Mayor previews Taste of Chicago at MAD Social

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In less than two months Taste of Chicago will be going full tilt in Grant Park. (WLS)

In less than two months Taste of Chicago will be going full tilt in Grant Park.

One of the new restaurants in the Taste of Chicago lineup is MAD Social at 1140 W. Madison. And this is where a tiny Taste of the Taste took place Tuesday morning. Three recipes from three restaurants. It's just a small sampling of what's going to happen from July 6th to the 10th in Grant Park.

"This year the five day event will offer 34 vendors that will be with us every day. But there will also be 17 pop-up restaurants and 18 food trucks joining us for a day or two, giving a smaller or less established company a chance to participate," said Michelle Boon, commissioner, department of cultural affairs.

That means 69 different places you can belly up to and Mayor Rahm Emanuel was here to get in the first licks. His first stop is a Pastoral restaurant dessert. Gouda cheese on ice cream.

"Cheese and ice cream. Cheese and everything. It's the perfect food," said Big Cheese at Pastoral Jordan Edwards.

When you're the mayor it's your job to taste the food to make sure it's safe and tasty before the whole city dives in, including food like chicken, pork belly and waffles.

And the Cuban sandwich from Nana restaurant on South Halsted. The mayor got a taste of that, too. Pulled pork, ham, cheese, onion and relish. And he knows his Cuban cuisine.

"One, I was in Cuba, and two, there are no Cuban sandwiches in Cuba. It's an American phenomenon," said Emanuel.

It's hard to believe but the first Taste of Chicago was July 4th, 1980. It was a one-day event. It grew to a 10-day event in Grant Park and started losing money. The good news now? It's a five-day event and they're making money.

"This is a testament to the city and the willingness not to give in, to give up, but to think again. Think fresh and new," Emanuel.

Taste of Chicago runs July 6th through the 10th. It's a gouda time.

Related Topics:
foodtaste of chicagorahm emanuelrestaurantsChicago - Downtown
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