The 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards semifinalists — also known as the “long list” — were announced today and Chicago nabbed 28 of them compared to 31 in 2017. The Boka Restaurant Group once again leads the local pack with four nominations (including once again for Outstanding Restaurateur) while the city’s new darling of Mexican cuisine, Mi Tocaya Antojeria and chef/owner Diana Dávila, nabbed two for Best New Restaurant and the regional Best Chef: Great Lakes award.
North Pond is Chicago’s semifinalist representation for the top award, Restaurant of the Year, while Tony Mantuano and Carrie Nahabedian once again are nominated for the next top award, Outstanding Chef. First-time local nominees include HaiSous for Best New Restaurant and Jennifer Jones Enyart of Dos Urban Cantina for Outstanding Pastry Chef. And Chicago once again dominates the Best Chef: Great Lakes semifinalists, with 13 of the 20 nominees coming from the Windy City.
Finalists will be announced on March 14. For the fourth consecutive time, the awards will take place at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, this time on May 7.
In January, the Beards honored Sun Wah BBQ with a 2018 America’s Classics Award. Chicagoans took home two Beards awards in 2017 as Rick Bayless’s Topolobampo won Outstanding Restaurant and Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde) won for Best Chef: Great Lakes.
Here are this year’s nominees (* also denotes a 2017 nomination), and head over to Eater National for the full long list from around the country.
Best New Restaurant
*Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread
Outstanding Bar Program
*Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia
*Carrie Nahabedian, Naha
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Jennifer Jones Enyart, Dos Urban Cantina
*Meg Galus, Boka
*Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group
Outstanding Wine Program
Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional
*Charles Joly, Crafthouse Cocktails
Rising Star Chef of the Year
Sarah Rinkavage, Marisol
Best Chef: Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio)
Andrew Brochu, Roister
*Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice
Diana Dávila, Mi Tocaya Antojería
*Paul Fehribach, Big Jones
Brian Fisher, Entente
Jason Hammel, Lula Café
*Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute
*Ryan McCaskey, Acadia
David Posey and Anna Posey, Elske
*Iliana Regan, Elizabeth
*Noah Sandoval, Oriole
Zoe Schor, Split-Rail
*Lee Wolen, Boka