The Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence, Chicago’s only restaurant awards that aren’t attached to media company, just announced finalists for its 2024 awards in more than a dozen categories. This is a return for the long-running local awards, which celebrates Chicago’s food and beverage industry: the Jean Banchet Awards took a break in 2023 while reorganizing into an independent nonprofit, per the Chicago Tribune.
Former Chicago Tribune food critic Phil Vettel will receive the Culinary Excellence Award for his contributions to the city’s restaurant scene over more than three decades. Other than that, the categories span everything from Best Restaurant to Best Counter Service or Best Restaurant Design. (The new category of Best Alternative Dining that debuted in 2022 appears to be no more).
The heavy-hitting contenders for Chef of the Year are Paul Fehribach (Big Jones), Genie Kwon and Tim Flores (Kasama), Stephen Gillanders (S.K.Y., Valhalla, Apolonia) and Paul Virant (Vie, Vistro Prime, Gaijin).
A full list of the 2022 nominees is posted on Instagram. The awards show is scheduled for January 28 at Venue SIX10, and tickets to the event will go on sale in December.