Chicago Gourmet 2012

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on October 1, 2012

in dessert, family

Have I mentioned recently how proud I am of my sister? Oh, I have? Ok, well this is going to be another one of those posts.

For the last few years, Chicago has hosted a phenomenal event for restaurants and foodies alike called Chicago Gourmet. It’s in Millennium Park, and I had the experience of going to the event last year. Last year though, it was pouring rain, and I was accompanied by someone who didn’t quite get why I had to take photos of everything.

So this year, I was gifted a ticket from my sister who had her very own booth!

chicago gourmet 2012-29.jpg

My mom, Eo, and I headed downtown at about noon on Sunday, and to say it was a perfect day is an understatement!

chicago gourmet 2012.jpg

chicago gourmet 2012-19.jpg

The first booth we came across was the Absolut cocktail booth, where we were handed an “Orange Booty” cocktail.

chicago gourmet 2012-20.jpg

How gorgeous is my mom?

chicago gourmet 2012-21.jpg

Next, we waited in line for the Gibson’s Steak House booth, where we were handed a beef tenderloin mini sandwich, a pulled pork sandwich, and a shrimp cocktail sandwich.

chicago gourmet 2012-22.jpg

Then, we followed a few people to find out where they had obtained the cutest thing we’d seen all day… tiny jars full of Belvedere Vodka cocktails!

chicago gourmet 2012-27.jpg

chicago gourmet 2012-26.jpg

Next, while we quenched our thirst with the lovely mini jar cocktails, I grabbed a marinated portabello mushroom sandwich from the Highland Baking Company. It was quite good!

chicago gourmet 2012-23.jpg

Then we waited in line to get a sampling from a variety of delicious places

chicago gourmet 2012-24.jpg

White chocolate mousse and salted caramel in a sesame cone

chicago gourmet 2012-25.jpg

Caramel apple puffs by Chef Meg Galus of NoMi (she and Leigh worked together at Tru!)

Next thing we knew, it was nearly 3 p.m. and Leigh was scheduled to begin her serving at 3, so we high-tailed it over to Tasting Pavillion #6 where Leigh and her 1200 tiny desserts were setting up.

chicago gourmet 2012-28.jpg

chicago gourmet 2012-30.jpg

A small family photo shoot ensued, including me feeding Leigh her own dessert… we’re a strange group.


chicago gourmet 2012-33.jpg

And the dessert? Un-freaking-believable. It was a pear bavarois with concord grape geleé, butter cake, sliced pear, and chartreuse pearls.

chicago gourmet 2012-32.jpg

And she made 1200 of them. I want more.

Or 5.

Millions of kudos to Chef Leigh Omilinsky!

After a little while, I saw someone eating something in an adorable jar, so I went searching for it. And I found it! A tiny mojito cheesecake in a bubble. You’ll be seeing this container again for sure.

chicago gourmet 2012-34.jpg

A lovely day in my favorite city, made even better by amazing food and fun with family…

chicago gourmet 2012-35.jpg

chicago gourmet 2012-36.jpg

Sweet home Chicago…



Digiprove sealThis recipe blog post has been Digiproved © 2012

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenn (eating bender) October 1, 2012 at 8:56 PM

This post is AMAZING! Kudos to Leigh, love the photos of you, your mom and Sue, not to mention the food. Oh, the food! I am totally planning a trip to Chicago centered around this event next year if you’ll be my date! I want those jars. :)
Jenn (eating bender)´s last blog post ..Raspberry Beret


Mara @ What's For Dinner? October 1, 2012 at 9:04 PM



Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles October 1, 2012 at 9:01 PM

Wow, that dessert from your sister looks AMAZING. What a beautiful family!

Oh! And will I be seeing you at Foodbuzz again this year?! I hope so. :)
Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles´s last blog post ..Mexican Risotto


Mara @ What's For Dinner? October 1, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Aw thanks!!
Unfortunately I won’t be hitting FoodBuzz this year, BUT I think the sis and I are headed to SF at some point this year, so I’ll have to be in touch!!


Liz @ Tip Top Shape October 1, 2012 at 9:20 PM

This makes me miss Chicago!!!! Looks like a great event :D
Liz @ Tip Top Shape´s last blog post ..Tip Top Shape Is Moving!


mom October 1, 2012 at 9:53 PM

i couldn’t be prouder of you and Leigh…. love the strange group!!


Lauren October 2, 2012 at 7:14 AM

What a fantastic event!! There is so many great food events in Chicago. I’m actually coming for the Food and Film Festival in November. Ah, I so hope we can meet up lady. :)
Lauren´s last blog post ..Pumpkin Banana Almond Butter with Sea Salt


Biz October 2, 2012 at 3:25 PM

So jealous I wasn’t there! My sister volunteered the first day, then got a massive headache and couldn’t attend on Sunday. We’ve talked about next year getting a hotel, volunteering on Saturday a night out on the town and good eats on Sunday – can’t wait!

Your sisters dessert looks insulin worthy!!
Biz´s last blog post ..Cooking Light’s Banana Nutella Bread


Jenn@slim-shoppin October 6, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Mara, I volunteered and got to work the celebrity book signing!!

If you volunteer you get a free ticket for the next day!
Jenn@slim-shoppin´s last blog post ..Chicken Brunswick Stew – my 30 minute weeknight version


Previous post:

Next post: