Since the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards began in 1991 it has developed into one of the most prized culinary acknowledgments around up there with the Michelin guide.
Championing and supporting U.S. culinary culture for over 30 years, the James Beard Foundation is now a renowned name for anybody in the business. In addition to their fundraising efforts and events, their coveted food industry awards are recognition of the highest order.
Below, we’ve listed everyone in Chicago who was announced across several categories! Keep scrolling for this year’s semifinalists and head back in June to find out this year’s winners.
Best New Restaurant
One Chicago restaurant was nominated in the Best New Restaurant Category: Obélix.
The Chicago restaurant featured in the Best New Restaurant category is the French restaurant Obélix in River North.
Set up by brothers Oliver and Nicolas Poilevey whose family is behind Bucktown’s 20-year-old Le Bouchon, Obélix opened in the space formerly inhabited by the Michelin-starred Entente last year.
Though predominantly modern French fare there are things like “Foie-co” Foie Gras tacos and various dishes with a Southeast Asian spin offering creations that have quickly earned the new restaurant an esteemed reputation.
Chicago has two best chef finalists in the running this year. The first is acclaimed chef Diana Dávila of Mi Tocaya Antojería, which is known for delicious, modern Mexican cuisine.
Then, there’s Tim Flores and Genie Kwon, spouses who are known for their Filipino fine-dining spot Kasama which brings a blend of modern flavors to the Ukrainian Village.
Damarr Brown was the only Chicago representative in the Emerging Chef category. The Chef de Cuisine at Virtue graduated from the Cooking and Hospitality Institute in Chicago before cooking under Chef and Owner Erick Williams at nationally acclaimed mk for seven years.
After spending several years honing his craft at places like Roister and working under the tutelage of Michelin-starred Chef, Andrew Brochu he reunited with Williams to open Virtue in Hyde Park where his work saw him awarded Food & Wine Best New Chef in America late last year.
Housed within a 19th-century print shop in West Loop, the one-Michelin-starred Sepia was nominated in the Outstanding Hospitality category.
Chef Andrew Zimmerman’s seasonally inspired rotating menu offers inventive American cuisine within a stunning setup that fuses the building’s historic beauty with modern touches around a custom-tile, Art Nouveau floor.
There were no Chicago nominations in the all-new Outstanding Bakery category nor in the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker, Outstanding Restaurateur, or Outstanding Bar categories amongst others.
There was also an absence of Chicago chefs in the Outstanding Chef category but Chicago chefs received two Illinois nominations in the Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH) category.
The nominations were for:
- Diana Dávila Boldin of Mi Tocaya Antojería, Chicago, IL
- Tim Flores and Genie Kwon of Kasama, Chicago, I
Check out the full list of finalists here, and check back later as we’ll be sure to keep you updated following the award ceremony on June 5, 2023.
[Featured image courtesy of the James Beard Foundation]