He was delicious.

He was delicious.

When my friend Patrice, aka Afrobella, called and asked me if I wanted to be her guest at Chicago Gourmet 2013, I almost wept with joy. Almost. Instead, I rambled off a bunch of awkward ‘thank yous’ and tweeted that I’d have her baby if she asked me to. Don’t believe me?

Afrobella Chicago Gourmet Tweet

I had been visiting Chicago Gourmet‘s Event Brite page for weeks – pouring over the descriptions, willing myself to purchase a ticket. But I never clicked the ‘purchase’ button. I just couldn’t justify the ticket price – $159 plus tax for one day, or $265 for the weekend. Though I know the event features some of Chicago’s finest restaurants and is a must for foodies, I.just.couldn’t pull the trigger. Why not? I don’t know. I can easily drop much more that much on shoes, without blinking. And, I love food…so I can’t really explain why I was being such a cheapie, but I was.

I’m a fool.

In case you didn’t know, Chicago Gourmet is a celebration of food and wine, showcasing hundreds of chefs, restaurants, vitners and breweries.

This event is worth the price tag. Sure, you could take that money and have a very nice sit down dinner at any restaurant in town. But, Chicago Gourmet allows you to taste such a variety of foods and wines. Plus, there are cooking demonstrations, book signings and more. Where else can you have this kind of experience? No where, that’s where.

Back to my experience…

We had three delicious items – duck taco, pork tostada, and prime rib – within ten minutes of arriving. I felt like I had found Mecca…and I was happy. It was kind of – read: extremely – difficult to snap photos of all the gourmet treats I sampled, because I was busy carrying my little tray and my REAL wine glass (how’s that for fancy). But I did my best. Here is but a sampling of the yummies I had the privilege of tasting:

Chicago Gourmet 2013 mini fried oyster po boy

A mini fried oyster po boy from the seafood pavilion. My cousin was horrified that I would call this a po boy, and told me to ‘act like I’m from New Orleans’.

Whole roast pig Chicago Gourmet 2013

I was so busy taking pics of this whole roast pig that I almost missed my turn to get a yummy roast pork slider.

Tuna sampling, Chicago Gourmet 2013

A yummy tuna treat, from the seafood pavilion.

Target wine tasting, Chicago Gourmet 2013

A selection of wines, from Target’s wine tasting/lesson.

So…what did you do this weekend? :)