In it’s first year, the 2015 Chicago Food + Wine Festival spanned three days in Lincoln Park, featuring world class chefs, artisans, and restaurants from Chicago and around the United States. Festival attendees were treated to chef demos, feasts, book signings, tastings and more as they indulged and learned! We visited the inaugural year of the Windy City’s festival to check out the local talent and a taste of their delicious small bites, along with a few dozen glasses of wine cocktails.

The impressive line up, included the usual festival favorites Tim Love, Graham Elliot, Andrew Zimern and locals like Stephanie Izard, Tony Mantuano, and Sandra Holl.  In typical Food + Wine Festival fashion, there was much more wine and booze than food, but you certainly didn’t find anyone complaining about it.  Check out a few our favorite culinary favorites from the fest.

Friday Night – Feast Under The Stars

The weekend kicked off with the uniquely beautiful dining experience Feast Under The Stars featuring one-of-a-kind dining experience with a locally sourced 5-course meal prepared by award-winning chefs Graham Elliot, Stephanie Izzard, Jimmy Bannos, Mindy Segal and Tony Mantuano.

photo credit: chicago food + wine


Saturday – Grand Tasting

Saturday kicked off the Grand Tasting event bringing local chefs and festival vendors together for an all out tasting blitz, featuring a nearly limitless supply of small bites, wine and booze.  In typical Food + Wine Festival style, the party brought in some non-stop excitement featuring some of our favorite chef demos including Texas grilling and meat master Tim Love as he always keeps things extra hot in the kitchen with a cast iron cooking demonstration in the Art of Burning Food.  Chicago’s own award winning Chef Tony Mantuano taught the crowd about handpicking the best tomatoes, and adding them to fresh pasta and salad dishes paired with select summer wines from his wife Cathy Mantuano.

Toast and Taste

Photos by: Chicago Food + Wine



In the festival’s final day, we were treated to better weather, and more amazing food! The sun finally popped out and attendees hit the dance floor in a similar Austin Food + Wine Festival fashion we’re used to! The live DJ keeping the party atmosphere pumped up throughout the soggy day preventing a damper on the celebration.

Overall the Chicago Food + Wine Festival was an amazing way for attendees to get a taste of some of the best the Windy City has to offer.  Austin might have a few years head start on Chicago for this event, but it will certainly get bigger and better in the years to come!  Chicago is a food lover’s paradise filled with world class chefs and outstanding restaurants. We can’t wait to see what happens at next year’s festival!

Photos by Hayden Walker



About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher

Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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