1. Cheval des Andes: My favorite wine from the weekend was the 2009 Cheval des Andes from Argentina. It was created as a joint venture between Chateau Cheval Blanc and Terrazas De Los Andes. I don't know much about the wine itself, but I do know that it was delicious. Alpana Singh, would you mind teaching me a few things? 2. Hamachi: A slice of raw hamachi sat atop a bed of a sweet-and-sour lobster huckleberry mixture. From Chris Gawronski of Acanto and The Gage. There were so many delicious tastes at Chicago Gourmet, but this one still stands out the most. Perhaps it is because it was the first bite I had, but either way, it was phenomenal. The tenderness of the raw fish with the gentle pop of the berry made for an incredible tasting experience.
3. Vosges Reishi Mushroom & Walnut Super Dark Chocolate: Let the record state that Tommy Engstrom does not like mushrooms. Perhaps it is just button mushrooms, but I tend to be extremely wary when it comes to fungi. However, I saw the combination in this super dark chocolate and couldn't help from giving it a try. Am I glad I did. There was no overpowering flavor.
4. Media Credentials: I was incredibly blessed to have been able to attend both Saturday and Sunday of Chicago Gourmet. Sunday, however, I was granted media credentials, giving me access to quite a bit more. After blogging for over two years, it was a great feeling to be recognized as an official member of the media.
5. The People: Overall, after everything - the food, the drinks, the weather - my favorite part of the entire weekend was being surrounded by so many other people who enjoyed the same things I do. We all were there to experience the best and brightest of the Chicago food scene. Meeting Andrew Knowlton, the restaurant and drinks editor of Bon Appétit, Della Gossett, the pastry chef from Spago in Beverly Hills, and so many fantastic chefs in Chicago, was the cherry on top of an incredible weekend.
If you live in Chicago, or want to take a vacation next September, I strongly encourage you to attend Chicago Gourmet. It is an incredible event and so wonderfully executed. Trust me, your money will be well spent.