Chicago Doesn't Do Well In The Munchies
By Anthony Todd in Food on Apr 3, 2012 4:40PM
Food awards pop up all the time, and unless they're run by Food and Wine, we generally ignore them. However, when Andrew Zimmern convenes a panel that includes author Mark Kurlansky, Twitter parody Ruth Bourdain and food writer Colman Andrews, we'll at least give it a second look. The Munchies, "people's choice food awards" hosted by Tablespoon.com, are a pretty comprehensive set of awards. They let visitors vote and have 20 categories that include things like "Best Farmers Market" and "Best Craft Brewery." So why aren't we excited? Because Chicago mostly got shafted. There are still a few local places that you can vote for, but overall, we didn't do so well.
We know not everyone loves Chicago and we're not the center of the entire culinary world. We get that, really we do. But every time national awards come out and ignore Chicago, we get irrationally angry. To start with, we didn't get a single nominee in the Best Chef category. Even better, only one chef outside of New York got nominated. Guess who? Thomas Keller, who has a restaurant in New York. We didn't even make the best burger category, and the only mention of our famous Chicago pizza is Giordano's. What really steams our broccoli are the Farmers Market and Craft Brewery categories, where Chicago was totally left out. No food trucks, ice cream or cookies either. As of right now, in the few categories where Chicagoans appear, we're losing in all of them.
Where can you still vote your Chicago pride? Well, we did pretty darn well in the "Most Intriguing Cocktail Bar" category, with both The Violet Hour and The Aviary getting nods. Intelligentsia is in the "Coolest Coffee Shop" lineup, and Defloured is in the "Favorite Gluten-Free Bakery" Category. Growing Power made it into the "Most Inspiring Food Visionary" section and Big Star is on the list for "Best Taco." Maybe if we vote all of them to victory, they'll rethink the selections for next year?