There was mud, there were tents, but beyond the camp-like feeling, there was elegance and talent and some of the best food I’ve tasted at Bon Apetit’s Chicago Gourmet.
I woke up on Sunday thinking a book and a run were in the cards for me and a Bears game. But then my friend called me and said she wanted to ask me on a date – one without naps. I laughed. We are neighbors after all and rarely hangout. She picked me up and we caught up on dating in the city on our way to the Chicago foodie event.
Before we knew it, we had arrived at Millennium Park for Chicago Gourmet. We had a wine glass in hand and lavish tents before us offering us bites of pork, kale, and even a peanut butter ravioli from RX Bars.
I’m the center of all these white tents, lawn furniture and rain boots, were designated booths for libations. The cocktails were good, but the wine actually was pretty great. Surprisingly, my favorite drink was a margarita from Moe’s Cantina. I know.
My second favorite was a delicate strawberry gin drink with flower garnishes from Puerto de Indias. It wasn’t shockingly sweet, but rather refreshing.
As we went from tent to tent, carefully skating over the mud, we took in the rain boots and the scenery. Something I simply loved about this event were the interactions. Patron had an installment where you could ride a bike to grind up your margarita. RX Bars let you personalize your order. And then there was a table that gave you a loaf of bread to take home. If you can imagine a bunch of drunk moms waiting in line so they could prepare school lunches the next day – that’s where I found myself around 4 pm. All that was missing was the peanut butter and jelly.
Naturally, having cocktails and creative energy doesn’t make an event amazing, it’s a start. The real benefit to going to an event is the people. And there were so many fun people. We all took each other’s pictures and shared notes on the best food tents. People who love food are fun people.
It was a great day as we bit into an ice cream sandwich, took a dance break in front of the Patron tent, swirled our glasses with Red Mare and Chloe Wines and caught up with other bloggers and friends in Chicago.
I didn’t think I had something I was missing from my Chicago Bucket List, but this was definitely one of them. If you go, bring friends – experiences like these are best on a date or with a group of people.
I feel like there are so many cool places to go in Chicago and rather than asking someone because of fear of rejection or the trouble of making plans – we go alone or worse, we don’t go at all. Can you imagine having a ticket to an amazing event like Chicago Gourmet and not going because you didn’t know who to ask? If there’s one thing I’ve learned – as the girl who went to all events alone – that asking is always better. I’ve been able to deepen friendships and relationships all from simply asking. So while there are great events, take the opportunity to ask someone if they want to go or would be interested. Because great events and moments are meant to be shared.
Cheers to more cocktails connections! What events are you go to that have helped you build relationships?
Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.