NATO officials try Chicago pizza, hot dogs before summit

From Lou Malnati’s pizza to Eli’s Cheesecake, Chicago and Illinois leaders pulled out the Windy City’s favorite treats in Belgium to get NATO officials excited for their upcoming summit at McCormick Place.

US Ambassador to NATO Ivo Daalder told 13-plus guests that before NATO comes to Chicago, Chicago comes to NATO. For two days, a small Chicago delegation, including Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago's first lady Amy Rule, have been showcasing Chicago -- its food, its music and its diversity. Diversity, they say, is the common thread joining our Midwestern roots with the global summit scheduled for May.

Earlier Thursday, the Chicago Summit Host Committee brought slices of Chicago to NATO headquarters, quite literally with local food from Lou Malnati's pizza, Vienna beef hot dogs and Eli's Cheesecake. The mini Taste of Chicago brought smiles to Belgians all over the hall. And blues music performed by NATO officers warmed up the room, too.

On Thursday night, at Truman Hall, the Ambassador's home, Girl and the Goat Chef Stephanie Izard wowed the crowd with mussels, scallops and goat belly shipped straight from Chicago.

The Chicago delegation heads with an apparent feeling of winning. It seems their captive audience overseas ate up the food and theory that there is more to Chicago than its unpredictable weather.