Slideshow: Snapshots from the Food & Wine Chef Showcase in Chicago

Welcome to the <em>Food & Wine</em> Chef Showcase
Welcome to the Food & Wine Chef Showcase
Food & Wine greeted us at the door with the cover of its latest magazine.
Trenchermen
Trenchermen
Trenchermen represented with a little fried ball of chopped liver, accompanied with tart yuzu apples and egg yolk jam.
Cafe Spiaggia
Cafe Spiaggia
Tony Mantuano and Sarah Grueneberg rocked a bite of bay scallop, purgatory beans (yes, that's really what they're called), black garlic, and Italian fish sauce.
A Sea of Wine Glasses
A Sea of Wine Glasses
You know what a lot of wine glasses means? A lot of wine!
Wines of Germany
Wines of Germany
The wines of Germany were just some of the many wines available for sampling during the event.
Gemini Bistro
Gemini Bistro
The slow-cooked beef shortrib had a refreshing fennel slaw and lemon aioli to cool it all off.
Andrew Zimmerman from Sepia
Andrew Zimmerman from Sepia
Executive chef Andrew Zimmerman served the hot consomme on top of each cup of his Pot-au-feu "Rossini."
Bistronomic
Bistronomic
The description read: Nutella, roasted hazelnut, and creme Anglaise. And that's exactly what it was. What else do you need?
Acadia
Acadia
This one packed a powerful and earthy punch with blue cheese cornbread on top of mushroom soil, accompanied with several other forms of mushroom and bacon.
g.e.b.
g.e.b.
Graham Elliot's restaurant served a Roquefort panna cotta on a pie crust with mustard seed caviar, ham hock, and pear prepared three ways.
Parmesan
Parmesan "Peanuts" from Moto
These aren't real packing peanuts; the little curly foam you see is actually a little parmesan puff that was paired with carbonated grapes. The puff was dipped in liquid nitrogen (yes, it was safe to eat), so when you munched on it, you'd blow steam out your mouth and nose exactly like a dragon. Or like Cheech and Chong. You pick.
Liquid Nitrogen
Liquid Nitrogen
What's a party without some liquid nitrogen?
Boka
Boka
The black truffles were shaved on top of a small bit of Scottish hare, roasted cauliflower, along with some carrot and a Burgundy reduction. Sorry, Bugs Bunny. You were just too delicious.
GT Fish & Oyster
GT Fish & Oyster
GT Fish & Oyster represented with a dessert labeled simply as chocolate banana ganache with cashews. I had people stop me to tell me it was one of their favorite items of the evening.
The Girl and the Goat
The Girl and the Goat
Stephanie Izard's infectious smile was behind the table as she doled out goat chili with "poofs." Perfect for a cold night.
Balena
Balena
Balena's little bite was a rich cured mackerel, chermoula, endive, and currants.
Table 52
Table 52
Table 52's bite was a duck rillette on top of a duck fat puff pastry with a cider reduction and celery root puree. Art Smith greeted fans as he helped serve the plates.
bellyQ
bellyQ
bellyQ served simple little cups of comforting smoked turkey broth with roast chicken, green lentils, and thin noodles. It was a turkey-chicken noodle soup that your grandma probably doesn't make, unless Bill Kim is your grandma.
Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck's catering division brought a smoked pheasant push-up with sweet potato, apple butter, wild rice, and cider. Nothing like a direct-injection delivery system of food into your mouth. It speeds up the process.
North Pond
North Pond
This picture of North Pond's sign means that I was too slow to get to the table before everything ran out. The sound you hear is me crying. It's a sad sound.
J. Parker
J. Parker
Paul Virant said hi to folks as his team served up a plate of unbelievably meaty walleye pike over a pile of house-canned corn relish.
Blackbird
Blackbird
Nothing says "fancy dinner occasion" like raw red meat. In this case, it's lamb tartare with roasted maitake mushrooms, chestnuts, cranberry yogurt, and Miner's lettuce.
Huge Galdones
Huge Galdones
I spotted fellow Serious Eater Huge Galdones snapping away at the event. He moves quick. And like that...he was gone.