We’re a little delayed, but we wanted to tell you all about our trip to Chicago! We got back a little less than a week ago and have been playing catch-up after blowin’ it up at the International Housewares Show in the Windy City!
As some of you may have seen and heard through Instagram and Facebook, we were chosen as finalists from hundreds of entries for the IHA Innovation Awards! We unfortunately didn’t take home the even bigger trophy, but we were still honored to be finalists–plus we still get a fancy glass trophy! It’s sitting proud in our office right now :D
But just because we didn’t win, doesn’t mean the trip wasn’t fun. We got to meet and see people from all over the world–buyers, makers, entrepreneurs, and some of the biggest companies in the game. It was very, very exciting. We learned a lot, and we’re anxious to go back next year, bigger, better, and hopefully this time around, winners!
And check out out! The Grommet put us on display for the world to see <3
When we weren’t manning our booth and gawking in awe of all the cool products at the show, we were of course eating our faces off. The first place we went was Girl & the Goat. The Nomiku team is huge fans of Top Chef (umm, we’re still freaking out about our recipe video with Top Chef: Boston winner, Mei Lin), so we had to go. Executive chef, Stephanie Izard is the woman behind Girl & the Goat, and also winner of Top Chef: Chicago! The food, of course, was absolutely amazing.
Let’s just take a moment to look at how cute their menus are.
Our favorite dish, actually wasn’t any of the goat ones. It was this:
Fried duck tongue with poke and black beans. Such an interesting combo and oh so, so tasty.
Next, we hit-up El Ideas, a recommendation from a chef friend of ours, and we are so grateful he made that suggestion, because it was AMAZING. Unfortunately, none of our photos really turned out that well from there (probably because we were just freaking out too much from how creative their menu was to hold our cameras steady enough), but trust us when we say you’ll love it! So many inventive dishes and executed so well!
Finally, we hit up the famed Alinea. A lot of us had been dying to go for a very, very long time, and it was an unbelievable end to our trip.
We really loved how detailed, imaginative, and whimsical everything was. It was very experiential, from taste, to simply interacting with the environment and custom serving ware.
We were lucky enough to check out both El Idea’s and Alinea’s kitchens and give them Nomikus to play with! El Idea’s kitchen is open and it is encouraged that guests check it out–if you do, you’ll probably see a Nom prepping your dinner for you!
With the show taking up a lot of our time, we didn’t get too much time to sightsee, but we did get to of course see the Bean!
(We thought we’d show you at least one non-food related photo…but we forgot that it’s literally a giant bean)
And as most of our team used to live in NYC, when we found out a Shake Shack recently opened, we definitely had to go. One of us actually went four times…in less than six days.
But come on…could you say “no” to that face??
Several pounds heavier, incredibly proud, and extremely exhausted, we’re now back trucking away on the WiFi Nom in San Francisco, and getting ready to move on out to our new space! More on that to come!
Thanks for a good one, Chicago–until next year! The Nomi-crew