Felt Like a Foodie at CHILL in the Merchandise Mart ChicagoI went to CHILL and the food was multiplying.  I was losing control.  ‘Cause the delicacies they were supplying were electrifying.  (Okay, anyone who saw the movie Grease knows I just butchered the lyrics to one of the best songs EVER!)

If my first paragraph made you think of me and my husband running around Merchandise Mart on Thursday night (like Danny and Sandy in the funhouse), you would be close!  (I did not have on cool spandex pants but I did wear a neat, flapper shirt!)

On Thursday, November 10, 2011, I was lucky enough to attend CHILL in Chicago.  Simply stated CHILL showcases 30 of Chicago’s top chefs and 150 different types of wines while benefitting three great charities.  (Respitory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and The Lynn Sage Foundation).

The best part is that you got free reign of the first floor of Merchandise Mart that features LUXEHOME one of the largest collections of premier boutiques for remodeling, design and homebuilding.  (I had some serious kitchen envy going on!)

What did I eat?  Oh, you are so sweet to ask!  Here is just a small list of what was on the menus:

Chef Kristine Subido WAVE restaurant CHILL
Me and Chef Subido

Braised beef short rib with butternut squash puree and shredded cabbage by Chef Kristine Subido @ WAVE. (Nice to see the familiar faces and eat her wonderful food again.)

-Maine Lobster Dim Sum  with a white Truffle emulsion and a lobster Cream Sauce”  by Chef Rhett M. Dukes  @ Roy’s Restaurant (It should have been called Dim YUM)

nacional 27
Chef Vilchez and Liz Samples

-Sashimi grade Ahi Tuna, watermelon and chives mixed in spicy rice wine vinaigrette (rice wine vinegar, mirin, house hot sauce.)  by Chef Francisco “Chico” Vilchez  @ Nacional 27 (This ceviche is a fusion of Brazilian and Asian flavors)

-Shishito pepper with ponzu and bonito flakes and prime beef tataki with truffle jus and fresh shaved mataki mushroom by Chef CE Bian @Roka Akor (Umami at it’s best!)

-Cake pops, vanilla panna cotta with a blood orange sauce and salt and pepper cookie and wickedly good pumpkin brownies with cream cheese frosting by Lillycakes in Naperville (Some of the prettiest desserts I’ve ever seen.)

Lillycakes of Naperville, Illinois
Aren't those desserts by Lillycakes adorable?

-Shrimp and grits, Braised short ribs deep fried with a tempura batter and served with a bourbon bbq sauce and Pork belly on Asian salad by Chef Craig Bell, executive chef for Sub-Zero Wolf Midwest (I’m still dreaming about that pork belly!)

-Fluke Sashimi, Yuzu-espellette aioli, smoked artic char roe, Green Acres Farm beets by Chef Greg Bitters @ Sofitel Water Tower Place (I don’t think I had ever “fluked” before it melted in my mouth.)

Chef Trevor Hoyte and Felt Like a Foodie at CHILL
Me and Chef Hoyte

-Homemade potato gnocchi w/ Alaskan king crab, butternut squash, hon-shimeji mushrooms, parisienne fall vegetables and topped with bulls blood by Chef Trevor Hoyte @ IPO (Yes, BULLS BLOOD! It is a type of micro-green.  He It was a tasty dish!)

-Butternut squash Cappellacchi in a brown butter sage.  (One of my favorite bites of the night) Autumn risotto (rice pudding) topped with red wine poached pear and ginger snap crumbs by Rosebud Restaurants

-Butternut squash soup with cinnamon apples and black walnut crème fraiche in little “chef’s hats” by Chef Greg Ellitott @ Lockwood Restaurant (I’m a sucker for cute presentation.)

Felt like a foodie got to eat shrimp cocktail at one sixtyblue chicago
Shrimp Cocktail at it's best!

-A “shrimp cocktail” with some AMAZING molecular gastronomy by Chef Michael McDonald at one sixtyblue.

For those of you who like your wine, it looked like there were options galore.  I don’t drink (unless I don’t like the company I’m with and then I down it like I’m on the Titanic.)  I was hearing rave reviews about the options available and would really recommend this type of venue for you connoisseurs of such libations.  (That was really a mouthful that you could swirl around your palette.)

Now for my regular readers, you are saying, what is our little, small town foodie doing at all these big city events?  As much as I read about food and new trends, I KNOW that I have to actually taste these delicacies so I can do my best to replicate the flavors at home.  I’m taking one for the team.  I know, it is a burden, but I’ll do it for you!  (Did you buy that? Nah, I didn’t either but it was worth a shot!)

Felt Like a Foodie
Look at how worn out I am! : )

If CHILL sounds like something you would like to attend, they’ve already announced the date for next year as November 15 so mark your calendar  (Yes, I’ll remind you since I know you don’t have your 2012 calendar yet.)