The scene at the 2022 Chicago Gourmet food festival was joyous as a sold-out crowd packed both sessions on Saturday, September 24 near Millenium Park. Chefs like Stephanie Izard (Girl & the Goat), Joe Flamm (Rose Mary), and D’Andre Carter (Soul and Smoke) served bite-sized snacks ranging from pork belly to caviar to charcuterie.
All the action over the weekend was under the rooftop tent. There was no Grand Lawn where festgoers typically scatter around Millenium Park. Despite all the vendors confined above the Harris Theater Rooftop Terrace, the crowd was energetic. The sun came out and the rain held off. This year’s fest began on Thursday with Tacos & Tequila, followed by Friday’s Hamburger Hop. Saturday featured the two Grand Cru sessions. Sunday, normally when another Grand Cru session would take place, featured a new Oktoberfest-inspired event: Prost! In the Park.
Chefs continued to cope with staffing challenges. Finding cooks to work a weekend festival is no easy feat when restaurants don’t have enough workers. Still, for some restaurant owners, Chicago Gourmet provides a unique opportunity to connect with potential customers, ones that can afford the festival’s $255 tickets.
Check out the photos of Saturday’s early session below. Next year’s event is scheduled for September 21 through 24.