Chicago Fine Chocolate Show yesterday, today Tim and I ventured to the Chicago Wine and Food Festival in St. Charles.
Through the glory of the Yelp Elite Squad, Tim and I got VIP tickets for free. Valued at $250, this pair of tickets entitled us to early entry and unlimited food and booze tastings. I am one lucky, lucky gal.
I'm very glad I didn't pay the face value of these tickets as they were not worth that. From what I read on Facebook and Yelp, yesterday's event was a complete disaster. Today wasn't a ton better. We never received the etched wine glasses that were promised in the promotional materials, and many of the vendors were still setting up when the doors opened at 11. I'm glad we did the early admission as it was crazy crowded when we left at 12:30, but I don't think that the VIP experience offered any other discernible benefits. I even heard from a vendor there that the wine he left overnight for today's event was not there this morning. Seems fishy to me. Another weird thing was that it wasn't all food vendors - there was a home improvement referral service, a bank, Cutco knives and some other gimmicky type businesses on hand.
However, there were some awesome food finds. Tim loved a barbecue vendor and a local hot sauce purveyor, and I found a plethora of tasty bites. My love of rieslings continues as I found yet another bottle that I'll have to pick up during my next shopping trip. This was only the first year of this event, so perhaps they underestimated the popularity of it and oversold tickets.
Highlights? This Key Lime Pie from Chinn's and the proliferation of celebrity chefs from Hell's Kitchen. I also tried some delicious dishes from a caterer in Naperville and am officially chocolated out for at least the next 24 hours. I'm going to go have a salad or something to try and counteract all this amazing food I've eaten. I would go to this again next year, but I would only pay a maximum of $40 per ticket.