Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Here Comes Fall's Biggest Foodie Fests

Blackbird's Paul Kahan (from left), "Top Chef" winner Richard Blais and Perennial's Paul Virant are set to appear at Chipotle's first-ever "Cultivate Chicago" event in October.

If you thought summer's chef scene was busy, just wait until we roll into fall. Holy Smokes will it be a busy one as event after exciting event happens with some of the biggest names in the biz.

Green Tie Ball returns after taking a year off in 2010. The theme is A Return To Emerald City, and organizers have secured more than 40 restaurants and four food trucks to serve up signature bites. Just a taste of the talent: The Drawing Room, Four Seasons, Jam and Owen & Engine. 6:30-8:30pm (VIP); 8:30pm-1am (GENERAL ADMISSION) Sept. 17. $125-$250. Get tickets here. A. Finkl & Sons (2011 N. Southport Ave.).

Local and national culinary stars will be everywhere you look at Chicago Gourmet, happening at Millennium Park Sept. 23-25. In addition to daylong chef demos, wine and food tastings, seminars and competitions, there is the second-annual Hamburger Hop, taking place Sept. 23. That's when a number of local restaurants compete to find out who offers the best burger in town (last year's winner was NoMi's Ryan LaRoche, who's a judge this time around). You can also score a free day pass for Chicago Gourmet by participating in the Dine Around program. Buy tickets to Chicago Gourmet here.