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The Big City Blog: Chicago Gourmet is an annual culinary tour de force that celebrates the city’s globally recognized food scene Sept. 24-29

By Trent Modglin
Photos courtesy of Chicago Gourmet

Originally founded by the Illinois Restaurant Association, the annual Chicago Gourmet is a much-celebrated “concert of culinary delights” produced in partnership with Bon Appétit magazine and sponsored by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.

In short, it salutes the foodie in all of us, showcasing the best of Chicago’s globally recognized restaurant scene.

Chicago Gourmet offers celebrity chefs headlining cooking demonstrations and doing Q&As, an incredible lineup of food, wine, spirits and beer tastings, as well as wine and mixology seminars to share what’s currently trending. In all, more than 250 of Chicago’s finest restaurants and chefs partake in this massive collaboration — with most of the tasting sessions occurring in Millennium Park Sept. 28-29 and several movie, TV and theater-inspired culinary events around town leading up to it.

A few highlights of note:

Friday, Sept. 27 from noon-2 p.m. — Battle of the Masters at Swift & Sons is an afternoon of delectable food, perfectly paired wine and toe-tapping musical numbers.

Friday, Sept. 27 from 6-9 p.m. — The annual Hamburger Hop is a tasty burger showdown held on the Harris Theater rooftop. See if you agree with the celebrity panel of judges.

Saturday, Sept. 28 from 8-11 p.m. — Gourmet Chili Cook-Off is a star-studded competition located on the Harris Theater rooftop.

Sunday, Sept. 29 from 8:30-10:45 a.m. or 10 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — The Rise & Shine Gourmet at the Chicago Athletic Association is a comforting combination of yoga and brunch.

One of the nation’s premier culinary festivals will leave you with a heightened appreciation for the very best in food, drink and music, as well as Chicago’s claim as the food capital of the world. For more details and ticket info, visit