Awards season is in full effect in Chicago. First came the Michelin announcement last week, then yesterday Eater announced the winners of the 2013 Eater Awards, and today brings the nominees for the 2013 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence.
The nominees were voted on by the public and the four most popular in each category were announced this morning at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park. Michael Muser (general manager/partner of Grace), Carrie Nahabedian (executive chef/owner of Naha and Brindille), and Catherine de Orio (host of WTTW's Check, Please!) were on hand to declare the nominees.
Chef Curtis Duffy's Grace was nominated for six awards, while Nahabedian's Naha received two nominations while her other restaurant Brindille received three (see the full list after the jump).
Tickets and tables are still available for purchase either through the awards' website or by calling 312-236-4491. Prices for tickets range from $100 up to $500 per person and the proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The awards will be held on Friday, January 31 at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Grand Chefs Gala. Previous winners, current nominees and other notables in the culinary industry will vote for the 2013 winners.
The 2013 Jean Banchet nominees:
Chef of the Year: Curtis Duffy (Grace), Carrie Nahabedian (NAHA), Paul Virant (Vie/Perennial Virant), Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia)
Pastry Chef of the Year: Lisa Bonjour (mk), Craig Harzewski (NAHA), Elissa Narow (Vie/Perennial Virant), Leigh Omilinsky (Cafe des Architectes)
Best Chef-de-Cuisine: Ali Ratcliffe-Bauer (Brindille), Andres Padilla (Topolobampo), Sean Pharr (NoMI Kitchen), Nicholas Romero (Grace)
Rising Chef of the Year: Thai Dang (Embeya), Nicole Pederson (Found), Tom Van Lente (TWO), Lee Wolen (formerly of Lobby Restaurant at the Peninsula Chicago)
Rising Pastry Chef of the Year: Dana Cree (Blackbird), Sarah Mispagel (Nightwood), Thomas Raquel (Acadia), Bobby Schaffer (Grace)
Best Sommelier: Valerie Cao (Grace), Chad Ellegood (NoMI Kitchen), Richard Hanauer (The Langham), Arthur Hon (Sepia)
Best Mixologist: Charles Joly (The Aviary), Paul McGee (Three Dots and a Dash), Danielle Pizzutillo (Embeya), Sergio Serna (The Drawing Room)
Best Restaurant Design: Balena, Boarding House, Brindille, Embeya
Best Restaurant Service: Balena, Grace, Nightwood, Sixteen
Best New Restaurant: Fat Rice, Found, Gather, Travelle, TWO