Localicious at the Chicago Good Food Festival | Photos

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Revolution Brewing serving jagerwurst

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Longman

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Saigon Sisters Fire Spice Roasted Pork

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Autre Monde�s Blue Cheese on Grain Crostini

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Autre Monde�s Blue Cheese on Grain Crostini

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Rich Chocolates� Manhattan Truffle

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    The Chicago Diner�s Vegan Reuben

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Kelly Fitzpatrick of The Chicago Diner

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Revolution Brewing�s Jagerwurst

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Revolution pig

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Party guests

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Nonna Santi Biscotti

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Party guest enjoying Big Bowl thai wrap

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Pure Kitchen Catering�s Buttercup Squash and Pine Mousse Wild Rice Cake

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Browntrout�s Falafel

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    A dish at the Good Food Festival and Conference, March 15-17

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Sunnyside Up performing live

  • Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

    Sunnyside Up performing live

Photograph: Tyler Trykowski

Revolution Brewing serving jagerwurst


While it might make great fodder for a sketch on Portlandia, the local food movement is far from a joke. That much was clear Friday evening at the UIC Forum, where the 2012 Chicago Good Food Festival culminated in a delicious, eco-friendly party celebrating all things locally grown and tasty. Localicious brought together farmers and the chefs they work with, giving us a glimpse (and a bite) of how locally sourced food makes it from field to table. Check out our gallery of mouth-watering shots from the party and our favorite dishes below.


LONGMAN AND EAGLE

Swan Creek Farm Pork Belly, Cream of Wheat, Ramps and Caramel

That Longman’s offering here was a knockout comes as no surprise to anyone—the newly Michelin-starred restaurant was one of the top names on an already impressive list of restaurants serving at the party, and its table was mobbed all night. (Fun fact: Right after it earned its star, your author was at Longman for dinner, and saw the bartenders serving 40s to celebrate. Talk about winning with grace.)

Head chef Jared Wentworth’s creation for Localicious fell in line with the restaurant’s long tradition of great pork dishes, and it didn’t disappoint. The pork belly was succulent, served on a bed of smooth, buttery Cream of Wheat that balanced the meat nicely. A caramel drizzle added sweetness while the Ramps brought an earthy touch, all blending together for a surprising flavor that bent the dimensions of what one could expect out of pork in the first place.

REVOLUTION BREWING COMPANY
La Pryor Farms Jalapeno Jagerwurst with Anti-Hero Mustard

Revolution’s table at Localicious was hard to miss—with two fearsome-looking pig heads beckoning guests, illuminated by blood-red heat lamps over a ring of Jagerwurst they’d been butchered for hours earlier, it was about as local as one could get.

Naturally, Revolution beer was used in the making of their Jagerwurst, which was coarse and hearty, with a mildly spicy flavor that packed a nice punch. The mustard dipping sauce added a tang that kept things from getting too dry, and overall, from presentation to delicious first bite, Revolution was a definite winner.

“We butchered the pig, mixed it with our spices—there’s ginger in there, garlic, mustard seeds, salt, sugar, onion, jalapeno, a little maple syrup—then we grind it, whip it up in a mixer and stuff it into natural casings,” said Chef Jason Petrie. “We did 80 pounds in 3 hours; we were pushing it. It’s a well-balanced sausage, not too spicy and not too sweet either.”

Those pig heads didn’t go to waste, either, with cuts directly from the jowl served as well. “The bacon jowl from the pig heads, it tastes like butter,” said Michelle Foik, general manager at Revolution. We couldn’t agree more.

THE CHICAGO DINER

Seedling Farms Vegan Reuben

“It’s sandwiched between rye bread, as is traditional—well, I hear, I dunno; I’m not too familiar with traditional Reubens,” begins Kelly Fitzpatrick in describing the Chicago Diner’s Vegan Reuben. The chefs at the world-famous vegan diner might not be too familiar with the ins and outs of butchery, but they sure do it justice in their spot-on imitations. The vegan Reuben offered at Localicious is a staple at the diner’s menu, but it still managed to be one of the best offerings at the party, with a flavor almost like any Reuben you’d find at a traditional deli shop.

“The meat is Seitan, which is a gluten-based meat imitation; we bake it kind of like a loaf of bread and we marinade it, then we slice it up just like you would corned beef, and it’s topped with sauerkraut and vegan thousand island dressing,” continued Kelly, “and like I said sandwiched between rye and it’s really, really good.” Which could be an understatement; it was a filling, savory and lip-smacking bite that could almost make you swear off meat entirely, if Longman’s pork belly across the room wasn’t so mouth-watering itself.

Honorable mentions: NessAlla Kombucha shed Kombucha’s pretense and aftertaste for a refreshing alternative to lemonade or juice (perfect for a breezy weekend on the stoop.) Pure Kitchen Catering’s Buttercup Squash and Pine Mousse Wild Rice Cake was a unique dessert that looked as good as it tasted. And Big Bowl’s Thai lettuce wraps were downright delectable, spicy and hearty but simultaneously light and crisp.


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