The highest honor in the food world, the James Beard Awards celebrates the best and brightest chefs and restaurants in America. With 11 nominees in 2015, Chicago continues to shine as a culinary destination. Additionally, Chicago is proud to be home to accomplished restaurateur Richard Melman of Lettuce Entertain You, who will receive this year's Lifetime Achievement award.
2015 James Beard Awards
Chicago Nominees: Restaurant and Chef Awards
BEST CHEF: GREAT LAKES
Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years with the three most recent years spent in the region.
- Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago, IL
- Paul Virant, Vie, Western Springs, IL
- Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria, Chicago, IL
- Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago, IL
BEST NEW RESTAURANT
A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come.
OUTSTANDING BAR PROGRAM
A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits, beer service.
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF
A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence. Must have been a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.
A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Candidates must not have won a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.
A restaurant in operation five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service.
RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR
A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.
2015 James Beard Awards
Chicago Nominees: Outstanding Restaurant Design Awards
75 SEATS AND UNDERFor the best restaurant design or renovation in North America since January 1, 2012
Design Firm: Bureau of Architecture and Design
Designers: James Gorski and Tom Nahabedian
Project: Brindille, Chicago
2015 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America.
About the Awards
On March 24, 2015, the James Beard Foundation
announced the 2015 JBF Award Finalists. From rising chefs to accomplished restaurateurs, these honorees were selected from a list of over 34,000 online entries and reviewed by committee for inclusion on the nominating ballot, which were then named to the list of Chicago Semifinalists
on February 18, 2015.
The award announcements will take place at Chicago's Civic Opera House on May 4, 2015 at the JBF Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception. This marks the first time the ceremony will be held outside of New York City, and will also be the 25th anniversary of the "Oscars of the Food Industry."
Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields. Learn more at jamesbeard.org/awards.