Slideshow: Snapshots from Chicago Gourmet 2013

Chicago Gourmet in Millenium Park
Chicago Gourmet in Millenium Park

Not a shabby backdrop for a day of eating and drinking, is it?

Starting the Day off Right
Starting the Day off Right

Nothing says Chicago Gourmet like two glasses of champagne before noon.

Sara Moulton and Graham Elliot
Sara Moulton and Graham Elliot

Chef Sara Moulton and her beaming smile came to join the festivities, too. She hung out with chef Graham Elliot before the show began.

Sushi by Jellyfish
Sushi by Jellyfish

Fresh sushi from Jellyfish (the restaurant, not the sea creature).

Labriola Bakery
Labriola Bakery

Labriola Bakery brought meatballs and a caprese salad—they do more than just bread, folks.

Whiskey Intersection
Whiskey Intersection

In case you got thirsty and lost—as I did often—don't worry, there were street signs to point you straight towards whiskey. Nothing solves problems better than alcohol. At least...for some people.

Allium's Open Faced Lobster Sandwich
Allium's Open Faced Lobster Sandwich
Little Market Brasserie
Little Market Brasserie

A fresh shrimp ceviche from Little Market Brasserie was good for a sunny warm day.

Tavern on Rush
Tavern on Rush

Tavern on Rush served up a smooth velvety mouthful of salmon tartare.

E + O
E + O
Porkie's Whole Pig
Porkie's Whole Pig

There's just something amazing about eating a whole roast pig, even if it is sort of staring at you.

Porkies' Pulled Pork Sandwich
Porkies' Pulled Pork Sandwich

There really aren't that many things better than pork from a whole roast pig. This sandwich looks small, but it was so succulent and tender I could eat it by the bowlful. But don't tell anyone that, because that's kind of sad.

Black Dog Gelato
Black Dog Gelato

Who said that dessert has to come last? At a food festival, you can eat dessert whenever you want! Black Dog Gelato's dessert was a cute roasted red pepper tart with espresso whipped cream and toasted pecans. Yes, I just called a food cute. Don't judge me.

Glenmorangie
Glenmorangie

Scotch, anyone? Followed by more scotch? That's the Ron Burgundy diet.

Turano Bread
Turano Bread

If you're from Chicago, chances are you've eaten a lot of Turano Italian rolls. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's a hint: Lots of places serve Italian beef in them.

Untitled's Meatloaf
Untitled's Meatloaf

Yes, the restaurant is named Untitled, and no, I'm not fooling around. This is their spin on meatloaf.

Meat and Cheese Plate
Meat and Cheese Plate

Everywhere you looked there were plates upon plates of meat and cheese, usually tailored to pair with the wines on hand.

Rickshaw Republic
Rickshaw Republic

Rickshaw Republic does Indonesian street food, and they do it well. You're witnessing a handoff of spicy potatoes.

Prosciutto Heaven
Prosciutto Heaven

This is a picture of heaven. Just kidding. It's a bunch of cured and thinly shaved pig leg. Oh wait, no, I was wrong. That is heaven.

Cured Pig Leg
Cured Pig Leg

This was some of the most elegant ham I've ever had; it melted as soon as it hit my tongue. If I had a ring in my pocket, I would probably have proposed to it right there. Proposing to a piece of food may not be a socially acceptable thing to do, but I like to think I'm progressive.

Graham Elliot
Graham Elliot

Chef Elliot with his signature glasses, hard at work. He made a little foie gras Fig Newton-style sandwich.

Carlos Gaytan
Carlos Gaytan

Carlos Gaytan was repping his style. In front of a picture of him repping his style.

Mexique
Mexique

Carlos Gaytan puts out a mean pork belly. Seriously.

Neapolitan Champagne
Neapolitan Champagne

Armand de Brignac represented their brand of fine champagnes at the Grand Cru tasting tent (which was a side event at Chicago Gourmet). I loudly called it neapolitan champagne because of the three colors (you know, like the ice cream), but nobody found that funny except for me. My life is a lonely existence sometimes.

Grand Cru Sampler
Grand Cru Sampler

One of the busy patrons at Chicago Gourmet racked himself up with quite a spread. There's two types of caviar on his plate, along with foie gras, and a luxurious meatball in back.

Café Des Architectes
Café Des Architectes

No better way to end the day than face-down in a bed of tiny pink macarons, while lamenting about all the food I couldn't try. It was a marvelous day.

Firecakes
Firecakes

Is this an M.C. Escher art installation? Nope, these are Firecakes doughnuts. Lots and lots of Firecakes doughnuts.

Takashi
Takashi

I've never seen cured salmon and handmade tofu with okra before, but I wouldn't mind seeing it again, in my mouth.