The third annual Chicago Gourmet isn't until September, but organizers are counting on early birds hungry for the worm.
Tickets for the two-day eating fest in Millenium Park went on sale last week at a discount -- $90 a day, or $175 for both days. Regular ticket prices are $150 and $250, respectively, so it's quite a deal.
Put on by the Illinois Restaurant Association, the event will feature more than 80 chefs and sommeliers.
All the familiar big-name toques will be cooking (Bayless, Bannos, Tramonto and so on) as well as local treasures you don't usually see at these foodie events, including Tony Hu of the burgeoning Chinatown empire that began with Lao Sze Chuan, fishmonger Dirk Fucik and Terry's Toffee owners Terry Opalek and Michael Frontier.
Besides food booths, there will be cooking demonstrations, seminars and book signings, but all of those details are still being hammered out since, well, we're talking September.
Chicago Gourmet will be Sept. 25 and 26.
For more details or for early-registration tickets, go to chicagogourmet.org.