2016 James Beard Awards

May 2, 2016 at Lyric Opera of Chicago
The James Beard Foundation Awards, dubbed "the Oscars of the food world" by Time Magazine, celebrates the best and brightest culinary professionals in America. The city of Chicago is incredibly proud to host the nation's preeminent honors Monday May 2, 2016.

The 26th Annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will be held at the Civic Opera House and will be hosted by Carla Hall. Over this weekend — the social highlight of the year for the culinary industry — Chicago will welcome nearly 2,500 of the country's top chefs, restaurateurs, food media and culinary enthusiasts. And for those that love to eat, there is no better place to gather than in Chicago.

James Beard Eats Week

April 22 - May 2, 2016
Celebrate James Beard and Chicago’s vibrant culinary scene with a week of exclusive restaurant menus and dishes inspired by James Beard's American Classic recipes. Nearly 100 top Chicago restaurants will honor the man known as the "Dean of American cookery" through their food. Join them during the second annual James Beard Eats Week!

Browse the list of participating restaurants and special menus below and make your reservation during Eats Week to take part.

James Beard Eats Week Restaurants

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J.B. Pop-up Restaurant at Eataly

Friday, April 22 - Sunday, May 1 (weekends only)
  • Times: Fridays & Saturdays 11:00AM-10:00PM; Sundays 11:00AM-9:30PM
  • Location: Eataly Chicago, 43 East Ohio Street
Eataly celebrates James Beard with a restaurant dedicated to the renowned chef. Opening for lunch and dinner on the two weekends leading up to the awards (April 22-24 and April 29-May 1), J.B. will take over Eataly's newest private event space Il Salone and feature a menu wholly inspired by Beard's cookbooks.

Enjoy many favorite dishes of the late chef, such as Roasted Beef Salad (roasted and sliced beef with Bibb lettuce, potatoes, eggs, capers, parsley, and garlic-thyme sauce); Spaghetti with Clams (spaghetti with steamed clams, white wine, chilies, and parsley); and Roasted Chicken (pan-roasted chicken thighs with saffron rice and roasted tomatoes).

An Evening with Chef Carrie Nahabedian

Thursday, April 28
  • Time: 6:00-8:00PM
  • Location: Mariano's New City, 1500 North Clybourn Avenue
  • Tickets: $20
Mariano's + CS MAGAZINE invite you to celebrate the James Beard Awards with an evening with Chicago chef Carrie Nahabedian of NAHA and Brindille. Join the James Beard Award Winner & Mariano's Tastemaker for a taste of some of her favorite bites and learn how to make them yourself during this private cooking demo. Plus enjoy sips and delicious bites from Mariano's.

Cooking Class & Dinner with Chez Moi and Read It & Eat

Thursday, April 28
  • Time: 6:30 - 9:30PM
  • Location: Read It & Eat, 2142 North Halsted Street
  • Ticket Price: $70
In honor of the James Beard Awards, Chez Moi & Read It & Eat are inviting you to celebrate good food and drink through a unique dining experience. The menu will feature award worthy recipes which will be prepared and taught by Chez Moi’s chef Dominique Tougné. The unique evening will take place in two parts.

The first is a demonstration at Read It & Eat where Chef Dominique will show you how to prepare two appetizers featuring a Cream of Asparagus Martini with a Caviar Ice Cube and Crunchy Shrimp with Basil and Chlorophyll Mayo. The Class will be accompanied by a glass of French Sparkling Rosé.

Guests will then be escorted to Chez Moi for the second part of the evening where they will be treated to an entrée featuring Julia Child’s famous Duck au Peche and a decadent dessert selection from Chez Moi’s Pastry Chef.

Chef Art Smith's Blue Door Kitchen & Garden Patio Pop Up Preview

Saturday, April 30
  • Time: 9:00AM-2:00PM
  • Location: The soon-to-be Blue Door Kitchen & Garden, 52 West Elm Street
  • Admission: FREE
Chef Art Smith, in celebration of the James Beard House Awards, will showcase his passion behind the local farm to family initiative with a preview of his newest concept, Blue Door Kitchen & Garden. Hosting local farmers on the patio for the day, Chef Smith will invite guests to experience the quaint atmosphere of the restaurant’s outdoor space with the farmer’s market preview event. Local farms such as Growing Power, Green Acres, MightyVine will be onsite selling local produce from 10am to 2pm.

Complimentary signature Blue Door Kitchen & Garden Brussel sprout & kale salads, beignets, cafes au lait, and CH Peppercorn Bloody Mary's will be served on the patio. In addition, Chef Art Smith will give signed cookbooks to first 100 guests. The event is complimentary and open to the public.


Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival

Saturday, April 30
  • Time: 11:00AM - 3:00PM
  • Location: Chicago French Market, 131 North Clinton Street
  • Admission: FREE
Sample small-batch food, beer, wine and spirits from over 100 culinary artisans. This free event showcases the talents of local, national and international producers of high quality artisan foods and beverages. On the stage see James Beard Nominated Chefs with culinary thought leaders doing cooking demos — and hear these notable chefs speak about their approach to sourcing product and their appreciation of artisan producers: Tory Miller – 2012 James Beard Best Chef, Midwest Winner;
Paul Fehribach - Four-time James Beard Best Chef, Great Lakes Award Semifinalist; Erling Wu-Bower - Two-time finalist for James Beard Best Chef, Great Lakes; Dan Fox - Two-time semifinalist for James Beard Best Chef, Midwest.

Momofuku Brunch Takeover

Sunday, May 1
  • Location: avec, 615 West Randolph Street
avec will host a one-day-only Momofuku Brunch Takeover in collaboration with Momofuku’s Ssäm Bar and Má Pêche (featuring JBFA "Rising Star Chef of the Year” finalist Matthew Rudofker, Executive Chef, Momofuku Ssäm Bar and Momofuku Má Pêche; and Ian Davis, Chef de Cuisine of Má Pêche).

The restaurant will offer a collaborative a la carte menu featuring a mix of Ssäm Bar and Má Pêche offerings and inventive dishes selected especially for the takeover, plus a selection of avec’s beloved brunch dishes, alongside a specially crafted cocktail menu featuring a curated selection of Momofuku cocktails. General seating will operate on a first come, first served basis.

Additionally, a limited number of Bo Ssäm reservations for available for parties of 7-10 guests will be available at 10am, 11:30am and 1:30pm on this date and are priced at $250 per party. The Bo Ssäm (ssäm is Korean for enclosed or wrapped) includes a slow cooked pork shoulder, a dozen oysters, and two bowls each of white rice, bibb lettuce, Korean-style barbecue sauce, kimchi and ginger scallion sauce. Guests are encouraged to make wraps with the pork and condiments or eat as they please. Reservations for Bo Ssäm: email info@avecrestaurant.com.

Yusho Logan Square Welcomes The Charter Oak for a Brunch Workshop

Sunday, May 1
  • Time: 11:00AM - 2:00PM
  • Location: Yusho Logan Square, 2853 North Kedzie Avenue
  • Price: $40 per person (includes brunch, coffee/tea service)
The award-winning Yusho is pleased to welcome the team behind the three Michelin-starred restaurant at Meadowood for a brunch workshop. The Charter Oak by Chef Christopher Kostow and Director Nathanial Dorn, opening late summer 2016 in St. Helena, California, is a new and less formal venture that celebrates the team’s commitment to hospitality and the Napa Valley community.

Reservations are being taken via phone at 773.904.8558.


Tiki Luau & Pig Roast at Three Dots and a Dash

Sunday, May 1
  • Time: 1:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Location: Three Dots and a Dash, 435 North Clark Street
  • Ticket Price: $50
In honor of the Beard Awards celebration, Three Dots and a Dash and Julian Cox are hosting the second annual Tiki Luau & Pig Roast. They'll be mixing up cocktails alongside some of the country's top bar talent, including: Will Elliott of Brooklyn's Maison Premiere (NYC); Don Lee of Cocktail Kingdom (New York City); Matt Tocco of Nashville's Patterson House; David Greteman of Taste in St. Louis. From Chicago will be Dustin Drankiewicz & Justin Anderson of Moneygun; Kristina Magro of Pub Royale; Peter Vestinos of Sparrow; Laura Kelton of Bad Hunter; and Julian Cox of Three Dots and a Dash.

Los Angeles chefs Timothy Hollingsworth of Barrel & Ashes and Otium, and Rory Herrmann of Barrel & Ashes and Sprout LA, along with chefs Doug Psaltis and Christian Eckmann from local Bub City, team up for the pig roast while Three Dots offers an array of Polynesian-inspired snacks. Internationally-acclaimed DJ Walshy Fire of Major Lazer provides the party's cool tiki vibes.

Tickets are limited! A portion of the proceeds will benefit the James Beard Foundation.

Tastemakers of the Culinary Arts

Sunday, May 1
  • Time: 4:00 - 6:00PM
  • Location: Vermilion, 10 West Hubbard Street
  • Ticket Price: $95 ($50 is tax-deductible)
Join the James Beard Foundation, Chicago Humanities Festival and Vermilion Restaurant for a reception and conversation about what’s new, edgy and pushing the frontiers in culinary arts. Explore how tastemakers of the food world define their style and continue to evolve their visions.

As a prelude to awards, James Beard Foundation President, Susan Ungaro, will lead a panel with five of today’s most celebrated and inventive chefs and restaurateurs: Michael Anthony, iconic Executive Chef of Danny Meyer USHG restaurants (Gramercy Tavern, Whitney Museum, Untitled); Leading restaurateur Rohini Dey, ph.d. (Vermilion, Chicago/New York); Celebrated chef/owner Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park, NoMad); Chicago icon Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat); Festival favorite Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club).

Continue the conversation after the panel while feasting on Vermilion’s Indian-Latin appetizers and cocktails, lauded by Time, Financial Times, Travel & Leisure, Bon Appetit, Esquire, Chicago Tribune, among others.

BOKA x Shake Shack X Bang Bang Pie's Backyard BBQ

Sunday, May 1
  • Time: 4:00 - 7:00PM
  • Location: Boka, 1729 N Halsted Street
  • Ticket Price: $40
Join Shake Shack & Lee Wolen as they collaborate to make a Shake Shack burger inspired by BOKA's menu. Guests will enjoy burgers, beverages, canapés, and sweets provided by Bang Bang Pie while dining in BOKA's backyard.

Cure What Ails You: Cure Takes Over The Violet Hour

Sunday, May 1
  • Time: 10:00PM - 1:00AM
  • Location: The Violet Hour, 1520 North Damen Avenue
  • Ticket Price: A la carte, price varies
James Beard Nominee for Outstanding Bar Program, Cure (New Orleans), will be taking over The Violet Hour. Cure's partner Kirk Estopinal is no stranger to The Violet Hour. Estopinal was one of the opening bartenders at The Violet Hour, departing after three years to move home to NOLA and open Cure — his first bar. The full bar takeover will also feature Creole-inspired food by Analogue’s chef Alfredo Nogueira, who met Estopinal in his early 20s in New Orleans when they started a band together. Expect a New Orleans playlist and custom façade for the evening.

Shaya avec Nico Osteria

Tuesday, May 3
  • Location: Nico Osteria, 1015 N Rush St
Note: avec is French for “with” and this Southern Mediterranean collaboration dinner joins restaurants Shaya with Nico Osteria in honor of Chicago hosting the 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards. Collaboration will be at the heart of this one-night-only event featuring JBFA "Best Chef: Great Lakes” finalist Erling Wu-Bower (Nico Osteria; 2016), JBFA winner "Best: Chef South” (Domenica; 2015) and finalist "Best New Restaurant” (Shaya; 2016) Alon Shaya, as well as Perry Hendrix (avec) and Leigh Omilinsky (Nico Osteria). In the playful spirit of not letting the kitchen have all the fun, multiple James Beard Foundation Award Winning Chefs John Besh and Paul Kahan will be behind the bar serving up Creole-inspired cocktails.

The menu will be comprised of a range of refreshing crudos, starters designed for sharing amongst the table, fish- and meat-forward mains, and will finish with a variety of Southern Mediterranean-inspired sweets. The beverage program will place an emphasis on the best cocktails the Big Easy has to offer, showcasing classics as well as a few inventive riffs.

Reservations will become available Monday, April 11 and can be made by calling Nico Osteria at 312.994.7100 or visiting their website. The menu will be available a la carte.

Butcher Demo & Dinner with Dario Cecchini at RPM Steak

Thursday, May 5
  • Time: 7:00PM
  • Location: RPM Steak, 66 West Kinzie Street
  • Price: $265 per person (plus tax; gratuity not included)
Back for the second year in a row, join RPM Steak and Chef Doug Psaltis as they host world-renowned, eighth-generation Italian butcher Dario Cecchini for an evening of chef demonstrations, Tuscan wine and fine dining.

Bringing along his cooks and own arsenal of ingredients, Cecchini will demonstrate the techniques of properly breaking down beef and pork and present guests with a multi-course dinner including his famous classic Florentine steaks, Bistecche stile Cecchini, accompanied by wines from two of Italy’s most iconic wineries, Gaja and Il Poggione. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime event as Cecchini—dubbed the “first rock star butcher” by The New York Times— makes his Chicago return. Reservations are being taken through the website.
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