Mouthwatering Food Temptations in the Chicago Gourmet’s Lineup for 2022

Everybody knows how much Chicago loves food. The Windy City has been lauded as a foodie haven, and many reputable culinary publications like Bon Appétit, Conde Nast Traveler, and Food & Wine have all acclaimed Chicago’s food scene. And that’s no accident. You can find a variety of heart-warming and sensational dishes in over 8,000 restaurants spread across the city, some of the city’s iconic dishes being only a reservation away. This year brought even more good news for Chicagoans and visitors alike, since the MICHELIN Guide has added four One MICHELIN Star restaurants to Chicago’s list of starred eateries, as well as seven new Bib Gourmand recipients, highlighted for their particularly interesting value.

In total, 23 restaurants are on the list, including Alinea, led by chefs Grant Achatz and Douglas Alley, which has earned Three MICHELIN Stars and has maintained its exceptional level of quality for 11 years, since the first edition of the MICHELIN Guide Chicago in 2011. 

But, for those who love the festival atmosphere and vibe more than going to a regular restaurant, tickets for Chicago Gourmet, ranging from $60–$255, are on sale now via their website. If you want to know what to expect beforehand, here you have the lineups for the main events within the festival, just so you can plan ahead for your feasting. 

Tacos & Tequila 

If you just can’t get enough of this killer combo, the festival kicks off with this taco-centric event hosted by celebrity chef Rick Bayless, famous for being devoted to Mexican cuisine. The event offers guests a range of gourmet tacos, accompanied by  tequila, mezcal, and, of course, live mariachi and mojiganga performances. 

Lineup: 

  • Chef Marcos Ascencio, Taqueria Chingon
  • Chef Michelle Bernstein, Café La Trova, La Cañita and Sweet Liberty
  • Chefs Inocencio and Marcos Carbajal, Carnitas Uruapan
  • Chef Marco Colin, La Luna
  • Chef Elizabeth Godines, La Lagartija
  • Chef Maria G. Landa, Rubi’s on 18th
  • Chef Rick Ortiz, Antique Taco
  • Chef Saúl Román, Tabú
  • Chef Yani Sanchez, Bar Takito
  • Chef Andrew Sikkelerus, Barrio
  • Chefs Jaime and Alfonso Sotelo, Cinco Rabanitos and Chile Toreados

 $99. September 22 from 7–10 pm at Harris Theater Rooftop, 205 E Randolph St. 

Somm Sessions

If you want to enjoy spectacular food and wine, but also contribute to raising the next generation of culinary wizzes, this lunchtime event hosted at West Loop Greek restaurant LÝRA might be the answer. It will feature a showdown between two Chicago sommeliers, who will offer dueling pairings complimenting dishes by chef-partners Athinagoras Kostakos and Joseph Rizzo. The proceeds from the event will benefit the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. 

$250. September 23 from noon–2pm at LÝRA, 905 W Fulton Market.

Hamburger Hop 

For the hamburger enthusiasts outhere, there will be a special event not to be missed. Girl & the Goat chef Stephanie Izard is hosting this year’s version of the classic Chicago Gourmet Hamburger Hop. Chefs will compete for the title of ‘Top Burger’ (awarded by a panel of judges) and ‘People’s Choice’ (awarded by attendees). This year, you will find among the participating chefs locals like Brian Jupiter (Frontier, Ina Mae Tavern), D’Andre Carter (Soul & Smoke) and Rohini Dey (Vermilion), and out-of-town entrants such us LA-based chef and Notes from a Young Black Chef author Kwame Onwuachi.

Lineup:  

  • Chef Susu Barakat, S2Express Grill
  • 2021 Hamburger Hop Citywide Winner, Chef Nick Barnhart, Epic Burger
  • Chef D’Andre Carter, Soul & Smoke
  • Chef Rohini Dey, Vermillion
  • Chef James Giacometti, Lardon and Union 
  • Chef Becca Grothe, TriBecca’s Sandwich Shop
  • Chef Corey Grupe, Burger Federation
  • Chef Brian Jupiter, Frontier
  • Chef Kwame Onwuachi
  • Chef Clinton Payne, Mikkey’s Retro Grill
  • Chef Brian Rodriguez, Adorn
  • Chef Julia Shell, The Albion Manor and The Parlour at The Albion

$130. September 23 from 6–9pm at Harris Theater Rooftop, 205 E Randolph St. 

Late Night Gourmet

After the Hamburger Hop, the party keeps on going with a late-night event at River North nightclub TAO Chicago. That will be a real party, including snacks, specialty cocktails, music and dancing, for $60, that is if you do not choose a bundled Friday night package (including Hamburger Hop at Late Night Gourmet) for $175. 

$60. September 23 from 9pm–midnight at TAO Chicago, 632 N Dearborn St. 

Grand Cru 

The festival’s marquee event of this year includes a multi-session tasting extravaganza with an impressive lineup of chefs from Chicago and worldwide, from Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud (DANIEL, Le Pavillon, Café Boulud) to local chefs such as Beverly Kim (Parachute, Wherewithal), Joe Flamm (Rose Mary), Thai Dang (HaiSous) and more. Tickets will buy you offerings from the chefs, including wine and spirit tastings by sommeliers and mixologists. 

Lineup: 

Session 1, 2–5pm

  • Chef Daniel Boulud, DANIEL, Bar Baloud, Le Pavillon and more
  • Chef Diana Browder, Marisol
  • Chef Federico Comacchio, Gioia Ristorante & Pastificio
  • Chef Joe Flamm, Rose Mary & BLVD
  • Chef Justin Gomes, Travelle at The Langham    
  • Chef Daniel Huebschmann, Gibsons Restaurant Group
  • Chef Stephanie Izard, Girl & The Goat, Little Goat, Duck Duck Goat and more
  • Chef Beverly Kim, Wherewithall
  • Chef Devin Kreller, Wood
  • Chef Veah Larde, Two Sisters Catering
  • Chef Martial Noguier, BISTRONOMIC
  • Chef Alex Pitts, Bazaar Meat and bar mar
  • Chef Pat Sang and Gary Zickel, Oki Sushi
  • Chef Jacob Saben, Coda di Volpe
  • Chef Jennifer Selvaggi, Turano Baking Co.

Session 2, 7–10pm

  • Chef Daniel Boulud, DANIEL, Bar Baloud, Le Pavillon and more
  • Chef Vanessa Brown, Kitchen + Kocktails    
  • Chef Thai Dang, HaiSous
  • Chef Juan Jimenez, Norman’s Bistr
  • Chef Dominique Leach, Lexington Betty’s Smokehouse
  • Chef Lamar Moore, River North Entertainment and Bar
  • Chef Hisanobu Osaka, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
  • Chef Dylan Patel, avec and bar avec
  • Chef Devon Quinn, eden
  • Chef Pat Sang and Gary Zickel, Oki Sushi
  • Chef Avgeria Stapaki, Nisos Mediterranean
  • Chef Jenner Tomaska, Esmé
  • Chef Fabio Viviani, Bar Siena
  • Chef Jeff Vucko, Pendry Chicago 

$255. September 24 from 2–5pm and 7–10pm at Harris Theater Rooftop, 205 E Randolph St. 

Prost! In the Park

Although it happens in September, late as it might be, this new event— hosted by Monteverde chef Sarah Grueneberg— brings a Chicago-style take on Oktoberfest to the table. Of course, we can count on it having beer, chef-prepared bites and drinks from a host of producers. 

Lineup: 

  • Chef Brian Ahern, BOEUFHAUS
  • Chef D’Andre Carter, Soul & Smoke
  • Chef Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook, animal, Son of a Gun, Jon & Vinny’s, helen’s and more
  • Chefs Kurt Guzowski and Thomas Rice, Four Star Artisan
  • Chef Kevin Hickey, The Duck Inn
  • Baker Ellen King, Hewn
  • Chef Leigh Omilinsky, Swift & Sons
  • Chef Tigist Reda, Demera Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Chef Darnell Reed, Luella’s Southern Kitchen
  • Chef Juan Silva, Beach Ave BBQ
  • Chef Mark Steuer, FUNKENHAUSEN
  • Chef Bailey Sullivan, Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio
  • Chef Paul Virant, Vie, Vistro Prime and Gaijin
  • Chef Steven Zabel, Performance Foodservice

$95. September 24 from 1–5pm at Harris Theater Rooftop, 205 E Randolph St.

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