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Kahan, Blackbird Group Dominate Chicago James Beard Finalist Nominations

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Mar 18, 2013 6:00PM


Will the fifth time be the charm for Paul Kahan? That’s the question local food media are asking today after the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards finalists were announced. Kahan and his One Off Hospitality group lead a litany of Chicago nominees with four nominations, including Kahan’s fifth for Outstanding Chef.

Kahan’s partner in One Off Hospitality, Donnie Madia, earned another nod for Outstanding Restaurateur. The Violet Hour earned a nod for Outstanding Bar Program while Blackbird chef David Posey earned the group’s other nomination for Rising Star Chef. Posey will face The Purple Pig’s Jimmy Bannos, Jr. in that category.

Chicago chefs once again dominate the nominations for Best Chef Great Lakes, which may be too close to call. Next’s Dave Beran, Paul Virant (who earned another nod for Vie), Stephanie Izard and Sepia’s Andrew Zimmerman each are previous nominees and make placing odds on a winner too close for us.

In the other glamor category, Spiaggia was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant while Curtis Duffy’s red-hot Grace earned a Best New Restaurant nomination.

Of the media nominations, ABC 7’s Steve Dolinsky has another nomination for Television Segment, WBEZ’s Fear of Frying earned a nod for best Radio Show/Audio Webcast and the Reader’s Mike Sula earned an MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award for “Chicken of the Trees,” his essay where he explored the history of eating squirrel and why it isn’t as prevalent in the Midwest these days.

We’ve included the full list of nominees below.

2013 James Beard Awards Finalists