Over the weekend the National Honey Board (NHB) was in Chicago participating in the 10th annual Chicago Gourmet. The premier food and wine event of the Chicago area, the three-day festival took place September 22-24th in Millennium Park and proved to be a great placement for honey.
We kicked off the festivities with a buzzworthy Farm to Table dinner on the famous 606 Trail. Opening with a cocktail and hor d’ourves in the lush garden of local chef Rick Bayless. Following the reception, guests moved up to the 606 Trail that overlooks the chef’s garden to enjoy a beautiful three-course meal. This sweet event was the perfect way to kick off our time at Chicago Gourmet.
Following the wonderful dinner, the NHB represented honey in the Grand Tasting Village on Saturday and Sunday. At the booth, attendees got to learn about honey’s many unique varietals, where they come from and even got to taste four varietals – orange blossom, blueberry, buckwheat, and alfalfa – paired with fruit, cheese and crostinis. Visitors to the honey table were pleasantly surprised to learn about what makes honey so unique and about its more than 300 varietals found within the United States and many returned to try multiple varietals.
In addition to consumers, the NHB visited with chefs, beekeepers, and manufacturers interested in honey and bees. But humans weren’t the only enthusiastic visitors to the honey booth. The honey booth was buzzing, literally, with the thrum of visiting honey bees from a nearby hive! Attendees were fascinated and excited to watch the busy bees in person and it gave the NHB a great (although unplanned) opportunity to educate visitors about the important work of the honey bee.
Overall this event served the NHB and honey. Between pleasantly unexpected buzzing visitors and flavorful cocktails in a beautiful garden, honey was certainly the buzz of the 2017 Chicago Gourmet.