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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Green City Market CHEF'S BBQ 2009


I awoke Thursday feeling the excitement of Christmas morning. But this grown up version was in anticipation of tasting the creations of over sixty Chicago area chefs as well as numerous beer, wine and spirit distilleries all gathered for Green City Market’s annual barbeque – all in only two hours (and all for $60 I might add)!

In preparation, myself and hundreds of others arrived early gain the advantage of walking into the BBQ at 6pm on the dot. And despite an early onslaught of rain, the weather did clear up which made visiting tables and chatting with the 2500+ other guests a decidedly enjoyable Chicago summer evening.

The evening was truly one of indulgence – from food to alcohol and conversational opportunities, there is no possible way to experience all the BBQ has to offer. But from my perspective, all in attendance made a valiant effort.

With no map to go by, I walked in and was happy to stumble upon Naha’s braised elk with salad, kohlrabi, candied onions, peaches and tarragon dish. From there I tried the wonderful offerings at Prairie Grass including not only a grilled mushroom crostini with goat cheese, but a drink of muddled peaches, local honey, mint and north shore vodka. At this point, with two plates and two drinks in my hand, my stomach was already cautioning me to slow down, but my mind said “go go go!”. I tried some dishes that made my pallet say wow like the Korean BBQ sandwich with Kimchee from Urban Belly, the Seedlings hard cider sorbet and grilled rabbit sausage with fennel relish from Crofton on Wells, the goat sausage with apricot butter from North Pond (it is a BBQ afterall), and the blueberry ice cream soda from Ritz Carlton. At an event where room in your stomach is at a premium, I also made some choices I afterward regretted (Mado’s beef tongue didn’t do much for my taste buds although kudos for the ingredient choice!) I’m so sad about everything I didn’t try (Vie, I didn’t know you were there until too late!) But I left that evening with too much of everything in my stomach so this event goer deems the GCM BBQ a huge success.

My advice for next year:
Buy your ticket early, map out your plan of attack before those gates open, don’t eat for a day or two before the event, and tell work not to expect you in the office the next day!

By Kyle Schott


Chicago Green City Market

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The Dishes & Dirt blog explores some of what Chicago has to offer when it comes to eating delicious sustainable food and supporting our local food economy.