Gourmet Gourmands.

Posted on Tuesday 29 September 2009

It’s safe to say I’m still pleasantly stuffed from the epicurean adventure that was Chicago Gourmet this past weekend. Writing for a food-marketing agency, not to mention never one to turn down foodstuffs, I went in to the soiree with the confidence I would feel right at home.

But the behemoth bright white tents, the freshly cut grass, the celebrity chefs, the scantily clad alcohol promo ladies- all with the wavering aroma of many a food awaiting my taste buds…I must admit it was a little overwhelming. Intimidating even. Not only was there row after row of tents awaiting our ready forks and glasses, but the event also miraculously swapped food exhibitors in and out of said rows throughout the duration of the day. Meaning, by the time you made one lap around the taste course, it was time to start all over again, with an array of new offerings. My first thought was “how are we going to try all of these things in one day?” And my second thought was “will I be able to physically persevere without falling victim to food coma?”

It really was a treat to be sampling dishes from many of the best restaurants our city has to offer, from the very chefs behind those menus. Looking at it from both a consumer and marketer’s mind, a lot of curiosity arose. You can’t ignore the effort and money that goes in to creating an event like this; I wondered, is it necessary for a food company to participate in an event like Chicago Gourmet?

For a restaurant, it’s probably not a bad idea. Although it’s going to put a small dent in your budget, it’s a great opportunity to get in front of someone and do something brilliant. There were a lot of memorable morsels, but some definitely made an impact while others fell to the wayside. It’s a chance to show what your restaurant and brand can serve up that will grab the attention of an entire city’s eating elite. Since being memorable keeps people talking and coming back, I vote yes, worth the investment in an event such as this.

If you are a food manufacturing company, might we suggest partnering with another company or a restaurant for optimal participation? For example, one of our clients donated the buns to a restaurant here in town that was sampling sliders for the day. Without making the financial commitment of renting a tent, staffing a team or putting in the hours of time, they were still able get their name and product on people’s lips, and in their hands.

If you consider yourself a food lover, buy the ticket. Eat and enjoy yourself. It’s a rare occurrence you’ll get to sample various delightful things from a collection of great restaurants (or wineries, or spirits companies, or other food companies) all in one place. Take the time to ask questions-no matter what the takeaway, you’ll learn something new. Chances are that thing you learn will taste really nice also.

1 Comment for 'Gourmet Gourmands.'

    October 15, 2009 | 1:58 am


    thanks for the great quality of your blog, each time i come here, i’m amazed.

    black hattitude.

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