Saturday, July 14, 2012

Green City Market Chef's BBQ

My very first blog post back in 2010 was about the Green City Market so I thought it fitting to mark my return to blogging (read: I finally have some free time!!!) with a post about the Green City Market Chef's BBQ benefit event that Adam and I attended last Thursday. As all good Chicagoans know, the Green City Market occurs twice a week in the Summer in the South end of Lincoln Park. It's a great source of fresh, local produce as well as delicious treats such as Sunday Dinner burgers and other tasty morsels.

Photos courtesy of Goose Island Beer Company superstar, Ken.
The BBQ benefit is an annual collaboration event between local chefs, local food growers, and local beer, wine and spirits organizations. This year there were over 100 restaurants represented with big name chefs present in full force: Rick Bayless of Frontera/Topolobampo, Paul Kahn of Publican/Blackbird/avec/Big Star, and Stephanie Izard of Girl and the Goat just to name a few. My favorite feature of the benefit (and NOT because I'm biased!) was the chef collaboration beers created by the Goose Island brewers. There were 5 or 6 of these beers, specially designed just for this day to go with specific food pairings. For example, the food portion of my favorite pairing of the day is pictured here- Cheeseburger with Pickled Tropea Onions on Potato Bun from Balena paired with Amaro Amo "Bitter Love" beer. The cheeseburger had that wonderful fresh-off-the-grill flavor with an incredible sweetness. The beer was dark and intense but with a tinge of sweetness rather than the more bitter flavors I often expects from this style of beer. So good! Another tasty morsel we enjoyed was the Grilled Hopleaf Wrapped Tilapia w/ Chermoula Sauce from Goose Island Brewpub paired with Summer Crush, a delightfully light beer for a warm summer day.

Belana's Incredible Burger

Another Chef's Beer Collaboration

Never too many hotdogs for this Chicagoan.

For the more adventurous palate, there were Grilled Chicken Hearts from Gunthorp Farms and Slagel Family Farms. I, of course, could not pass this up- I never turn down the chance to try something new! There was also lamb, duck, rabbit, goat, elk to name a few other less traditional tasty treats! Lamb hot dogs were a recurring theme at a few places- really, can one ever eat too many hot dogs? I think not.

Dessert and Marisol w/ Rick Bayless.
My favorite dessert item was a tie b/t the Grilled White Corn Cake with Honey Poached Peaches and Nectarines from Frontera Grill paired with Goose Island's Marisol (one of my favorite Goose beers in general) and the Spiced Bourbon Lemonade "Liquorsicle" from David Burke's Primehouse. Let me tell you, the bourbon was not subtle! But it was delicious:). Adam also had the Lavender Soda w/ Cherry Ice Cream from Sprout- it looked good but by that point I was all out of stomach room!

I highly recommend attending this great charity event. There's simply no way to sample everything but a good start might be a three-day fast before hand. Or maybe a marathon the week there's a thought:)

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