Chefs, restaurateurs, food journalists, and others from across the U.S. will gather in Chicago for the prestigious James Beard Awards this weekend. Meet the local finalists 👇
Emerging chef: Damarr Brown of Virtue
The “Top Chef” favorite could bring home another award for the Hyde Park restaurant specializing in classic Southern American cuisine after Erick Williams won best chef for the Great Lakes region last year.
Best new restaurant: Obélix
The River North restaurant has topped a lot of best new restaurant lists for its standout French fare from steak frites to lobster crepes.
Outstanding hospitality: Sepia
Adorned with a Michelin star, chef Andrew Zimmerman’s West Loop staple could finally take home a James Beard Award after years of nominations.
Best Great Lakes chef: Diana Dávila Boldin of Mi Tocaya Antojería AND Tim Flores and Genie Kwon of Kasama
The chefs behind the popular Mexican restaurant in Logan Square and the Filipino bakery and eatery in East Ukrainian Village are both up for the regional award.
Best profile: “Being Paula Camp” by Monica Eng
Paula Camp was once a tough Tribune food critic. Today, she’s a trans craft cidery owner living in Michigan. Over several months, Camp told longtime food journalist Monica Eng how she finally found peace.
+ Want affordable fine dining? Check out Kendall College’s Dining Room.