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Chicago Gourmet Is Back With More Food, Chefs and Dessert

By Janet Rausa Fuller | September 13, 2013 2:12pm
 Tickets to Chicago Gourmet, Sept. 28-29 in Millennium Park, are nearly sold out.
Chicago Gourmet 2013
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CHICAGO — If you want tickets to Chicago Gourmet, the two-day food and wine festival in Millennium Park, hurry up.

Tickets for opening day, Sept. 28, are all gone. Tickets remain for Sept. 29 and for the Hamburger Hop competition and after-party Sept. 27.

The event, now in its sixth year, is sponsored by Bon Appetit magazine and Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois. There's more to it this year than in the past. More chow, for one — 11 "tasting pavilions" (one more than last year) where attendees can get food and face time with more than 175 Chicago chefs.

At the first-ever Dessert Pavilion, sweets will run the gamut from Firecakes doughnuts and Terry's Toffee to fall-themed macarons by Cafe des Architectes pastry chef Leigh Omilinsky and re-imagined root beer floats, including a hot-and-cold version using liquid nitrogen, from Sixteen's Patrick Fahy.

Also new this year: a marketplace with goods from Chicago purveyors such as Katherine Anne Confections and Pasta Puttana, and "Iron Chef"-like, ingredient-themed smackdowns onstage between local chefs.

Retiring restaurateur Ina Pinkney of Ina's in the West Loop, which will serve its last meal on Dec. 31, will moderate a Sept. 29 discussion on female restaurateurs. Panelists include Vermilion's Rohini Dey, Carrie Nahabedian of Brindille and Sarah Stegner of Prairie Grass Cafe.

Cookbook signings, cooking demonstrations and a slew of other seminars round out the weekend.

Tickets prices (excluding tax) are $159 for Sunday admission; $115 for the Hamburger Hop and $50 for the Late-Night Gourmet after-party. Tickets ($199) also are available for the separate Grand Cru wine tastings. For more details, go to Chicagogourmet.org.