In the spirit of Chicago Gourmet, the city of Chicago proudly hosted a Study Tour under the theme "When Traveling, Take the Fork: Food & Travel Study Tour" A delegation from four Délice cities embarked on a culinary adventure across the “Windy City” in September 2023.
Chicago, renowned as the culinary capital of the United States, is home to famous chefs, home to over 50 James Beard Award winners, home to iconic restaurants, master sommeliers, and a rich array of international cuisines. The city is a hub for national and international culinary events, including the annual Chicago Gourmet, which brings together esteemed restaurants and chefs from both the city and beyond.
This year's theme, “When Traveling: Take the Fork: Food & Travel Study Tour” was chosen to support Chicago's recovery from the pandemic's impact on the hospitality sector. The aim is to revive the city's food industry, making it a central focus of this travel-themed tour.
It is in this manner that Chicago decided to host a study tour for Délice members from September 21st to 24th. A delegation from four cities Lyon, Tucson, Turin, and Puebla along with their chefs, enthusiastically accepted the invitation and embarked on a gourmet journey across the city.
The program included market visits, presentations, a tour of the Chicago Gourmet event, and chef pairings. For this special occasion, three international chefs from Lyon (Thomas Belval-Sanna, L’Atelier des Augustins), Puebla (Martin Hernandez Lopez, El Mural de los Poblanos), and Turin (Nicolo Giugni, Razzo) collaborated with local Chicago chefs, Chef Martial Noguier, Chef Rick Bayless, and Chef Fabio Viviani, to showcase their culinary masterpieces at the Chicago Gourmet event.
The Délice delegation witnessed the opening night, Tacos & Tequila presented by US Foods and hosted by the renowned and crowned Top Chef Master, Chef Rick Bayless (Frontera Restaurants).
Chef from Puebla, Martin Hernandez Lopez from Restaurant El Mural de los Poblanos prepared for the guests a local dish in its city, “el taco de mole Poblano”: a special taco with roasted turkey, avocado, radish, red onion, but not only. Chef Martin’s stand was full all night, and his presence in Chicago was a fabulous way to celebrate Puebla's food culture and promote Puebla as a culinary destination in the U.S.!
An interesting presentation was delivered at World Business Chicago, providing a comprehensive understanding of Chicago and its vibrant food innovation hub. The session delved into the initiatives implemented by Chicago to establish itself as an innovative and global food destination. This discussion not only offered insights into the delegation's upcoming experiences but also highlighted how Chicago is determined to reinforce its reputation as a global epicenter for food innovation. As an example, the “Here here market”, allows food lovers to purchase unique snacks created by professional chefs. More info by clicking here.
The delegation gained in-depth knowledge of the city's environment through guided tours, exploring key areas like the highly ranked and internationally recognized hospitality and culinary school, Kendall College. Délice representatives also had the chance to learn more about the Fulton Market area, the Green City Market and it sustainable initiatives, and the East Garfield Park, with its “Garfield Produce”, an indoor vertical farm with the social mission of serving under-resourced neighborhoods by building sustainable wealth and creating employment while growing high-quality plants.
The highlight of this Study Tour was the Chef pairing between two couples of great Chefs, who worked together at the third night of the event, the “Grand Cru” evening. Visitors had the chance to taste fine dining productions from two French Chefs on one hand, and two Italian Chefs on the other hand.
To honor French cuisine, we had Chicago-based Chef Martial Nouguier hosting Délice city Lyon Chef Thomas Belval from Restaurant Atelier des Augustins, with their “Fiche Tartelette” with Artic Char/Horseradish and Bresse Cream.
To celebrate Italian know-how, we had Chicago-based Chef Fabio Viviani hosting Délice city Torino Chef Niccolò Giugni from Ristorante Razzo, with their “Whole Roasted Tenderloin” with Hazelnut& Arugula salad (from Garfield produce!), Black Truffle & Butter emulsion. These four Chefs showed their talents in a special stand named “Destination Délice”. As well as for Puebla, these two other Délice cities had a great chance to showcase the city’s food scene overseas, and give visitors a taste of their beautiful cities, in order to entice them to go visit them…and take the fork!
Undoubtedly this study tour was enriching for all the participants. They were treated to a delightful culinary journey, experiencing the flavors of Chicago, Turin, Lyon, and Puebla all together. It was a true exploration and interaction with Chicago's expertise, serving as an inspiration from this innovative city in the food sector. Will your city be our next culinary destination?