On Monday, May 1, Chicago will be hosting the 2017 James Beard Awards at the iconic Lyric Opera House. A whopping ten Chicago restaurants will be among the nominees for what many consider the Oscars of the culinary world. While you can always buy tickets and attend the James Beard Awards and Gala, here are eight fantastic awards week events, all open to the public, that promise an up-close, personal and tasty look into the culinary stars of the James Beard Awards in Chicago.
Jeremy Fox Lunch with Lee Wolen of BOKA
BOKA, 1729 N. Halsted St. | Saturday, April 29, 12pm-3pm
2017 James Beard Nominated Chef Jeremy Fox will be presenting his new book "On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen". Together with Boka's executive chef Lee Wolen, the Cleveland natives will create a 5-course vegetarian lunch menu highlighting recipes from the book. Tickets for the event include an autographed copy of Fox's cookbook.
Boka x Shake Shack x Milk Bar x Bang Bang Pie
BOKA, 1729 N. Halsted | Sunday, April 30, 3pm-6pm
Does life get any better than burgers and booze on BOKA's backyard patio? Shake Shack and Lee Wolen collaborate to make a Shake Shack burger inspired by BOKA's menu while Bang Bang Pie and Milk Bar will be bringing the sweets to this sweet event. Tickets can be purchased online.
avec x Sofra Bakery Brunch Collaboration James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef nominee, Maura Kilpatrick, of Oleana Restaurant Group and Sofra Bakery will join avec's chef de cuisine, Perry Hendrix, for a one-time-only brunch. The special brunch menu will feature a variety of Sofra's Middle Eastern-inspired brunch dishes in addition to avec's regular brunch items. Reservations can be made online.
avec, 615 W. Randolph | Sunday, April 30, 10am-2pm
Three Dots and a Dash Tiki Takeover
Three Dots and a Dash, 435 N. Clark St. | Sunday, April 30, 5pm-8pm
It's a tiki bar takeover! Dirty Dick from Paris and Trick Dog from San Francisco will be joining forces and taking over Three Dots and a Dash for one night only: Three Dirty Dogs. Guests will be treated to exclusive preview of several cocktails from the new Three Dots menu as well as tiki creations from Scott Shruder, the founder of Dirty Dick and OFTD Plantation Rum and the team at Trick Dog. Trick Dog will be promoting their latest endeavor, the Trick Dog Mural Project. The book, which doubles as their cocktail menu, will be on sale at the event, with proceeds going to two non-profits in San Francisco. This event is free to attend and open to the public.
Izakaya at Momotaro JBFA Special Nominated in Outstanding Restaurant Design and part of Best Restaurateur nominated Boka Restaurant Group, the Izakaya at Momotaro will be offering a three course menu for $25 that includes a beer and shot for those that want a break from the party crowds and want to experience AvroKO's design in-person.
Momotaro, 820 W Lake St #101 | Sunday, April 30 6p.m.-Midnight
Cure x The Violet Hour
The Violet Hour, 1520 N. Damen | Sunday, April 30, 10pm - 2am
Expect plenty of down-home Dixie delights when Cure, a trailblazer in New Orleans' craft cocktail scene, takes over The Violet Hour. Cure-inspired beverage selections, signature cocktails from The Violet Hour, and snacks from Fredo/Café Henri will all be ready to roll at this first come, first served event; no tickets or reservations will be offered.
Prune x Nico Osteria Takeover
Nico Osteria, 1015 N. Rush St. | Tuesday, May 2, 5pm-10pm
JBFA Outstanding Chef finalist, Gabrielle Hamilton, of the popular East Village bistro, Prune, will be taking over Chicago's Nico Osteria with her award-winning New American fare. Chef Hamilton will join fellow JBFA nominee, chef Erling Wu-Bower (Best Chef: Great Lakes) and JBF award-winning chef Paul Kahan (Outstanding Chef 2013) for this one-night-only restaurant takeover. Nico Osteria's dinner menu will transform to feature 20 specialty Prune dishes and delicious Prune cocktails. Reservation or walk-ins (pending availability); menu items available a la carte. Reservations by phone (312) 994-7100 or online.
Publican Quality Meats x Shake Shack Burger Night
Publican Quality Meats, 825 W. Fulton Market | Tuesday, May 2, 6pm-9pm
Kick off summer at Publican Quality Meats with a fun foodie event featuring PQM's signature burger and special "dueling" burgers crafted by Shake Shack's culinary director, Mark Rosati and Tyler Kord of No. 7 Subs. Plan on drinking plenty of bourbon and beer. First come, first served.
For a list of all the Beard-inspired events, from foodie fêtes and fundraisers to special Eats Week dishes, visit choosechicago.com/jbf.
On the full calendar you'll find everything from a powerhouse panel that includes chef personality Andrew Zimmern and James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro as moderator (Global Cities, Culinary Soft Power: April 30) to a craft beer bonanza showcasing eight of Chicago's best breweries (hosted by Band of Bohemia: April 30).
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the individual authors and commenters and do not reflect the views of Choose Chicago.