I was lucky enough to win two VIP tickets to Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation charity event, thank to POM! The event featured some of our favorite Chicago culinary favorites like Rick Bayless, Stephanie Izard, Graham Elliot, and Adam Seger. All in all there were 65 chefs and 25 mixologists. It was hosted at the Aragon Ballroom where you got to help yourself to anything they had to offer! The theme was street food.
We got there a bit early so while we waited in line, that foodtruck behind Adam delivered us our first taste of delicious tacos. Nicely wrapped (meaning I stuffed one in my purse and we ate it for lunch the next day!)
Beautiful displays of fabulous food lined the entranceway.
Thanks for the tickets to POM!!! They were serving up a sweet mocktail.
As we entered the ballroom.
Goose Island was representing with lots of beers including Sofie and Matilda.
This is Sonja, from North Shore Distillery (here in Chicago), we love her and her garden fresh cocktails!
Rick Bayless's booth. He topped everyone's dish with some cilantro just before serving.
Stephanie Izard (Top Chef winner) takes a break with a beer while her sous chefs furiously work to plate delicious goat tacos.
Adam Seger is mixing up a Hum punch with lots of fresh goodies from his garden.
Look at the garnish, edible flowers, basil leaves, yum!
We only took this picture because we couldn't get over all the buttons this guy in the background had undone. Granted, it was super hot in there, they didn't turn the air up because it would have taken $10K away from the charity.
The view from the balcony
Who, in this next series of photos, will teach you how to shake your cocktail like you mean it!
These two were mixing up cocktails in the same booth. Both were delicious! The guy on the left made a strawberry mint vodka drink. On the right, a grapefruit, brandy, and elderflower one - yumm!
Rick and Deann Bayless accept their 2010 Share Our Strength Sustaining Communities Award
Adam Seger (of Hum Spirits) on the left, and a lawyer by day mixing up a delicious strawberry cocktail on the right. See that bottle he's filling up, he gave that to us to take home!!!
Here's that strawberry cocktail as served with mint:
This event was ridiculously awesome. Like I said, we were lucky enough to win the VIP tickets this year but there is no way we aren't going back next year. 100% of the ticket price benefits Share Our Strength's efforts to end child hunger. Anybody who is anybody in the culinary world in Chicago is there. And you get goodie bags when you go home! Totally loved it!