Start preparing now: Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet is back for its ninth year! The highly anticipated culinary festival will take place September 23-25, 2016 in Millennium Park. The theme this year — Food is Art! — appropriately ties into Shakespeare 400 Chicago, a yearlong celebration that marks 400 years since Shakespeare's death by honoring his timeless works.
In 2016, Shakespeare 400 Chicago will reach more than 500,000 Chicagoans and visitors through 850 events spanning multiple disciplines, including the culinary arts. At the premier wine showcase Grand Cru, you will sample some of the world's finest wines selected by Master Sommelier Serafin Alvarado of Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits and enjoy artful dishes inspired by Shakespeare's plays.
The Grand Cru will feature a collection of chefs participating in the Culinary Complete Works, where 38 Chicagoland chefs tackled 38 of William Shakespeare's plays, translating Shakespeare's masterpieces into culinary masterpieces. Culinary Complete Works is a part of Shakespeare 400 and is curated and developed by local sommelier/restaurateur Alpana Singh and Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Creative Producer Rick Boynton.
The Grand Cru will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 2-4PM at the Harris Theater Rooftop. Tickets to this exclusive event can be purchased online, and must be accompanied by a general admission Chicago Gourmet ticket. While the Saturday festivities are sold out, both Chicago Gourmet and accompanying Grand Cru tickets are still available for Sunday. Buy now!
Chefs and their Shakespeare-inspired dishes showcased in the Grand Cru include:
- Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde, The Comedy of Errors
- Perry Hendrix, avec, The Tempest
- John Manion, La Sirena Clandestina, Othello
- Tony Priolo, Piccolo Sogno, Triolus and Cressida
- Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Much Ado About Nothing
- Tanya Baker, The Boarding House, The Taming of the Shrew
- Phillip Foss, EL Ideas, Macbeth
- Ryan McCaskey, Acadia, The Winter's Tale
- Tom Van Lente, Lucille, Henry IV, Part 1
- Paul Virant, Perennial Virant, Henry V
Chicago Gourmet was created by the Illinois Restaurant Association to celebrate the work of Chicago chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, distillers and brewers. The weekend will showcase over 200 vendors and feature gourmet tastings, demonstrations, seminars and book signings.
Additionally, this year the festival will have it's first ever Host Chef, Rick Bayless: one of Chicago's favorite celebrity chefs. Chicago Gourmet weekend events include also a taco showdown featuring Chef Bayless (The Tao of Tacos, September 24), as well as the Hamburger Hop competition (September 23), Late Night Gourmet after party (September 23) and Rise & Shine Gourmet yoga brunch (September 25).
Want to taste through Shakespeare's plays but can't make it to the Grand Cru? Head to Shakespeare 400's website to see the full list of restaurants participating in the Culinary Complete Works, as some are featuring their dishes through October.
Follow #ChiGourmet on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates: @chicago_gourmet
Photo credits: Grand Cru Champagne Pour, Bonnie Rezabek. The Winter's Tale, courtesy of Ryan McCaskey and Acadia. Macbeth, courtesy of Phillip Foss and EL Ideas. Chicago Gourmet Pouring, Neil John Burger Photography.