Come September; the spotlight is on Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet! The nation’s premier culinary festival gives guests a true backstage pass to some of the most exclusive, entertainment-packed events taking place throughout Chicago September 24-29th! The 12th year of Chicago Gourmet is better than ever with nine encore events celebrating the Lights, Camera, Napkin! theme.
The organizers announced at a press conference today, the ancillary activities taking place during the week leading up to the main event. There’s no shortage of exciting experiences and celebrations to dive into.
Attendees will notice that theatre is incorporated into many of the festivities; an homage to the city of Chicago’s declaration of 2019 as the ‘Year of Chicago Theatre’!
Tickets for the encore events went on sale! Take a peek at the list of happenings and snag your ticket while they’re still available.
Raise your Glass to Freedom: A Hamilton Exclusive
Chef Rick Bayless will host an exclusive VIP evening at the CIBC theatre with “Hamilton”. Theatre-goers will enjoy early access, a cocktail reception with small bites, premier seating, and an exclusive question-and-answer session with a cast member after the show. This year’s event will benefit The Bayless Family Foundation “Stepping Stone” Grants, which supports established Chicago theatre organizations with a vision for institutional and artistic growth.
Tuesday, September 24, 6-10:30 p.m.: $450/person
Take the Gun, Leave the Cannoli
Join chefs Fabio Viviani (Siena Tavern), Tony Priolo (Piccolo Sogno, Maillard Tavern), Carolina Diaz (Terzo Piano) and Federico Comacchio (Coco Pazzo) for a mobster-inspired Italian feast aboard the Odyssey Chicago River. Guests will enjoy traditional Italian fare and full-bodied wines curated by Alpana Singh, MS (Check Please!, Terra & Vine), all set against the stunning backdrop of the Chicago River. Proceeds will support the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, which creates hospitality career pathways to post-secondary education and the workforce. An offer you can’t refuse!
Wednesday, September 25, 7-10 p.m. $250/person
Jef Comedy Jam
Join Chicago native and self-proclaimed funniest chef in the world, Jeff Mauro (Pork & Mindy’s), at Theater on the Lake for an evening of good company and a side of laughs? Diners will indulge in delicious fare and refreshing cocktails while enjoying a show by some of Chicago’s most well-known comedians, including “The Restaurant” comedy group. The perfect recipe for an unforgettable evening, a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
Thursday, September 26, 6-9 p.m., $90/person
Battle of the Masters
Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits Master Sommelier Serafin Alvarado will host an afternoon of delectable food, perfectly paired wine and show-stopping musical numbers. Seven master sommeliers and three certified wine educators – some of whom include Fred Dame, MS (Daou Vineyards and Winery), Kathy Morgan, MS (Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits) and Alpana Singh, MS (Check Please!, Terra & Vine) – will compete head-to-head as they pair both wine and song with delicious dishes to benefit the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
Friday, September 27, noon-2 p.m., $200/person
The Big Chill(I): Gourmet Chili Cook-Off
Hosted by Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde) this star-studded chili competition will take place on the Harris Theater Rooftop. Participating chefs, including, Jimmy Bannos (Heaven on Seven), Jimmy Bannos, Jr (The Purple Pig, Piggie Smalls Gyro Shop), Abe Conlon (Fat Rice), Diana Davila (Mi Tocaya Antojeria), Cedric Harden (River Roast), Kim Leali (One Off Hospitality), Chris Pandel (Swift & Sons) and Jose Sosa (Gibsons Italia) will pull out all the stops to see whose creation will reign supreme. This event will honor the firefighters and police officers who risk their lives every day with proceeds benefiting the 100 Club, which provides for the families of first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Saturday, September 28, 8-11 p.m.: $95/person
Rise & Shine Gourmet
The annual comforting combo of yoga and brunch includes a restorative yoga session, provided by CorePower Yoga, and bliss-inducing brunch bites from Jason Hammel (Lula Café) at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, one of Chicago’s landmark properties and a highly lauded 21st-century boutique hotel. Proceeds will benefit Pilot Light, which helps children make healthier food choices.
Sunday, September 29, 8:30-10:45 a.m. or 10 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: $40/person
Chicago Gourmet event week promises to be a grand time so start your planning!
Tickets for the main and encore events are on sales now. Hamburger Hop and Late Night Gourmet tickets will go on sale in August so stay tuned!
Chicago Gourmet is founded by the Illinois Restaurant Association and produced in partnership with Bon Appetit and Souther Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.