Have you even had a chance to recover from Lollapalooza? We haven’t either, but organizers C3 Presents have announced that the three-day music, and now food, festival will take place Aug. 5-7, 2011.
Before we can even start thinking about who will headline and what restaurants will show up in Chow Town, we’d love to hear your feedback on the festival this year. Did you see Gaga? Green Day? Cut Copy? Arcade Fire? Phoenix? Hot Chip? X Japan? Erykah Badu???? And if you took in the offerings at Chow Town, what did you love? Seems that the lobster corn dog and elote from Graham Elliot and Big Star, respectively, were big hits. We loved the Sunda bao bun and tempura roll. What did you like?
And who would you want to see out there next year?
On Monday night, the veil was drawn back a bit to reveal just some of the fine eats we’ll feast on at Lollapalooza. Chef Graham Elliot Bowles hosted a party at his River North eatery and welcomed chefs and owners from a handful of restaurants and shops, including Sunda, Big Star, the Southern, Metropolis Coffee, More Cupcakes and Kuma’s Corner, who doled out bite-sized previews of what they’ll be serving at the festival. A who’s who of Chicago’s food and music worlds gathered to feast, drink and mingle among Lollapalooza producers, including founder Perry Farrell, and Spiaggia chef/partner and Top Chef Masters contestant Tony Mantuano.
There’s something to be said for going into something—a movie, a concert, dinner—and not having any expectations because you know absolutely nothing about the flick, show or menu at any of the places. There’s an element of surprise that, when you’re generally in the dark about something, leaves the level of expectation low so that when you find yourself loving whatever it is you’re watching, hearing or eating, you like it that much more.
Well, we’re not letting that happen with Chow Town—because this year, the food is going to blow our minds and we want you to get excited for the food as much as the music. Foodie did a little scoping and we’ve obtained the menus for all the restaurants that Graham Elliot Bowles rounded up for Lollapalooza weekend.
In an era of rock star chefs, there are few emerging faster than Chicago’s Graham Elliot Bowles. He’s the youngest chef in America to ever receive four stars when he helmed the kitchen at Avenues at the Peninsula Hotel. Then Bowles went on to open his eponymous River North “bistronomic” spot to raves two years ago, where he creates his signature “foilipops” encrusted with Pop Rocks alongside inventive dishes like hushpuppy-style sweetbread and deconstructed Caesar salad with a brioche twinkie while an array of indie, head-banger and classic rock flow from the kitchen’s iPod. He’s working on launching an upscale sandwich shop, Grahamwich, and will appear as a judge on Gordon Ramsay’s new show, “Masterchef.”
In 2009, he cooked at Lollapalooza for Perry Farrell and introduced the world to his lobster corn dogs as the first more-upscale chef to sell food to the festival’s masses. This year, Bowles is Lollapalooza’s culinary ambassador, where he gathered some of the city’s best chefs and restaurants to take Chow Town, the festival’s food court, to a higher level. Foodie chatted with Bowles to see why he chose the restaurants he did and who he’d want to rock out with on stage.
Foodie: What excites you about Chow Town – and why did you want to be part of that and Lollapalooza?
Lollapalooza is coming to Grant Park Aug 6-8 and will have food from some of Chicago’s top restaurants and chefs, including Graham Elliot Bowles, Paul Kahan, Charlie Trotter, Rodelio Aglibot and more. Foodie has 20 3-day passes to give away and we want to give them to you. So what do you have to do?
How to Enter: If you’re a new user and haven’t yet signed up with Foodie, visit the SIGN ME UP! page. If you’re already a Foodie member and want to refer a friend, visit the SEND TO A FRIEND page and fill out their details. Be sure to include a personal note so they know it’s not spam. For every friend that you refer who signs up, you’ll both get one entry into our drawing.
We’ll pick one winner each week from now until the festival starts on August 6. Want more entries? Just tell more friends. The more who sign up for Foodie the more chances you’ll get. Easy breezy.
A couple of weeks ago, we talked about Outside Lands, the San Francisco music festival taking place in Golden Gate, and its amazing food offerings. We also said we thought that with Graham Elliot Bowles behind Lollapalooza's new upscale food court, Chow Town, that Chicago would give the Bay Area fest a run for its money. Well, with the news that River North rock 'n' roll spot Blue 13 coming on board, we have already started salivating about what else will be announced. And anyone who wants to eat at Blue 13 that weekend (Aug 6-8), don't bother trying—they're gonna be closed while serving great grub to the masses down in Grant Park.
And speaking of Graham Elliot, have you taken advantage yet of his $42 DIY prix-fixe dinner on Foodie? What are you waiting for?