32 Chicago Restaurants Chefs And Restaurateurs Make James Beard Semifinalist List

Posted: Feb 19, 2017

Source: Victor Spinelli/WireImage

The James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for the 2017 James Beard Awards on Wednesday morning, and Chicago is well-represented.

The awards are among the food world's big honors; many compare them to the Oscars for chefs and restaurants. 

Below, see which Chicago chefs and restaurants made the semifinalist cut. A few highlights:

First-time semifinalists include Aya Fukai of Maple & Ash, up for outstanding pastry chef, and Greg Wade of Publican Quality Bread, up for outstanding baker. In a rare suburban nomination, David Park of Hanbun in Westmont is a first-time semifinalist for rising star chef.

Sarah Grueneberg of Monteverde, Gene Kato of Sumi Robata Bar, Edward Kim of Ruxbin and Noah Sandoval of Oriole are all first-timers on the best chef: Great Lakes list.

Topolobampo is a semifinalist for outstanding restaurant; its sister restaurant, Frontera Grill, won the same award in 2007. 
Finalists will be announced March 15, and the awards gala will be May 1 at the Lyric Opera. This will be the third year Chicago has hosted the national awards.

Best new restaurant 

Oriole, Chicago
Roister, Chicago
Smyth, Chicago 
Outstanding baker
Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread, Chicago
Outstanding bar program
Lost Lake, Chicago
Outstanding chef
Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia, Chicago
Carrie Nahabedian, Naha, Chicago
Outstanding pastry chef
Aya Fukai, Maple & Ash, Chicago
Meg Galus, Boka, Chicago
Outstanding restaurant 
Topolobampo, Chicago
Outstanding restaurateur
Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago (Boka, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro and others)
Outstanding service
Boka, Chicago
North Pond, Chicago
Outstanding wine program 
Sepia, Chicago
Outstanding wine, spirits or beer professional
Charles Joly, Crafthouse Cocktails, Chicago
Rising star chef of the year 
David Park, Hanbun, Westmont, Ill.
Jenner Tomaska, Next, Chicago
Best chef: Great Lakes (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio)
Jake Bickelhaupt, 42 Grams, Chicago
Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice, Chicago
Paul Fehribach, Big Jones, Chicago
Phillip Foss, EL Ideas, Chicago
Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde, Chicago
Gene Kato, Sumi Robata Bar, Chicago
Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute, Chicago
Edward Kim, Ruxbin, Chicago
Ryan McCaskey, Acadia, Chicago
Iliana Regan, Elizabeth, Chicago
Noah Sandoval, Oriole, Chicago
Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago
Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria, Chicago

By Marissa Conrad
February 16, 2017
Source: Chicago Tribune

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