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Kitchen Clout: Chicago Mag's 100 Most Powerful Includes 8 Food & Drink Names

Kahan, Achatz and Bayless appear on the same list as Rahm, George Lucas and others.

Paul Kahan
Paul Kahan
Randy Borges/Getty Images
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

"Clout" is an old-school Chicago term normally reserved for politicians and dealmakers to describe how much influence these big-time players wield in shaping the city.

But now thanks to Chicago magazine's latest edition of its of 100 most powerful listit looks like the city's restaurant scene may rival those levels of influence. The publication's annual list included eight from the city's restaurant and bar industries, which is double the number of last year's list.

This means some of the city's most prominent chefs appear on the same list as Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Star Wars creator George Lucas and Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. The number of restauranteurs on the list seemed to bother media critic Robert Feder, who pointed out no media members appeared.

Here are six local food names on that Chicago list:

  • Paul Kahan (Big Star, Avec, Publican, etc.) at No. 32.
  • Rich Melman (Lettuce Entertain You) at No. 40.
  • Grant Achatz (Next, Alinea) at No. 62.
  • Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill, Xoco) at No. 68.
  • Curtis Duffy (Grace) at No. 84.
  • Nick Kokonas (Tock, Alinea, Next) at No. 94.

Meanwhile, Chicago's beverage scene scored two mentions:

  • Tony Magee (Lagunitas Brewing Co.) at No. 91.
  • Paul McGee (Lost Lake) at No. 97.

Last year's list also included Kahan, Bayless and Achatz. Protein Bar CEO and founder Matt Matros also made the 2014 list, but dropped out in 2015.