I didn't have a chance to attend Day 1 on Saturday, but I did manage to walk the grounds at Millennium Park yesterday, after I hosted two of the cooking demos. ‚ There were plenty of additions this year: new tents (namely, Bon Appƒ©tit's presence) and lots of great wine purveyors; there were also a lot more food vendors and chefs. ‚ The only problem was, there was also a lot more people. ‚ Lines stretched everywhere and in every direction; some vendors/chefs ran out of food by 2:30 p.m.; the line to get to Frontera's booth (offering guac and tacos) seemed to wrap around the southern edge of the park as far as the eye could see. ‚ I had heard that "capacity" meant about 10,000 people, and while Saturday's event had been sold out for quite some time, Sunday wasn't sold out until earlier last week - after the Groupon. ‚ Can you imagine, having to pay $150 to get in, only to discover a few hundred (maybe thousand?) people were right in line next to you, who only paid $75?
My advice to the organizers for the 2011 Edition: ‚ reduce the admission by at least two to three thousand people, or raise the price to make it a tougher ticket, and don't offer Groupons the week before. ‚ My vocalo photographer, Joseph Storch, did manage to capture the day better than anyone could possibly put into words, so I hope you enjoy his slideshow. ‚ The food shots, especially, look great. ‚ Maybe I'll get to actually eat something next year.