The day before Millennium Park is besieged by chefs and slightly tipsy guests, Chicago Gourmet will hold the 2011 Hamburger Hop. The event is mostly just an excuse to see what some of the best chefs in the city can do with ground meat, and it proved to be a huge success last year. That’s when NoMI’s Ryan LaRoche picked up the critics prize for his Wagyu beef burger with smoked-tomato aioli. Eater reports that he won’t be there to defend his title, though the people’s choice winner, Kevin Hickey from Seasons, will be.
Sadly, Thomas Keller will not be making another appearance, though we are excited to see that Kevin Pang — the Tribune reporter behind The Cheeseburger Show — will be putting all his extensive burger knowledge to good use. [Eater]