The semi-finalists for the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards were announced this week. Whittled down from over 38,000 national entries, being named as a semi-finalist is indeed a big deal, and Chicago is well represented.
Congratulations to all who made the cut and a special shout out to our Chi-town nominees! Here’s the Windy City recap:
Best New Restaurant: Nico Osteria and Brindille
Outstanding Restaurant: Spiaggia
Outstanding Chef: Carrie Nahabedian, Naha
Outstanding Restaurateur: Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality Group: Blackbird, Avec, The Publican, The Violet Hour, Nico Osterio and Big Star
Outstanding Service: Topolobampo
Outstanding Wine Program: Sepia
Rising Start Chef of the Year: Jimmy Banos Jr., Purple Pig, Matthew Kirkley, L20 and David Posey, Blackbird
Best Chef – Great Lakes: Dave Beran, Next, Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo, Fat Rice, Curtis Duffy, Grace, Paul Fehribach, Big Jones, Phillip Foss, EL Ideas, Ryan McCaskey, Acadia, Iliana Regan, Elizabeth, Jason Vincent, Nightwood, Paul Virant, Vie Restaurant, Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria, Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia
The Good Food Festival will mark its 10th anniversary next month on March 13-15. Festival organizers are looking for volunteers NOW. If you’d like to help out and drink in the atmosphere of good food and local inspiration, click on this link for more info.
Last Minute Picks
Tap the Keg with former Blackhawk, Adrian Aucoin, at Hofbrauhaus tonight at 7:30! (Great way to celebrate the Olympic US hockey teams!)
Sample seafood, local produce and Spanish wines in a “Boqueria” atmosphere at Mercat a la Planxa’s newly renovated Barcelona Room this Saturday at 7 pm. ($45 per ticket. RSVP required: 312-765-0524)
Looking to get a little exercise? Walk the Chicago Golf Show at the Stephens Convention Center this weekend in Rosemont (Jeff Sluman & Robbie Gould will be there on Saturday), or the IKC Dog Show at McCormick Place.
Have a great weekend!