A number of events and dinners are happening around the James Beard Awards’ Chicago debut on Monday, May 4. It’s no secret that our fair city has scored a major coup with landing the event known as "the Oscars of the food world," and there are a number of celebrations featuring some of the nominated chefs visiting from around the country, as well as other visiting culinary luminaries. Below is a handy map of many of the events planned around the awards.Read More
Chicago's James Beard Awards 2015 Event Map & Guide
This map will show you where to celebrate the arrival of the James Beard Awards.
Rich Melman is receiving the James Beard Lifetime Achievement award and, as part of the celebration, brings a dinner series co-hosted by Saveur Magazine. From May 1 – 9, the Rising Star Chef Dinner Series features Ari Taymor (Alma), Jessica Langey (Manresa), Intro chefs CJ Jacobson and Erik Anderson, along with Michael Laiskonis. A portion of ticket proceeds benefit the James Beard Foundation and range between $95 - $125.
La Sirena Clandestina
Chicagoans will get a sneak preview of the upcoming Broken Shaker when it pops-up at La Sirena Clandestina Monday, May 4 from 10:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. Bar manager Freddie Sarkis, along with Broken Shaker founders Elad Zvi and Gabriel Orta will be on hand to serve up a number of cocktails, while executive chef Jonathan Meyer whips up a few hors d’ oeuvres for the crowd.
EL Ideas will be open this Sunday, May 3 in honor of the James Beard Awards. Phillip Foss’ Michelin-starred restaurant is normally closed that day, so it’s a special treat for awards goers and regular diners alike.
JW Marriott Chicago’s executive chef Michael Reich has created a special menu paying tribute to previous James Beard Award winners called “James Beard Bites.” Inspiration comes from Paul Kahan’s prawn scotch egg, Tom Colicchio’s braised short ribs and Stephanie Izard’s sautéed skate wing. The menu is available a la carte and runs from April 30 until May 23.
Acadia is bringing an evening of southern fun with its bluegrass and bourbon event on Thursday, April 30. The Michelin-starred restaurant’s chef Ryan McCaskey will have a special menu for the night: suckling roast pig, raw oyster bar, smoked ship, smoke trout, the restaurant’s highly regarded lobster roll and, of course, bourbon cocktails. Those drinks will be from guest bartenders Stephen Cole (Lone Wolf) and Greg Buttera (Dusek’s) with music from Dime Store String Band. The event runs from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. and costs $75 per person.
Three Dots and a Dash
It’s tiki time with a pig roast and luau at Three Dots and a Dash on Sunday, May 3 from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Diane Corcoran is partnering up with Julian Cox, Xavier Herit (NYC’s Wallflower) as well as The Promontory’s Justin Anderson to make cocktails, while LA’s Barrel & Ashes’ pitmasters Timothy Hollingsworth and Rory Hermann, along with Bub City’s Christian Eckmann will handle the luau food. Tickets are available now for $100.
Mariano's Fresh Market
Blackbird mixologist Kyle Davidson will demo two cocktails at Mariano’s West Loop location on Wednesday, April 29 at 7:00 pm. Mariano’s is a James Beard sponsor and the cocktail party, with tickets costing $20 per person, will celebrate the awards’ debut in Chicago.
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At Bub City’s “Beers for Beard Craft Beer Tap Takeover” on Sunday, May 2, the LEYE barbecue joint will host Moody Tongue, Local Option, Half Acre, Penrose and Revolution with music from Senn Alan Band.
Shaw's Crab House
Shaw’s Oyster Bar will offer six Shigoku oysters and a Western Exposure cocktail for $25 from April 30 until May 8 in honor of the James Beard Foundation celebrating 25 years.
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Green City Market
Visit Green City Market in Lincoln park on Saturday, May 2 for its opening day. A gathering of chefs will be on hand at 9:30 a.m. Sarah Stegner (Prairie Grass Café), Carrie Nahabedian (Naha, Brindille) and Bruce Sherman serve as hosts.
Italian butcher Dario Cecchini will be at RPM Steak on Saturday, May 2 for demonstrations and a multi-course dinner with chef Doug Psaltis. Expect Florentine steak and wine from wineries Gaja and Il Poggione. Tickets for the dinner, which starts at 7:00 p.m., will run you $225 per person.
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Nico Osteria will welcome Philadelphi chef Marc Vetri to promote his new cookbook Mastering Pasta in time for the James Beard Awards. On Sunday, May 3, Vetri will host a pasta making class and lunch for $200 and on Tuesday, May 5, he will host a four-course dinner with hors d’ oeuvres for $150.
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Rockit Bar & Grill
Rockit Bar & Grill hosts Beard & Boxing on Saturday, May 2, featuring the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight. Also featured is food from Rockit’s restaurants The Duck Inn, Bottlefork, Sunda and Ay Chiwowa. The event runs from 9:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. and costs $125 per person ($75 for James Beard Foundation members).
Eataly will host A Night with Oustanding Chefs on Saturday, May 2 and featuring nominated chefs Donald Link, Dahlia Narvaez, Mark Ladner and Marc Vetri. The event will be hosted by Eataly’s own Lidia Bastianich. The event will take place in Osteria di Eataly (you can reserve a seat here), La Piazza and Il Pesce & Le Verdure (first come first serve). Outside of the event, the dishes will be served during store hours.
From April 30 until May 8, The Florentine participates in “James Beard Eats Week” featuring a seafood menu paying tribute to Beard’s Portland, Oregon roots.
Head to Table Fifty-Two on Sunday, May 3 for a James Beard-themed brunch with chef Art Smith from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 pm. All brunch sales are matched for a donation to the James Beard Foundation.
Chicago Union Station
Chicago’s Union Station will host the Rioja Wine & Food Festival Saturday, May 2 with 50 participating wineries, Rioja-inspired tapas from 30 chefs, live music, a jamon bar and a cheese cave.
Though it’s sold out and there are hundreds of people on a waiting list, The Publican will host David Chang’s Momofuku Ssam Bar’s executive chef Matthew Rudofker for a four-course family-style meal. Maybe the rabid desire for tickets will convince Chang to open a restaurant here…
Hannah’s Bretzel hosts the First Annual Emerging Chefs Challenge on May 11, featuring Chicago culinary students going after the prize of a spot on the chain’s menu and a $1,000 scholarship. Hannah’s Bretzel founder Florian Pfahler, chef Mark Steuer, Nico Osteria’s Erling Wu-Bower, and Beverly Kim of Parachute (a nominee for best new restaurant at the James Beard Awards) will serve as judges. Check out HannahsBretzel.com for more info.
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The Aviary will host a pop-up with Brooklyn's Maison Premiere (up for outstanding bar program at the James Beard Awards) on Sunday, May 3 from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m.