Last week we told you about the premiere Chicago Food Film Fest. Now we have 2 pairs of VIP weekend passes to give away. Want to join in on the fun Sept 24-25 taking place at the MCA Warehouse in West Town? Tell us, in 100 words or less, why you should get the tickets. Get creative. Do you love food? Love movies? Both? The two best answers, posted to our Facebook page, will win. If you’re not a fan of Foodie on Facebook yet, like us. Start thinking of your clever reasons now. You have until Sept. 22 to post to Facebook and then we start judging.
With Chicago Gourmet taking off in 10 days, things are certainly starting to heat up. The event, now in its third year, recently announced the Friday night burger competition, the Hamburger Hop, with 15 local chefs competing for the title of best burger in Chicago. But the bigger news now is that world-acclaimed (and multiple Michelin star-holding) chef Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Per Se, Ad Hoc) will sit on the panel of judges.
This is a huge deal for Chicago Gourmet. When the city first announced the food festival in 2008, we had high hopes that the event would one day compete with others in Aspen and South Beach. And it seems like we’ve finally arrived.
Get your head out of the gutter, y’all (although, based on some of the crowds we’ve seen upstairs in Mary’s Attic it might not be that far out of the question). This is purely a family place (ok, we just made ourselves laugh, too), but local mixologist and creator of the botanical spirit Hum is going to be hanging out at Hamburger Mary’s in Andersonville Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. mixing up Hum cocktails. If you’ve seen the sleek black bottle with the buoyant bird behind the bar at dozens of Chicago spots and been curious, here’s your chance to not only taste the rum-based, hibiscus-ginger 70 proof spirit, but also meet its maker (oooh, we felt like Godric or Eric Northman for a second).
Ready for Lunch? We have some ideas for you…
Wave: Complimentary beverage with purchase of every large plate for Lolla-goers.
Uncommon Ground (Wrigleyville): Join us for an afternoon lunch on the patio for two & receive 50% second meal.
The Gage: Grilled duck sausage sandwich w/ pickles & fried giardiniera + a cold Austrian Stiegl Pils beer.
Custom House Tavern: Enjoy the yummy Custom House Burger for $5. Only in the Tavern.
Lockwood: $8 Lollapalooza Burger served with fries. Also bottle of Estancia Cab or Chard for $28 & Titos Bloody Mary $8!
Want More? Visit Foodie now.
With all the amazing chefs here, someone had to tip the balance and defect and now Chicago’s loss is clearly New York’s gain. The now-former executive chef at Sunda, Rodelio Aglibot, officially left the Windy City for the Big Apple to take up residence with the BLT Restaurant Group.
The talented chef, aka the Food Buddha, was named co-executive corporate chef of the far-reaching restaurant group and, along with Christophe Bellanca, will take charge of the menus for all 18 restaurants, including the forthcoming Chicago outpost, The Florentine (set to open in the new JW Marriott Hotel in the Loop this fall).
So it’s not enough that Graham Elliot Bowles is being welcomed into America’s living rooms each week on Gordon Ramsay’s new hot amateur chef show Master Chef. Or that he’s about to see his skills as culinary director of Lollapalooza feed thousands of festival goers this weekend with amazing street-food offerings from some of Chicago’s top restaurants. We’d say that launching Grahampagne, an effervescent Kristal Wit Belgian Ale in collaboration with Goose Island head brewer Jared Rouben is pretty damn cool (the beer, styled after Champagne, is available at both Graham Elliot in River North and on tap at Goose Island’s Clybourn brewpub).
You’d think with all of those things going on this week, that’d be enough. Well, you’d be wrong, because all of that other stuff pales in comparison to what went down at GEB’s restaurant Wednesday night. No other than President Barack Obama celebrated his 49th birthday in style with pals Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Valerie Jarrett and others. The street was blocked off to all vehicles and the entire Graham Elliot staff sang happy birthday to the prez before he posed with them for a group shot.
What could possibly happen next for Graham? Have Santa and the Easter Bunny come over for a tea party?