Chicago Chefs Dominate 2014 James Beard Award Nominee Annoucements

Chicago Chefs Dominate 2014 James Beard Award Nominee Annoucements

This morning the James Beard Foundation (JBF) announced the list of the 2014 award nominees at the Publican in Chicago and yours truly had the chance to attend! I was humbled to be amongst some of Chicago's top chefs, restauranteurs, beverage professionals, food writers, and even Mayor Rahm Emanuel! Chicago area chefs dominated this year not only in the "Great Lakes" category but in many other food AND beverage categories.

In addition to the announcements, Paul Kahan's Publican team served up fabulous pastries, charcuterie, pickled vegetables, and a three-course brunch to boot! Clearly his food and work ethic did not go unnoticed by the JBF as he was named one of the 2014 "Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America!"


I've called out below Chicago finalists and semi-finalists for each category in which a Chicago chef was nominated. Finalists are in red!

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Out of 20 chef nominees for this category, 4 from Chicago were named finalists and 11 (more than half) were named semi-finalists

  • Dave Beran, Next, Chicago
  • Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago
  • Paul Virant, Vie Restaurant, Western Springs, IL
  • Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago
  • Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo, Fat Rice, Chicago
  • Paul Fehribach, Big Jones, Chicago
  • Phillip Foss, EL Ideas, Chicago
  • Ryan McCaskey, Acadia, Chicago
  • Iliana Regan, Elizabeth, Chicago
  • Jason Vincent, Nightwood, Chicago
  • Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria, Chicago

Best New Restaurant

  • Brindille, Chicago
  • Nico Osteria, Chicago

Outstanding Bar Program

  • The Violet Hour, Chicago

Outstanding Chef

  • Carrie Nahabedian, Naha, Chicago

Outstanding Pastry Chef

  • Dana Cree, Blackbird, Chicago

Outstanding Restaurant (candidates must have been in operation for at least 10 or more consecutive years)

  • Spiaggia, Chicago

Outstanding Restaurateur

  • Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality Group, Chicago (Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, and others)

Outstanding Service

  • L2O, Chicago
  • Topolobampo, Chicago

Outstanding Wine Program

  • Sepia, Chicago

Rising Star Chef of the Year

  • Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig, Chicago  
  • Matthew Kirkley, L2O, Chicago
  • David Posey, Blackbird, Chicago

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional

  • Mike Floyd, Nick Floyd, and Simon Floyd, Three Floyds Brewing, Munster, IN
  • Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield, Vanberg & DeWulf, Cooperstown, NY (Feinberg and Littlefield are Chicago residents)

The 2014 James Beard Awards will be held in New York City on May 2 and 5.

To see the complete list of nominees see here; and to see the complete list of semi-finalist nominees see here.

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