Tastes of Summer
Summer officially starts tomorrow, June 21st, and you know that means an abundance of summer food favorites. Barbecues, patio dining, ice cream and, best of all, food festivals. Whether it's your neighborhood block party, a city spectacular or state fair you can be sure good food is easy to find this summer no matter where you live or go.
Beautiful Buckingham Fountain
Our home town Chicago is no exception. The 33rd Annual Taste of Chicago will be held July 10-14 in Grant Park. "The Taste," as locals call it, is a free admission event featuring 35 restaurants and top-notch musical entertainment.
If you think Chicago is just deep-dish pizza and hot dogs, this event will certainly set you straight. Although you'll find those home town favorites at the Connie's Pizza and Gold Coast Hot Dogs booths you just might be surprised to discover several new global taste treats from Bombay Spice Grill & Wine sampling healthful Indian fare, French Market Flip Crepes, Lao Ma La Chinese and southern-flavored Wishbone Restaurant.
The infamous Rainbow Cone at the Taste
Don't want to dine with the masses in the heat? You need to check out the Celebrity Chef du Jour. The alternative dining experience in its second year lets attendees enjoy a sit-down, three-course meal in an air-conditioned dining pavilion for only $40 per person (limit 4 tickets per person). The program features Chicago celebrity chefs - Rick Bayless, Carrie Nahabedian, Guiseppe Tentori, Gale Gand, The Hearty Boys and Paul Kahan, the newest James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef Award winner of 2013. Tickets for the dining experience are purchased in advance are on sale at tasteofchicago.us If you can't make one of the dinnners, each of the celebrity chefs along with many other top local chefs will be giving cooking demostrations throughout Taste of Chicago.
Cooking demo by Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno
Also returning to The Taste are "Pop-Ups," restaurants that literally pop up for just a day or two. Used as a way to introduce unique neighborhood restaurants and emerging culinary styles, they were quite well recieved last year.
Apple Strudel from Cafe Vienna
Don't come for the food alone. Musical guests Robin Thicke, Robert Plant, Jill Scott, Neon Trees and fun are all part of the outstanding live entertainment you can expect. Tickets for the pavilion are $25 each while the lawn seating remains free of cost. And for the first time ever, additional food choices for concert attendees will be provided by some of Chicago's best food trucks.
Of course, this is just one of the many festivals held in Chicago. Every weekend you can find events downtown, in the local neighborhoods and in the suburbs.
If you'd like us to come and check out your favorite local summer fest, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe we'll see you this summer. In the meantime, enjoy all your favorite summer treats and don't forget the sunscreen and bug spray!