Over the past few decades, Chicago has become a food Mecca. No, not just for deep dish pizza, juicy prime steaks, and hot dogs (no ketchup!!!), but for some of the most inventive and earth-shaking cuisine this side of the Left Bank. When did this local preoccupation with gourmet food begin? That would be difficult to say, but Charlie Trotter and his Lincoln Park eatery helped to put Chicago foodies on the map more than 20 years ago. Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill, Jean Joho of Everest, and Rick Tramonto of TRU all have done their part to raise the culinary bar. Today there are new luminaries on the haute cuisine horizon, among them Michelin-starred Grant Achatz with his soon-to-be-opened Next, and Homaro Cantu of Moto. And one must not forget “Top Chef” winner Stephanie Izard and her tremendously popular Girl and the Goat restaurant on West Randolph Street. Included here is a small sampling of my food, drink and chef photography–I love shooting food, as Federal Law demands that the food not be served to the public, so it’s mandatory that the photographer eats it without delay.