Barbara’s Takes a Bite of Chicago Gourmet


The warm and steady rain didn’t dampen spirits at this year’s Chicago Gourmet. In fact, many of the events were sold out long before the gates opened on September 27th. Barbara’s Bookstore was there again, this year, to manage the signing events for many of the chefs whose culinary appearances included promoting their latest cookbooks.

“Another amazing weekend,” said Lisa Linke, Executive Director of Events and Sales for Barbara’s. “Rain or shine, we always love being a part of this event.”

Linke, who managed more than a dozen authors during the event, logged over 42,000 steps on her Fitbit over the two-day gourmet event.

Chef Rick Bayless, author of The Mexican Everyday, signing his cookbooks for fans.

If you’ve never experienced Chicago Gourmet, here’s a primer.


Each September, Bon Appétit delivers a culinary tour de force. On stage at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, celebrity chefs present their favorite dishes while they cook, laugh, take questions, and selfies. Just beyond the stage, tents galore on the Great Lawn delight the crowd with delicious food, wine, spirits and beer tastings. Ready for a master class? Two seminar spots feature top sommeliers and mixologists opening bottles and minds with new wines to try and cocktails to shake.

On Friday night, organizers offered tasty burgers, cold beer, and skyline views at the Hamburger Hop on the Harris Theater rooftop while dancing and night-caps follow at the Late Night Gourmet after-party. And, not to be outdone, special themed dining events each year treated guests to dynamite culinary experiences in unique venues.

Founded by the Illinois Restaurant Association and produced in partnership with title sponsor Bon Appétit and presenting sponsor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Chicago Gourmet’s main event and exclusive Grand Cru, was presented by UnitedHealthcare and Optum.