Can you feel the salivation in the air? The long-awaited (ok, just the summer) event is upon us: Chicago Gourmet kicks off Friday night with a gala ball at Millennium Park's Jay Pritzker Pavilion and roof of the Harris Theater. But Saturday and Sunday is when the real action goes down -- where everyday foodies get to get their munch and sip on. Bold names from Chicago and beyond -- Alpana Singh, Rick Bayless, Rick Tramonto, Carrie Nahabedian, Greg Hall, Tony Montuano, Mindy Segal, Takashi (OMG, we need to eat now!) -- and so many more will greet patrons all over the park with culinary delights and oenophilic fantasies. There'll be food tents, wine seminars, food chats, cooking demos and a bevy of other kick ass food fun. One of the events we're most excited for is Singh's seminar on wine pairings for Chicago's ethnic neighborhoods. Over a 1-on-1 dinner (ok, 2-on-2 if you count our significant others) last night, she said she's excited to help people explore BYOs in Pilsen, Chinatown, Greek Town and beyond. She's crossing her fingers that the wines actually show up for the noontime event. And Vettel alerted readers to a little inside tip. Hopefully this is just the beginning of what can one day rival the Aspen Food & Wine Classic and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. If you can't wait to get there, but still need tickets, purchase them online and check out the full schedule of events.