Chicago Gourmet's Hamburger Hop kicked off the festival's weekend with 15 local chefs cooking up burgers to face off for the title of best burger. The award was given to Martial Noguier of Bistronomic for his Le French burger with country pâté, shallot marmalade, cornichons and dijon mustard on a golden brioche Turano bun. The people's choice burger was given to Moosah Reaume of Rosebud Prime for his Rosebud patty melt slider with Calabrian chili aioli, caramelized onions and white cheddar on a dark pumpernickel Turano bun.
I tried all but one burger, which is a feat unto itself with 15 hefty sliders. Among my favorites were Rosebud Prime's and MAD Social's (which came with a macaroni and cheese patty, roasted garlic, pork belly, pickled onions and chorizo aioli). I'll give props to Gibson's Steakhouse as well for a burger on a biscuit with a fried green tomato. Check out all the burgers we tried to fill our bellies with before a weekend packed with plenty of tasty bites to come.
Photographs by Jaclyn Rivas