I had an AMAZING weekend full of yummy food, potent spirits, and obscene levels of fun enjoyed under a clear blue sky and deliciously warm early fall weather. Here I am, in my element!
But wait – I’m getting ahead of myself. Bellas, I’ve got amazing news that will mean some exciting, fun, fresh event coverage here on le blog! I’m officially a member of the Target Inner Circle program!
As a member of the Target Inner Circle, I’ll be taking you with me to some really cool events, and cluing you into the newest awesomeness I’ve discovered along the way. Take for example, this weekend. Thanks to Target, I was invited to participate in the Chicago Gourmet Food and Wine Fest – Target is a sponsor of the event and their tent is like the epicenter of the action!
The Chicago Gourmet Food Festival was THE place to be this weekend. There’s something so fabulous about having Pritzker Pavilion turned into a gourmand’s paradise. The finest restaurants and the best chefs are there with tasting portions of their yummiest offerings. Every winery and alcohol brand you can think of is there, with unique concoctions for you to sample. And it’s in the heart of downtown Chicago. Behold.
Here I am at the Target tent! The Target tent features some of the most delicious offerings you can find in stores – I tried everything from Archer Farms pasta to Giada’s marsala simmer sauce, to wine straight outta the Wine Cube. Everything was delicious, and I made sure to grab a copy of Giada’s Marsala Chicken and Farfalle recipe so I can try it at home!
The festival is a who’s who of Chicago’s finest restaurants. The list was long and somewhat daunting – between the live demos, the book signings and the amazing chef tasting pavilions, where should one begin? We started with one of our favorites. Classic Chicago steakhouse chain Gibsons, which was handing out succulent, tender pulled pork and beef sliders.
Yum. All around us were wine and spirits from some of our favorite brands. I made sure to taste the Taino Punch being served by Cruzan rum, the new bubbly by Wine Sisterhood, and the latest from Chandon, which was being poured by the cool chick in the fly corduroy blazer you see here.
That’s Britton and Chef Val of Lockwood Restaurant and Bar at the Palmer House hotel. Super cool ladies, and the apple cider was DELICIOUS.
Across the field, The Purple Pig was hosting a straight up pig roast, and that was a sight to see.
I think the highlight of the Chicago Gourmet experience was the Supreme Lobster & Seafood Tasting Pavilion, where chefs from Keefer’s, C House, Wave and Park Grill were throwing down their variations of lobster or seafood studded bites. I need to go to Keefer’s, and soon.
There was SO MUCH of the festival to see, that inevitably we didn’t see all of it. I regret not going to the Buick booth to make my own candy bar. And that Asian tasting tour would have been amazing, I’m dying to eat at Arun’s and at Union Sushi. But all I can say is next time, Chicago Gourmet. And there WILL be a next time. This is the kind of event I want to attend every year!
Thank you Target for providing access to this amazing experience. Also, thanks to Target Inner Circle, I’m now the proud owner of an iPad, and finally I’m officially on Instagram! Follow my adventures as they happen @AfrobellaBlog.