Aspen, South Beach … Chicago?


You read that right. As if the city’s hot dogs, pizza, and Italian beef — oh, and the Taste — weren’t enough, Chicago is putting itself on the haute culinary map this weekend with the inaugural Chicago Gourmet, a weekend-long festival of food and wine.

While much of the talent is homegrown — Frontera’s Rick Bayless, Top Chef’s Stephanie Izard, Gale Gand of Tru and PBS — the festival’s got global reach, with chefs and wine experts flying in from all over: from Terrance Brennan of New York’s Picholine and Maricel Presilla of Hoboken, NJ’s criminally delicious Cucharamama and Zafra, to Mpuhe Dhlomo of Africa Meets Europe in Durban, South Africa and Francesca Marsetti from Milan’s Brasserie Iseo Brescia.

Of course, MenuPages will be on the scene as well: special correspondents Bridget Houlihan and Tammy Green (of the can’t-miss dining podcast Chicago Bites) will be bringing their formidable skills to the table, filing regular reports throughout the weekend, starting with tonight’s opening night gala.

Aspen, South Beach … Chicago?