When I was younger I would drive in from Michigan to go to the Taste. It was fun. Seeing the bands and eating overpriced food. Good times and good memories. Then I went to work for the city and everything changed.
For years I have worked every summer for about the past ten years I have either worked in the Command Post for the Taste of Chicago or been so exhausted by the preparation for the event that I have wanted nothing to do with anything there. So I have missed chefs and concerts that I had wanted to see. This year I decided to change that.
My friend Kathy mentioned that she was going to go to one of the Chef du Jour dinners with her friend Tracy. I figured here was my chance. So I bought a ticket. We decided on the last days dinner with Chef Matthias Merges. We all got the vegetarian option.
Here is Chef Merges telling us about the dinner. It seems all of the veggies came from the program he supports for non-violent felons rehabilitation. Seemed appropriate for a cop and a retired sergeant.
Here is the first course, kohlrabi and summer apple salad with aged Gouda, rnuts and pretty flowers.Then it was Charred sweet corn tortellini with almond broth. So delicious.
Next was the main course. It was a giant gnocchi with caraway, carrots and horseradish. It was like nothing I had ever had. The gnocchi had a rye bread quality to it, which was funny since the non-vegetarian dinners had corned beef.
Finally it was Ecuadorian chocolate terrine, with milk jam, berries and tarragon. The tarragon was not overpowering and it seems milk jam is a fancy way of saying caramel sauce. This was delicious and I would have licked the plate if I could have. Also the thing on top turned out to be a kumquat. I had never had one before.