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Jean Banchet Award Nominations Highlight Oriole, Sepia For 2017

Read the full nominations list in advance of January's awards

Oriole, which opened in March, leads the way with four Jean Banchet nominations.
Nick Murway
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.

The nominees are in for the 2017 Jean Banchet Awards, which celebrate Chicago’s culinary industry. They’ll announce the winners at the Grand Chef’s Gala on Jan. 15. This year the panel added a new category as "best alternative restaurant" to recognize food trucks, pop-ups and other non-traditional brick-and-mortar experiences.

Oriole looks to be the big winner with four nominations, including "best new restaurant." Sepia, also in the West Loop, earned three nominations including "restaurant of the year." Honey’s also secured three nominations, as did El Che Bar.

Snaggletooth, the cured-fish paradise in Lakeview from Bill Montagne and Jennifer Kim snagged two nominations. The unassuming space finds itself among some big guns. Alinea Group’s casual spot that even offers lunch, Roister, also earned two nominations, as did Schwa, the long-time fine-dining spot in West Town. Sixteen, up in the Trump Tower, also scored two nominations. Sarah Grueneberg’s pastas earned Monteverde two nominations, as well.

Check out the full list of nominees below.

Restaurant of the Year: Blackbird, EL Ideas, Schwa, Sepia

Chef of the Year: Andrew Brochu (Roister), Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde), Gene Kato (Sumi Robata Bar), John Manion (La Sirena Clandestina/El Che Bar)

Rising Chef of the Year: Ashlee Aubin (Salero), Cameron Grant (Osteria Langhe/Animale), Bill Montagne & Jennifer Kim (Snaggletooth), Charles Welch (Honey’s)

Best Chef-de-Cuisine: Wilson Bauer (Schwa), Nick Dostal (Sixteen), Ryan Pfeiffer (Blackbird), Sarah Rinkavage (Lula Café)

Pastry Chef of the Year: Meg Galus (Swift & Sons/Momotaro/BOKA), Genie Kwon (Oriole), Mindy Segal (Mindy’s HotChocolate), Cindy Schuman (Sepia)

Rising Pastry Chef of the Year: Dave Brandenburgh (Band of Bohemia), Alison Cates (Honey’s), Aya Fukai (Maple & Ash), Marianna Reynolds (El Che Bar)

Best Neighborhood Restaurant: Arbor, Owen & Engine, Snaggletooth, Sumi Robata Bar

Best Ethnic Restaurant: 5 Loaves Eatery, Go 4 Food, Hanbun, Immm Rice & Beyond

Best New Restaurant: The Loyalist, Monteverde, Oriole, Roister

Best Sommelier: Rachel Driver Speckan (City Winery), Parag Lalit (Sixteen), Aaron McManus (Oriole), Terry McNeese (de Quay)

Best Mixologist: Griffin Elliott (Sepia), Nandini Khaund (Cindy’s), Julia Momose (GreenRiver), Benjamin Schiller (The Berkshire Room/The Sixth/Steadfast)

Best Restaurant Design: Dixie, El Che Bar, GT Prime, Smyth

Best Restaurant Service: BOKA, Honey’s, Maple & Ash, Oriole

Best Alternative Dining: Claudia, Happy Lobster, Nomad, Tamale Spaceship

Go 4 Food

212 West 23rd Street, , IL 60616 (312) 842-8688 Visit Website


2819 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 773-715-4790

GT Prime

707 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 600-6305 Visit Website

Sumi Robata Bar

702 N Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 988-7864 Visit Website


259 E Erie St Fl 18, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 337-0101

Immm Rice & Beyond

4949 North Broadway, , IL 60640 (773) 293-7378 Visit Website


1729 North Halsted Street, , IL 60614 (312) 337-6070 Visit Website


621 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661 (312) 466-1000 Visit Website


384 Hayes Street, , CA 94102 (415) 626-1211 Visit Website


1904 western, Chicago, IL 60647 (872) 315-3912

EL ideas

2419 West 14th Street, , IL 60608 (312) 226-8144 Visit Website


614 North 2nd Street, , PA 19123 (267) 324-5224 Visit Website

La Sirena Clandestina

954 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 226-5300 Visit Website


1132 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60642 (312) 624-8363 Visit Website


1952 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (773) 688-4466 Visit Website


665 Pasquinelli Drive, , IL 60559 (630) 948-3383 Visit Website


1849 2nd Street, Highland Park, Visit Website

Maple & Ash

8 West Maple Street, , IL 60610 (312) 944-8888 Visit Website

Swift & Sons

1000 West Fulton Market, , IL 60607 (312) 733-9420 Visit Website


661 West Walnut Street, , IL 60661 (312) 877-5899 Visit Website


123 North Jefferson Street, , IL 60661 (312) 441-1920 Visit Website


1020 West Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 888-3041


951 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 789-4896

Osteria Langhe

2824 West Armitage Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 661-1582 Visit Website

De Quay

, Chicago, IL (872) 206-8820

The Berkshire Room

15 E Ohio, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 894-0945 Visit Website

The Sixth

2202 West Lawrence Avenue, , IL 60625 (312) 256-2960 Visit Website


177 North Ada Street, , IL 60607 (773) 913-3773 Visit Website

The Loyalist

177 North Ada Street, , IL 60607 (773) 913-3774 Visit Website

Tamale Spaceship

Moving Target!, Chicago, IL 60606 312-909-7009 Visit Website

El Che Bar

845 West Washington Boulevard, , IL 60607 (312) 265-1130 Visit Website


120 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60603 (773) 489-5050 Visit Website


1723 North Halsted Street, , IL 60614 Visit Website

City Winery

1200 West Randolph Street, , IL 60607 (312) 733-9463 Visit Website

Band of Bohemia

4710 North Ravenswood Avenue, , IL 60640 (773) 271-4710 Visit Website


820 West Lake Street, , IL 60607 (312) 733-4818 Visit Website

Owen & Engine

2700 North Western Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 235-2930 Visit Website