Chicago Gourmet is going international this year. Ten highly rated chefs from around the globe will be paired with a local, Michellin-starred counterpart to host throughout the weekend (September 28 & 29), as well as present a side-by-side tasting at the Grand Cru.
Some of the chef pairings are: Hideaki Matsuo (Osaka, Japan's Kashiwaya) and Takashi Yagihashi (Takashi, Slurping Turtle), Jordi Vilà (Barcelona, Spain's Alkimia) and Tony Mantuano (Spiaggia), Lionel Rigolet (Brussels, Belgium's Comme chez Soi) and Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia), Stefan Karlsson (Gothenburg, Sweden's Fond) and Homaro Cantu (Moto).
Cantu and Mantuano both gave sneak peeks at their intentions for the Grand Cru.
Mantuano says, "Chef Jordi had the idea of offering his take on La Pelota, which will be a pork meatball with cabbage, ginger and basil. La Pelota is just one part of the typical Catalan dish called Escudella, which is a stew with vegetables, legumes and different meats. The stew is served in several parts over the course of one meal — first the broth with a pasta, then the broth with vegetables, and so on."
"iNG will be doing flavor changing meatballs with Lingonberry Sauce and Moto will be doing a Swedish cheese tray with carbonated fruit that looks like this," Cantu says.
The rest of the pairings are Anthony Fusco (Lyon, France's La Table Lachassagne) and Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot), Svetlana Riskova (Riga, Latvia) and Carrie Nahabedian (Naha, Brindile), Angel Vazquez (Puebla, Mexico's Intro: Influence by Flavor) and Carlos Gaytan (Mexique), Martin Juneau (Montreal, Canada's Pastaga) and Chris Nugent (Goosefoot), Aktar Islam (Birmingham, United Kingdom's Lasan) and Jared Wentworth (Longman & Eagle), and Tommy Raanti (Stavanger, Norway) and Thomas Lents (Sixteen).
The 2013 Grand Cru, a separate ticketed event from Chicago Gourmet (now in its sixth year), costs $199 plus tax per person and is limited to four hundred people each day.