This is the fourth time we’ve had the honor of FIG being nominated for Outstanding Wine Program, and our third trip to Chicago for the awards ceremony (they were previously held in New York).  Although we haven’t taken home a win for wine (Chef Stanhope won Best Chef: Southeast 3 years ago, but still no wine award), our time in Chicago is always an amazing whirlwind weekend of bonding with co-workers, meeting some of our industry heroes, and a lot of eating and drinking.  With their being so many amazing restaurants to cover in Chicago, and so little time, we decided to narrow our scope by dining only in ethnic restaurants, since this is the one culinary area where Charleston is still lacking.  Chicago did not disappoint!

My favorite meal at Parachute was so delicious that I forgot to take pictures.  If you’re in Chicago, plan ahead and make a reservation.  They fill up fast!  SunWah BBQ was a close second, but really, everywhere was a treat.


Lanterns at WonFun + 2Fun


Any meal that requires a lazy susan is a delight.  SunWah BBQ was exceptional, and so inexpensive (BYOB!)



Dim sum at MingHin Cuisine


For the awards, I wore the funnest fringe dress by Charleston designer Rachel Gordon (onelovedesign.com)


We caught up with the ladies from Bertha’s Kitchen, in town from Charleston to receive an American Classic James Beard Award


After party vibes at Big Star


morning after tea at the hotel was a necessity

Til next time Chicago!

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