Fall season is the best season. It is my favorite by far, and with the invitation to attend Fulton Market Harvest Fest fall will remain my favorite for years to come. Easily one of the best street festivals in my humble opinion, Harvest Fest did not disappoint. How could it, with Moet & Chandon champagne being poured alfresco, while all the best & brightest spots of the West Loop plied me with delicious morsels?

Curated by Stephanie Izard, Fulton Market Harvest Fest took place Friday, September 14 through Sunday, September 16 on Fulton Market Street in West Loop. The festival featured bites from Chicago’s top restaurants including Cherry Circle Room, City Mouse, urbanbelly, Gideon Sweet, Girl & the Goat, The Publican and others. There were also culinary demos and special classes from visiting chefs like Ming Tsai, Kristen Kish, Hugh Acheson, Brooke Williamson, Alex Seidel, Jason Dady, Shota Nakajima, Jamie Bissonette, Bruce Kalman and celebrated local chefs Rick Bayless, Diana Davila, Mindy Segal and more. Music headliners Lee Fields & The Expressions and Minnesota electro-pop band, Poliça, took to the stage plus many other acts throughout the weekend.
Walking around with my glass of champagne, I sampled the cuisine on offer. There were fabulous cheeseburgers from BomboBar, Chicago hot dogs from Swift & Sons, excellent short ribs from Girl & the Goat. But my heart was stolen by shrimp elotes from City Mouse: lucious sweet corn elote topped with plump perfectly cooked prawns. What other dish would go so perfectly with champagne?
While I am a self-professed champagne junkie, plenty of other refreshing libations were on offer. Goose Island brought out their summer brews. Rosé was flowing like water. And if cocktails were in order, there were excellent Don Julio palomas to be had. With weather unseasonably warm, my group took any chance we got to cool off with an icy cold beverage.
The culinary stage held celebrity chef demos all throughout the festival. These cooking lessons were both entertaining and educational, if you could stand a little heat. We made it through one demo before seeking shade.
Despite the heat, great fun was had by all! Kids enjoyed the activities thoughtfully provided at Kids' Alley. The VIP tent was jumping with Kerrygold cheeses tasting board, Moet & Chandon Imperial Ice bar, and great friends old & new. There was something for everyone, and while the fest was well attended, it never felt overwhelmingly crowded. A hat tip to all of the staff & volunteers for a job well-done. I am already looking forward to next year.

 

The Harvest Fest is held annually on Fulton Market Street in Chicago's West Loop.

The Local Tourist VIP access to the Fulton Market Harvest Fest courtesy of The Door Idea House.

Photos courtesy of Fulton Market Harvest Fest & by Gourmet Rambler.