Grand Cru ruled at Chicago Gourmet

Tue. September 28, 2021 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

A long-running food event called Chicago Gourmet returned in 2021 on a reduced scale. For 14 years, Chicago Gourmet has been a massive celebration with the cuisine scene but was canceled last year during the pandemic. It is now revived with more intimate events this year as a sign of the times.

A Tacos & Tequila night, presented by US Foods, kicked things off on September 23. This was followed by the popular Hamburger Hop at the Harris Theater rooftop on Sept. 24 and the Grand Cru the next day in the same spot for two sessions.

Grand Cru couldn't be contained under just one large metal tent, but extended to a spacious patio and outdoor area with vendor booths.

Guests had the opportunity to try out wines and eat small portions of a wide range of chefs from the Chicago area. Top Chef winners were right there in the trenches serving up their fantastic samples to ticket holders. Stephanie Izard, Sarah Gruenberg and Joe Flamm were all on hand to chat and tell stories about their creations.

A DJ played pop tunes and many enjoyed the sunny weather while mingling with others on the patio for the early session of Grand Cru.

The Grand Tasting event was reimagined for the current state of the world and vaccine cards were checked at entry. The space worked well with the current size of vendors that day. Session two of the Grand Cru included Mastro's Steakhouse, Gibsons Italia and Momotaro, among others.

Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits were the presenting main sponsors of Chicago Gourmet with many others that joined such as DoorDash, Choose Chicago and Turano. Another sponsor Evian Natural Spring Water was a welcome sight to help wash things down and clean everyone's palates!

This event gave new foodies a chance to sample what Chicago Gourmet has to offer, but those longtime fans will surely be hungry for more of the Grand Tasting again.

Visit for updates on next year's happenings with a possible return as a major event in the city for 2022.