The 28th Annual James Beard Foundation Awards, known as the Oscars of the food world, is expected to draw thousands of chefs, restaurateurs and food writers to Chicago in the first week of May.
Tickets to the much-anticipated May 7 ceremony are selling fast, but that’s only part of the James Beard celebration.
James Beard Eats Week, held April 27 to May 7, features culinary creations from more than 100 area restaurants and top chefs, each creating James Beard-inspired dishes that fall within a reasonable budget.
Foodies can stop by Homestead on the Roof’s rooftop restaurant and famed 3,000-square-foot organic garden in West Town (1924 W Chicago Ave), where Executive Chef Scott Shulman takes his inspiration from a James Beard quote: “Too few people understand a really good sandwich.” In honor of the statement, Shulman is taking a classic Chicago-style Italian Beef — preserved in duck yolk — and crossing it with a steakhouse staple, tartare. The sandwich will feature giardiniera, roasted red pepper puree, jus gelee and house baked roll.
Another sandwich ode to Beard comes from Executive Chef Mark Bires of Jerry’s Sandwiches. Between two slices of challah, “Beard’s Best BLT” features applewood bacon, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, arugula, lettuce and bacon fat aioli. Jerry’s has locations in Andersonville (5419 N Clark St) and Lincoln Square (4739 N Lincoln Ave).
For breakfast with a Beard twist, Upstairs at The Gwen (521 N Rush St) is serving up a Slagel Farm Duck Egg Scramble for under $20. The dish, created by Executive Chef Matt Jergens, incorporates veal sweetbreads, morels, charred ramps, foie gravy and brioche.
And at Sun Wah BBQ (5039 N Broadway St), Executive Chef Laura Cheng has created Sidewalk Chicken, a new spin on an old family recipe. “This item dates back to our days in New York when our grandfathers would take turns cooking salt-baked chicken on the sidewalk,” Cheng explains. “Today, we make chicken quarters in a similar fashion, using five spices to season, and then baking the chicken in salt. The chicken is then cut tableside before tossing with five-spiced tofu, green onions, serrano chili peppers and sesame oil.”
That, however, is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Here’s your guide to Eats Week’s Beard-inspired dishes around the city (stay tuned for more restaurants being announced as Eats Week approaches). For an up-to-date list of participating Eats Week restaurants, please visit choosechicago.com/JBF.
FYI: Also check out the James Beard Foundation Eats Week Dinner Cruise on Odyssey (Navy Pier) from April 27-May 7, featuring a three-course menu with specialty, James Beard-inspired dishes.
@ The Blanchard
180 N Field Blvd
Chef Hans Aeschbacher
James Beard-inspired dishes: Japanese ginger apple mesclun salad with orange vinaigrette. Sliced wagyu sirloin with balsamic teriyaki glaze, sprinkled with volcanic wasabi salt. Lavender honey ricotta cheese tart with frangelico marinated berry topping.
2148 W Chicago Ave
Chef Dan Bocik
James Beard-inspired dish: Beef short ribs with saffron risotto.
1829 W Chicago Ave
Chefs Joseph Fontelera and Nelson Vinansaca
James Beard-inspired dish: Peipar quail roasted 5-spice brine, maltose cured, dry-aged quail.
4767 N Lincoln Ave
Chef Saul Róman
James Beard-inspired dish: Watermelon mojito and grilled whole fish.
1450 W Chicago Ave
Chef Johnny Anderes
James Beard-inspired dishes: Wild mushroom, runny egg, sherry-jus. Spring peas, squid sausage and piperade toast.
832 W Randolph St
Chef Julio Pinedo
James Beard-inspired dishes: "Jucy Luciano" stracchino cheese, crispy pancetta, roasted cherry tomatoes, lemon arugula, spicy salsa rossa and focaccia bun.
65 W Kinzie St
Chef Katsuji Tanabe
James Beard-inspired dish: Tequila-braised short ribs, root vegetables and serrano mint salsa.
201 N Morgan St
Chef Yanni Sanchez
James Beard-inspired dishes: Ensalada - vegetable (raw) ribbons, smoked eggplant pure, vadouvan, lemon yogurt dressing. Cordero - rack of lamb, apricot, mustard curry, roasted chickpeas. Chocolate - chocolate tangerine tart, chocolate mousse, popcorn mousse cocoa powder.
Fulton Market, 834 W Fulton Market
River North, 519 N Clark St
Streeterville, 671 N Saint Clair St
Chef John Chiakulas
James Beard-inspired dish: Poke bowl with bulgur wheat, ahi tuna, avocado, shaved radish and cabbage, cilantro and ponzu dressing.
1400 W Randolph St
Chef Bill Kim
James Beard-inspired dish: Mini pork meatballs with kimchi peanut pesto and toasted steamed buns.
17 W Adams St
Chef Matt Reichel
James Beard-inspired dish: Braised short rib of beef, in a rich G.D. Pigeon Porter beer and an artisan honey reduction. Served with mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and baby carrots, fried leeks and garnished with a blistered tomato.
840 N Wabash Ave
Chef Martial Noguier
James Beard-inspired dish: James Beard’s steak tartare -- scotch, quail egg, dijon, capers and cornichons.
1114 W Belmont Ave
Chef Mindy Gohr
James Beard-inspired dishes: Three course prix fixe - roasted yellow pepper soup with creme fraiche; seared ahi tuna salad nicoise; pound cake with cognac-infused golden raisin ice cream.
1935 N Lincoln Park West
Chef Ryan Burns
James Beard-inspired dish: Le eouf-soft scrambled egg, runny yolk center, chives, osetra caviar tartine and creme fraiche.
2152 N Damen Ave
Chef Todd Stein
James Beard-inspired dish: Shaved asparagus salad with green goddess dressing, tarragon aioli and parmesan.
87 Yorktown Shopping Center (Lombard)
Chef Mitchell P. Gierke
James Beard-inspired dish: Sliced filet mignon topped with braised short ribs, served with Vermont white cheddar, rosemary polenta and a Fuji apple horseradish compote.
35 W Wacker Dr
Chef Eddie Sweeney
James Beard-inspired dishes: Pacific manila clams, nueske's bacon, fennel, onions, white wine, sourdough crostini. Fried oysters, English peas, lemon, black pepper. Aioli-braised lamb shank, cannellini beans, tomatoes, polenta. Baked Alaska, thai coconut cake base, mango ice cream, caramel and lime creme anglaise.
12 S Michigan Ave
Chef Pete Coenen
James Beard-inspired dish: Oxtail croquette with gremolata and dried beef.
1401 S Michigan Ave
Chef Sam Engelhardt
James Beard-inspired dishes: A curated collection representing each one of the members on Chicago Firehouse's culinary team.
1160 N Dearborn St
Chef Art Smith
James Beard-inspired dishes: Fried alligator with creole remoulade. Whole smoked red snapper with baby green salad and lemon thyme beurre blanc sauce. Chocolate mousse pie with caramel and chocolate graham cracker.
12 S Michigan Ave
Chef Christian Ragano
James Beard-inspired dishes: James Beard onion sandwich - brioche, sweet onions, aioli, parsley. James Beard breakfast croque - sweet slaw, smoked ham, comeback sauce, sourdough and Mornay.
505 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago
Chef Oscar Ornelas
James Beard-inspired dishes: Mixed-greens salad with blue cheese, poached pears and cherry vinaigrette. Barramundi with fennel salad and citrus and mango relish or tournedos of beef au jus with creamy polenta and pearl onions. Vanilla panna cotta with huckleberry compote and blueberry sorbet.
3335 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
Chef Christopher Thompson
James Beard-inspired dish: Cherry and watercress salad with puglian burrata, toasted pistachios, pickled shallots and a lemon citronette.
203 N Wabash Ave
Chef Moosah Reaume
James Beard-inspired dish: Paul Bocuse green circle chicken fricassee with morels and a la anglaise mirepoix.
2829 W Armitage Ave
Chef Jennifer Jones Enyart
James Beard-inspired dish: Brown butter cake with hibiscus-poached rhubarb and candied amaranth.
1748 W Lake St
Chef Devon Quinn
James Beard-inspired dish: Herb and Porcini Spätzle - smoked duxelle, fresh chickpeas, bok choy, roasted peppers, crème fraiche.
6701 W Forest Preserve Dr
Chef Diana Moles
James Beard-inspired dish: Eli's Honest Abe Cheesecake - rich and creamy goat's milk cheesecake baked with fresh, caramelized apples, topped with cardamom honey caramel.
74 W Illinois St
Chef CJ Jacobson
James Beard-inspired dish: Grilled pork belly, braised lentils, pomegranate jus and chermoula.
108 N State St
Chef Jessica Foust
James Beard-inspired dish: Seasoned pearled barley salad with navy beans, tuscan kale, sweetened dried cranberries and roasted butternut squash, topped with maple-chili spiced walnuts.
1220 W Webster Ave
Chef Sandra Holl
James Beard-inspired dish: Rhubarb raspberry verrine -- roasted rhubarb, white chocolate raspberry cream, rosé syrup and genoise.
925 W Randolph St
Chef Todd Stein
James Beard-inspired dish: House-made spaghetti with baby clams, green garlic and chiles.
500 N. Franklin St
Chef Luis Brizuela
James Beard-inspired dishes: Gene & Georgetti Chicago will be honoring James Beard Eats Week with drinks! Grasshopper - like a chocolate after-dinner mint in a glass: 1 oz. green creme de menthe, 1 oz. white creme de cocoa, 1 oz. cream. Irish Bulldog - a play on the classic Colorado Bulldog recipe: 1 oz. Jameson Irish Whiskey, 1 oz. Baileys Irish Cream, 1 oz. Coca-Cola. Pot O' Gold - 2 oz. cucumber vodka, 1/4 oz. St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur and ginger beer.
9421 W. Higgins Rd
Chef Luis Quiroz
James Beard-inspired dishes: Gene & Georgetti Rosemont will be honoring James Beard Eats Week with drinks! Enjoy an East India Negroni, Bayou Sour, The Stinger, Oceanside Royale or James Beard's Favorite Bloody Mary.
1924 W Chicago Ave
Chef Scott Shulman
James Beard-inspired dish: Classic Chicago-style Italian Beef crossed with a steakhouse staple, tartare - house-made Italian Beef, preserved duck yolk, giardiniera, roasted red pepper puree, jus gelee and house baked roll.
Andersonville, 5419 N Clark St
Lincoln Square, 4739 N Lincoln Ave
Chef Mark Bires
James Beard-inspired dish: James Beard’s Best BLT - applewood bacon, heirloom tomato, red onion, arugula, lettuce, bacon fat aioli and challah.
1154 N Dearborn St
Chefs Art Smith and Rey Villalobos
James Beard-inspired dishes: Antipasti tomato soup, seasoned ricotta, basil and pancetta dust. Whole wheat fettuccine broccolini, fennel, leek and onion puree. Dolci chocolate, budino-candied grapefruit, hazelnuts and fennel.
85 E Wacker Dr
Chef Jacob Verstegen
James Beard-inspired dish: Compressed melon salad with avocado, blueberry granola and radish.
845 N State St
Chef Ryan Kikkert
James Beard-inspired dishes: A menu committed to “ good, wholesome food with only the best and freshest ingredients, sourced responsibly and prepared honestly with great care to provide a true farm-to-table experience, something that James Beard was also known for.”
8 W Maple St
Chef Danny Grant
James Beard-inspired dish: Crispy goujonettes of dover sole with lemon, parsley and remoulade.
432 W Diversey Pkwy
Chef Alisha Elenz
James Beard-inspired dishes: James Beard "taste of mfk" - Aguachile, poached shrimp, avocado tapas, anchovy, boquerones, mussels escabeche. From the fryer - croquettes, prawn heads, sherry garlic aioli. Roasted cauliflower - pickled sweet peppers, toasted breadcrumb. Albondigas - bizkaina, polenta, red onion jam. Seafood videos - shellfish, piperade, saffron-cream; basque cake.
505 N Michigan Ave
Chef Craig Couper
James Beard-inspired dishes: American wagyu ribeye steak with miso chili glaze and roasted oyster mushrooms.
505 Main St (Evanston)
Chef Mark Grosz
James Beard-inspired dishes: Chef’s surprise - calamari shrimp, candied ginger and lemon. Watermelon radish sake. Guacamole. Butternut squash ravioli fennel. Prosciutto. Crispy sage. Walnuts. New Zealand venison Pâté. Hazelnuts. Parsley-apple salad. Berry gel. Poilâne and brioche toast Golden beets Warm goat cheese Artichoke pecans. Belgian endive. Watercress. Seasonal sorbet. Choice of entrée - organic Norwegian Fjord ocean trout elote; butternut squash; turmeric; poblano eggplant; heirloom carrots; chanterelles broccolini; parsnip; fennel; leek-basil broth; wild Delaware skate; fennel; broccolini; cauliflower; porto; chef’s pastry selection.
222 N LaSalle Dr
Chef Joseph Rizza
James Beard-inspired dish: Black truffle and duck risotto - black truffle, duck confit, parmesan and truffle oil, with fresh truffles shaved tableside.
601 Skokie Blvd (Northbrook)
Chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris
James Beard-inspired dish: Wild striped bass, river valley ranch mushrooms, three sister’s garden pea shoots and caper browned butter sauce.
400 N State St
Chef Richard Jones
James Beard-inspired dish: Oxtail cheesesteak - oxtail, sweet onions, horseradish havarti on toasted french baguette.
201 N State St, 27th Fl
Chef Nathan Sears
James Beard-inspired dish: Green Beans and Clams - tomato, nduja and brown butter spread and honey vinegar.
4613, 51 W Kinzie St
Chef Fabio Viviani
James Beard-inspired dish: Fava bean risotto - Crispy guanciale, morels, charred spring onions and parmesan cheese.
201 N State St
Chef Nathan Sears
James Beard-inspired dish: Cold shaved pork loin, potato salad and apple relish.
5039 N Broadway St
Chef Laura Cheng
James Beard-inspired dish: Sidewalk Chicken - five-spice seasoned chicken baked in salt and cut tableside before tossed with five-spiced tofu, green onions, serrano chili peppers and sesame oil.
2728 W Armitage Ave
Chef Ryan Brosseau
James Beard-inspired dish: Sunchoke hash, duck heart, farm onion, quark cheese and sunny duck egg.
1530 S State St
Chef Crispin Plata
James Beard-inspired dishes: Espàrragos y quesos españoles - asparagus spears wrapped with smoked Atlantic salmon in a homemade crepe, served with a cheese platter of Manchego Mahon cheeses, caramelized olives and smoked tomato marmalade. Croquetas y Buñuelos - a crab meat croquette with vegetables and saffron rice fritters topped with Cabrales blue cheese and tomato concise. Plato Combinado del Mar - grilled langoustines and crusted cod with pistachios, served with sautéed seasonal vegetables and blood orange butter sauce. A la Plancha - grilled lamb chops and pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon served with sweet potato puree, spinach and a red wine sauce; spanish-style bread pudding and vanilla crepes filled with mascarpone cheese custard served with blueberry compote.
10 N Dearborn
Chef Jordan Beverung
James Beard-inspired dish: Shrimp "Cioppino" alzonicchi, creamed spinach, radish, pea shoots, asparagus, salmon roe and cioppino butter sauce.
111 W Kinzie St
Chef Frank Mnuk
James Beard-inspired dishes: Seasonal amuse bouche starter; JB Famous Onion Sandwich - chicken liver mousse, carrot, onion and pickle; (choice of main) Chicken breast curry - tom yum broth, cilantro, peanut or steak au poivre flambé - galette potatoes, haricot verts; whiskey cake - marinated cherries, whipped crème fraiche.
521 N Rush St
Chef Matt Jergens
James Beard-inspired dish: Slagel Farm Duck Egg Scramble - veal sweetbreads, morels, charred ramps, foie gravy and brioche.
71 W Monroe St
Chef Ozzy Amelotti
James Beard-inspired dishes: Insalata di Finocchio e Ricotta Saffron - pickled fennel, lemon ricotta, blood orange segments, chicory leaves, rosemary vinaigrette and chestnuts. Pesce Branzino con Gnocchi di Mandorla - sea bass filet pan seared in a butter white wine sauce, house-made gnocchi and trapans pesto. Dolce Zeppole con Gelato di Menta - fried dough filled Ricotta, sprinkled with lavender powdered sugar and mint gelato.
2121 S Prairie Ave
Chef James Kerwin
James Beard-inspired dish: Crispy pig face, gnocchi, peas, house bacon, pea shell brodo and cured egg.