us sustenance for the long day ahead.  They gave us a traditional Chicago style hot dog and some snackies to introduce us to the event.

Smells were everywhere and we couldnt have asked for a more perfect Indian summer day.  It was fun to chat with people who had a passion for food.I could tell that the artists had the same feeling for their art as I do when I am on camera or on stage.  It wasn’t just food at CG , but guests could partake in any number of libations. My personal favorite was a cocktail made from Grand Marnier  . It contained strawberries and peaches and had a delicious fruity taste,  The cocktail was served in a little red ball that was adorable.  We also got excited about Absolut vodka and their launch of Absolut Chicago. It is a vodka infused with olive oil and rosemary with Chicago scenes on the bottle.

But it was the food that we had come for, and we were definitely not disappointed.  We saw dear old friends like Chipotle and Magnolia Bakery. Target actually had chefs come in and demonstrate uses for their own Market Brand. We certainly got to meet our share of new friends and promised to visit them soon. Chefs became performers and teachers as they thrilled the crowds with their kitchen talent.  We were also privileged to attend the Grand Cru, a wine tasting and food event.  I tried some champagne that was so good.  Dishes here were literally works of art.  The chefs had taken the time to create aesthetic and appetizing pairings to the wines that were used.  Each little serving had a story of its own with decadent ingredients.  My personal favorite was a creation by the Lincoln Park restaurant goosefoot. Chef and owner Chris Nugent created a delightful gnosh that was served in a hollowed out egg shell. It contained roquefort cheese, goji berries, pears , and port.  Chris was such a delight as he described how he created his edible masterpiece. I cant wait to go to goosefoot and see him again.

So what did we leave Chicago Gourmet with? A new appreciation for wine, a few pounds heavier and a lot of Quinoa. Most of all we left with some great moments , new friends, and best of all we can’t wait till next year. Bon apetit!










The sun shined brightly as patrons enjoyed trying great food and drinking libations. These included Svedka, Absolut, Grand Marnier, and all kinds of liquors.


Executive Chef Tommy Roanti shows his talent with this masterpiece. It has kelp cured halibut, oyster cream, fake coral, kelp, trout roe with salsify, pickled red onion, apple, dill and oyster cress. Too beautiful to eat.




Thomas Lents of Sixteen showed his prowess with this delicious creation. Lightly smoked halibut and Lagoustine in Navet Ravioli





But my favorite was this little jewel from Goosefoot. Chris Nugent filled the egg with Roquefort cheese, goji berries, pears, and port. Nom nom






These girls made the yummiest drink from Grand Marnier. It was a strawberry peach cocktail with the sweetest taste.  Everyone was coming to their booth and walking away with their own little souvenir .



Loving this bottle from Absolut. They made some original cocktails here as well. My favorite was one with pineapple sorbet. Hey I like sweet drinks.


It was a great day for new food and liquor experiences. Can wait till next year.


About chitownstarconnections

Melanie Christy is am actress/singer who came to Chicago to pursue her dreams of acting. Coming from a small town in Ohio she has been enjoying the things that city life has to offer like great cuisine from all parts of the globe, parties with great people including celebrities, gorgeous fashions and of course fun! Follow her, read her blog and learn about all the amazing adventures you can be a part of throughout Chicagoland! Jennifer Hedrick is the photographer and techie for our blogs. She was born and raised here in Chicago. Her love of photography started when she was a child. She has photographed many celebs, events, fashion shows and more. She also considers herself a bit of a foodie and loves food porn. Her other loves include her nieces and nephews, animals and the shows Castle, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.
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