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This Year's List Of James Beard Awards Finalists Is Big For Chicago

By Anthony Todd in Food on Mar 15, 2016 4:59PM

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

Last month, more than 25 Chicago chefs and restaurants were named semi-finalists for James Beard Awards. The final nominations came out Tuesday; who made it?

The announcements were made live on Twitter (from the announcement event) and we followed along. Here's the complete list. First, the big one: Best Chef Great Lakes. Chicago swept the entire slate (yet another reason we should have our own category, but more on that later). Abe Conlon (Fat Rice), Curtis Duffy (Grace), Lee Wolen (Boka), Erling Wu Bower (Nico) and Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia) were nominated.

In the other categories, Chicago didn't do quite as well. We got knocked out of several categories, including best new restaurant, bar program, best chef and best bar professional. But we've still got some finalists! Cindy's and Cherry Circle Room are up for design awards, Sepia made the cut for best wine program, Meg Galus is up for outstanding pastry chef, North Pond is up for outstanding service, Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz (Boka group) are nominated for outstanding restauranteur, and Alinea is up for outstanding restaurant.

The final awards ceremony is on May 2.