In the year that the James Beard Awards ceremony will take place in Chicago, multiple restaurants, chefs, and restaurateurs will represent the Windy City as finalists. Eater Chicago restaurant of the year Parachute is a finalist for Best New Restaurant; One Off Hospitality's Donnie Madia is again a finalist for Outstanding Restaurateur; Blackbird's Dana Cree is a finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef; and The Boarding House chef Tanya Baker moved on to the finals in the Rising Star Chef of the Year category.
Also, The Violet Hour is once again a finalist for Outstanding Bar Program; Carrie Nahabedian's Brindille is a finalist in the Best Restaurant Design, 75 seats and under category (Nahabedian did not move on to the finals for Outstanding Chef); and Topolobampo is again a finalist for Outstanding Service. Four of the five chefs in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category are from the Chicago area: Curtis Duffy (Grace), Erling Wu-Bower (Nico Osteria), Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia), and Paul Virant (Vie). And as previously reported, Rich Melman will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
In addition to the Restaurant and Chef Awards, Chicagoans also nabbed two finals appearances in the media and journalism categories. Steve Dolinsky's The Hungry Hound is a finalist for Best Television Segment, and The Reader's Mike Sula for his "What Happens When All-Star Chefs Get in Bed with Big Food?" story. Eater picked up five nominations, and Eater National has the full list of finalists right here.
In addition to Carrie Nahabedian, 42 Grams, the Boka Group, Spiaggia, Dave and Megan Miller (Baker Miller), and Charles Joly are among semifinalists who did not move on. The Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony will take place on May 4 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.