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More Than 25 Chicago Chefs And Restaurants Nominated For James Beard Awards

By Anthony Todd in Food on Feb 17, 2016 6:26PM

Turnip, apple, lemon, tarragon at Grace (via Facebook)

The James Beard Awards, the biggest awards in the culinary world, will be happening in Chicago in May. The semi-finalists just came out, and there are a ton of Chicagoans among the honorees.

The primary category in which Chicagoans always get nominated is Best Chef: Great Lakes. Yes, it's odd that Chicago doesn't get its own category (and kind of screws the rest of the Great Lakes states, since Chicago always dominates the finalists), but there is some serious Chicago talent represented on this year's list. Chicago nominees are below. Bolded nominees were also nominated last year:

Jake Bickelhaupt, 42 Grams
Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice
Curtis Duffy, Grace
Paul Fehribach, Big Jones
Phillip Foss, EL Ideas
Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute
Ryan McCaskey, Acadia
Iliana Regan, Elizabeth
Lee Wolen, Boka
Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria
Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia

Chicago also was well represented in the other categories. The Blanchard and Intro (two of our favorites) are up for Best New Restaurant, Lost Lake is up for Outstanding Bar Program, Alinea is up for Outstanding Restaurant, North Pond and Topolobampo are up for Outstanding Service and Sepia is up for best wine program. Chefs Tony Mantuano and Carrie Nahabedian are up for Best Chef, and Tanya Baker, of Boarding House and Edward Sura of Perennial Virant are up for Rising Star.

Finally, Charles Joly (Crafthouse) is up for Best Bar Professional, Baker Miller is up for outstanding Baker, Meg Galus is nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef and Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz (Boka Group) are up for Outstanding Restaurateur.

The next round of cuts (to the finalists) should come in March.