I have amazing perks with my job. One of them is going to some excellent media events and I was very excited to get a coveted invite to the Food & Wine Best New Chefs party.
They awarded the best new chefs their honors, but first, they fed us.
And they fed us well.
I really enjoyed the Johnnycake from Chef Linton Hopkins (without the spicy greens).
And it was fun to be able to taste a dish from Chef Mei Lin (most recent Bravo Top Chef winner)
Her pork belly paté egg rolls were quite divine.
Chefs Joe Ogrodnek & Walker Stern (two of last year’s best new chefs) had a dish I would never have ordered from a menu…
A buttermilk parfait with vegetable muesli.
But this little dish was actually packed with flavor. It looked so simple, but it was refreshing and flavorful at the same time.
Upstairs, there were 2 tucked away tasting areas and another bar.
He served “The Humm Dog” which was a bacon wrapped hot dog with gruyere cheese with black truffle mayonnaise and celery relish.
I thoroughly enjoyed this hot dog!
Among the many celebrity chef tasting tables, they also had passed little bites.
Chef Koren Grieveson had a tucked away area where she was hamming it up with her staff
She was so incredibly friendly and welcoming and you could tell she was just tickled to be there.
Her confit chicken was so light and I loved the pairing of orange with it. I wish I could have this for lunch every day.
I enjoyed her personalized chopsticks teasing a new restaurant, Duck Duck Goat, coming to Chicago this spring. (I’m dying to try it! Peking Duck by Stephanie Izard? I’m in!)
And mini goat greeting us.
The dish was a spicy noodle dish, which I couldn’t have.
She sadly sad that they could give me a plain noodle dish and apologized that I’d be missing out… but there was NO missing out! Even these “plain” noodles were packed with flavor. Super delicious.
Before they gave out the awards, we were treated to an aerialist show that was beautiful.
Then it was award time.
The reason I got to attend is because one of my clients, BelGioioso Cheese (awesome cheese in your grocery store if you haven’t tried it) was one of the featured sponsors with a yummy dish.
After the awards and the food was served, the music got cranked up and everyone let loose. The celebrity chefs were having a blast on the dance floor and we spoke to a few (including Chef Stephanie Izard, who could not have been nicer). It was at this point that my slightly inebriated husband decided to set up a fun photo shoot with any chef who was game… The sell: “My wife is pregnant and we want to take a picture of chefs pointing at the belly.” After I swallowed my ever so slight embarrassment at asking all these lovely people to pose, we actually wound up with a great set of pictures: