Chicago’s premier food festival took place over the weekend in Millennium Park, drawing the familiar batch of celebrity chefs, brand ambassadors, and food fans. This was Chicago Gourmet’s 11th year, and the last dance for Rahm Emanuel before his term expires next year.
The mayor, who announced he’s not running for reelection, is often cited for his support in growing the festival. He appeared on stage on Saturday alongside Rick Bayless and Mi Tocaya Antojeria chef Diana Dávila. But let’s get real — few folks who attended the weekend’s festivities were there to see a politician. This year’s theme was “Rock the Fork.” While music is a regular part of the event, it was even more so this year with bands playing in the middle of the fest grounds.
Food highlights included a black garlic focaccia from Free Rein, the new restaurant from chef Aaron Lirette of the Mag Mile. There was also standout smoked labneh from The Bristol in Bucktown. Lula Cafe/Marisol chefs Jason Hammel and Sarah Rinkavage homaged New Haven, Connecticut-style white clam pizza underneath the Grand Cru tent. Hammel is a Connecticut native.
Take a stroll through Saturday and Sunday by looking at the photos below.