The James Beard Foundation Awards came to Chicago for the second time last night — and Chicago represented well with three award winners. Alinea won one of the top prizes of the evening, taking home the Outstanding Restaurant honor for in its first year of eligibility, while its temporarily closed for a full renovation.
Grace chef/owner Curtis Duffy won the Best Chef: Great Lakes award, besting four other top Chicago chefs for the honor. "You put in your work and do what you should be doing and hopefully it pays off," Duffy said after the win. "This is something as a young cook that you always aspire to do, to win a James Beard Award. Finally tonight is that night."
Also, Land & Sea Dept won the Outstanding Restaurant Design Award: 76 Seats and Over for the beautifully restored Cherry Circle Room in the Chicago Athletic Association hotel.
Congratulations to all the winners from around the country, which you can read in full over on Eater National. The James Beard Awards will be back in Chicago for a third year next spring.