This fall, Spoon was asked to cover the first ever Food Network in Concert. For those of you who didn’t watch our interview with the geniuses behind the event, Food Network in Concert was a food/music festival hybrid—basically heaven for anyone who has working taste buds and the ability to hear. So of course (being the dedicated journalists that we are) we jumped on the next flight to Chicago to with full hearts and empty stomachs to attend.

The concert was held someplace warm. A place where the beer flows like wine. Where hungry people instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. No, we’re not talking about Aspen. We’re talking about a little place called Ravinia.

The festival was on September 20th, a day we will forever mark in our calendars as Food Network in Concert Day to preserve its memory. A lot was happening at the concert. There was live music throughout the day featuring ten different musicians and final performances by Phillip Phillips and John Mayer. Food Network stars were hanging out and hosting events. And there were twelve exclusive food events happening throughout it all. Unfortunately, we could only fit three into our busy schedule, but each one left us stuffed to the brim.

Our day looked something like this:

10:00 a.m.

Receive blankets and wineglass lanyards. Let me repeat, wineglass lanyards. They knew we wanted to drink wine from our necks. They just knew.

10:30 a.m.

Press Q&A with Food Network Stars. AKA when we asked Food Network stars about their favorite drunk foods.

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Franks & Beats

Essentially a gourmet hotdog contest. We tried them all.





Our Winner:

We loved the Korean BBQ inspired “Belly Dog” − a beef hot dog topped with egg noodles, pickled green papaya & Togarashi spiced fries from Belly Shack.


Their Winner:

The Food Network judges chose the “Duck Fat Dog” from Chicago’s The Duck Inn.


2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Greatest Hits

After Frank N’ Beats we had trouble breathing, but we knew we had to keep trekking because it’s our duty as investigative food journalists to do so. Before we knew it, we had 50 vendors and over 100 wineries to try.

This was literally a binge-eating marathon.

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You get it.

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

I Want Candy

Imagine walking into a room and having someone hand you a tiramisu doughnut and a glass of rose champagne. That’s what happened when we walked into I Want Candy. And that’s what we hope will happen everyday for the rest of our lives.

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And then we rolled out of the dessert reception and listened to John Mayer perform live. His music quelled our struggle to breathe.

Needless to say, Food Network in Concert was a good time.