Blackbird Is Named Restaurant Of The Year In 2017 Jean Banchet Awards

By Rachel Cromidas in Food on Jan 17, 2017 7:41PM

BlackbirdPredessert.jpg
Pre-dessert - polenta citrus crumble, with corn ice cream, sour milk jam, almond brittle, hibiscus compressed apple and fresh thyme. Photo by Kailley Lindman.

The acclaimed West Loop restaurant Blackbird collected another honor this week, as the local Jean Banchet restaurant awards named the upscale restaurant the Restaurant of the Year.

Blackbird, helmed by Executive Chef Paul Kahan and chef de cuisine Ryan Pfeiffer, was up against EL Ideas, Schwa and Sepia for the top honor. All four of those restaurants were awarded a Michelin Star last year. Blackbird is celebrating its 20th year in business in Chicago this year.

The awards were announced at a banquet celebration Sunday night, awarding local restaurant luminaries such as celebrity chef Rick Bayless, GreenRiver mixologist Julia Momose and Roister's Andrew Brochu, who was named Chef of the Year.

Here's the full list of award winners:

Restaurant of the Year: Blackbird

Culinary Achievement Award: Rick Bayless

Chef of the Year: Andrew Brochu of Roister

Rising Chef of the Year: Bill Montagne & Jennifer Kim of Snaggletooth

Best New Restaurant: Oriole

Best Chef-de-Cuisine: Wilson Bauer of Schwa

Pastry Chef of the Year: Meg Galus of Swift & Sons

Rising Pastry Chef of the Year: Alison Cates of Honey's

Best Neighborhood Restaurant: Sumi Robata Bar

Best Sommelier: Rachel Driver Speckan of City Winery

Best Mixologist: Julia Momose of GreenRiver

Best Restaurant Design: Dixie

Best Restaurant Service: BOKA

Best Alternative Dining: Nomad (a food truck)

Best Ethnic Restaurant: 5 Loaves Eatery

[H/T Crain's]