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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Chats Beard Awards & Spicy Food

But does he keep hot sauce in his bag?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at Eleven City Diner in the South Loop.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at Eleven City Diner in the South Loop.
Scott Olson/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.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will once again attend the James Beard Foundation Awards, which take place Monday at the Lyric Opera House. Maybe he'll sing a duet with Gov. Bruce Rauner, who also appeared at last year's awards. In preparation for the festivities, the mayor sat down with the Tribune.

Emanuel finds time to eat at hot spots like he did in March while visiting Dos Urban Cantina. In the interview, he took a couple softballs and chatted about the awards and the city's culinary scene. The Beards will stick around Chicago at least through 2017. The mayor didn't address the future of the awards in the city, but here's a few of the interview's highlights:

  • Emanuel said he believes Chicago has a unique culinary style, taking international cuisine and adding "an American signature twist."
  • The mayor is a fan of neighborhood mixology. He mentioned Tiny Lounge, Billy Sunday and Scofflaw as examples of Chicago's contributions to the world of beverages.
  • As far as the Beards, Emanuel said hosting them in Chicago helps further legitimize the city as a global destination for food.
  • Guess what? The mayor talked about how he loves exploring restaurants in a variety of neighborhoods. He sprayed to all fields, mentioning neighborhoods in the North, South and West sides.
  • The mayor didn't say if he keeps hot sauce in his bag like another politician, and there's certainly no mention of lemonade. But Emanuel did say he likes spicy food, including blackened salmon. He also likes red meat, noting that his grandfather was a butcher.