Chicago Gourmet – a sneak peak

Chef Tony Priolo

Priolo prepares risotto for the audience.

We were able to try Chef Tony Priolo’s cooking and Master Sommelier Serafin Alvarado’s wine selections at a sneak peak event for the third annual Chicago Gourmet, held at the new Whole Foods. Chef Priolo prepared panzanella (tomato and bread salad) and risotto with mixed mushrooms which Alvarado then paired with wines sold in-store. Everything was delicious and whet my appetite for more.

Chicago Gourmet’s food and wine extravaganza will be held in Millennium Park on September 24-26, and costs $150 for a single day pass or $250 for the weekend. A Friday night competition between 15 Chicago chefs for best burger will be $75. Each day’s Grand Cru wine tasting is an additional $175/person.

The big change this year is sponsorship by Bon Appetit Magazine, which promises to bring more of a national focus with the addition of Chef Cat Cora and editors Barbara Fairchild and Andrew Knowlton. Additionally, there will be a Fancy Food Show Pavilion where attendees can see and purchase items from 60+ food and beverage purveyors. What remains the same? Cooking demonstrations, classes and delicious samples prepared by nearly 100 of Chicago’s best chefs.

If you’re already dedicated to eating in the city’s best restaurants, then you might want to consider Chicago Gourmet’s Dine Around program. Dine at five participating restaurants between August 30 and September 26, and you can use your receipts to get a complimentary one-day pass.

Can’t wait? Take a look at our past coverage.

Master Sommelier Serafin Alvarado

Alvarado tastes the wine before sharing.