Chicago nabbed 17 James Beard Award nominations on Wednesday morning as the foundation unveiled its short list for 2019 awards. Chicago swept the Best Chef: Great Lakes category once again. The category’s meant to represent chefs in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. That was the only award Chicago won at the 2018 awards as Fat Rice’s Abe Conlon took home the honor.
Best Chef Great Lakes: Diana Dávila; Jason Hammel; @chefbeverlykim and Johnny Clark; David Posey and Anna Posey; Noah Sandoval; and @leewolen #jbfa— James Beard Foundation (@beardfoundation) March 27, 2019
The awards take place on May 6 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. As other states weren’t included in the Great Lakes region, there will be no doubt more cries in places like Detroit and Indianapolis that Chicago should have its own category. New York is currently the only region separated by city.
When the semifinalists were announced in February, Chicago was represented 25 times. Chicago earned four more finalist nominations this year compared to 2018 when the city had 10 nominations.
Eater Chicago 2017 chef of the year Diana Dávila (Mi Tocaya Antojeria), Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe, Marisol), and Noah Sandoval (Oriole, Kumiko) are first-time finalists for Best Chef: Great Lakes. The Alinea Group is also celebrating as the Aviary Cocktail Book earned a nod in the Beard’s Book Award category for beverages. Chef Bill Kim (Urban Belly) also earned a nomination for Korean BBQ: Master Your Grill in Seven Sauces in the Single Subject book award category. Also, the tag-team of Steve Dolinsky and Rick Bayless earned a nomination for an episode of their podcast, The Feed. The specific episode focused on “Paletas and Other Icy Treats.”
Read the list of Chicago nominees below. Go over to Eater National for the full list from around the country.
UPDATE: Oriole’s Noah Sandoval is also a first-time finalist and the story has been revised to reflect that.
Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.
(* denotes first-time finalist)
Best Chef: Great Lakes:
*Diana Dávila, Mi Tocaya Antojeria
*Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe
Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute
David Posey and Anna Posey, Elske
*Noah Sandoval, Oriole
Lee Wolen, Boka
Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group
Rising Star Chef of the Year:
*Alisha Elenz, MFK
Outstanding Pastry Chef:
Meg Galus, Boka
Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread
Outstanding Wine Program:
Outstanding Bar Program:
Outstanding Restaurant Design, 76 Seats and Over: