Chef’s Fest

Last night, we went with Liz and Bob to the 12th Annual Chef’s Fest at Arlington Park. This event is sponsored by the Greater Woodfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, who brought together over 60 restaurants, hotels, schools, a zoo, and a baseball team to set up booths with samples of their food.
We arrived about 45 minutes after it started, and the place was packed. It was tough to decide where to start, so we just decided to dive in and grabbed some shrimp cocktail at one of the hotels’ booths. From there on, it was nonstop samples for the next couple of hours.
In no particular order (well, Lisa can vouch for what was first on her list), our favorites included the Chocolate Fountain from the Sheraton, creme brulee from the Woodfield Hyatt, Mai-Tais from The Bamboo Room, apple cider donuts (aka “autumnal donuts”) from Long Grove Confectionery, Guinness-cheese soup from The Curragh, spicy chicken wings from Irie Jamaican Cafe, wine from Lynfred Winery, crab rangoon and spring rolls from Taste of Thai, Bananas Foster from The Barn of Barrington, and crawfish etoufee and a chocolate pastry thing from Pappadeaux.
Brookfield Zoo’s cafe had a booth (fill in all the easy jokes here) with a really cool watermelon carving of the Mona Lisa, and the Schaumburg Flyers’ booth featured hot dogs. Harper College and DePaul University had samples of the food from their hospitality programs (don’t even start with jokes about tater tots and Salisbury Steak).
Two hours later, we were all ready for a nap. I challenged Bob to one lap around the track but he chickened out– I know I could have taken him.
Not only was this a great way to spend an evening, but it also gave us a bunch of new restaurants to add to our queue.