After all the hype surrounding Chicago Gourmet, we have to cop to a tiny bit of schadenfreude when reading all the “where’s the food?” complaints, but ultimately we were rooting for the food festival to pull off its freshman effort.
The Reader’s Julia Thiel pulls absolutely no punches: Summing up the various coverage of the event, she says “So far … nothing I’ve come across has used to word “clusterf**k” to describe the event. Which is strange, because it’s been running through my head all weekend.”
Meow, Thiel, but the truth is she’s on the money: Not enough food, too much wine, and a poorly organized flow of events that meant lots of standing around doing nothing, not a lot of consuming prepaid gourmet nutrients.
A misplayed inaugural year doesn’t mean Chicago Gourmet is dead in the water: the Aspen Food & Wine Classic has taken a quarter-century to get this big, and South Beach benefits from a partnership with the Food Network. So for an indie operation in its first year out of the gate, in this case, there’s nowhere to go but up.
[Chicago Gourmet brochures via Zesmerelda’s Flickr]