Stephanie Izard, Girl The Goat

If you’ve pigeonholed Chicago as a deep dish and hot dog town, think again. With 19 Michelin starred restaurants, 64 establishments with Bib Gourmand honors and kitchens full of James Beard Award winners and Top Chef finalists, this city’s become one of the greatest dining destinations in the world. Last night, Chicago added to its ever-expanding list of delicious accolades with some of the city’s most accomplished chefs winning top James Beard Foundation Awards.

Blackbird’s Paul Kahan Shares Top Honor

Paul Kahan, the meat maestro behind Blackbird, Avec, and The Publican, shared the ceremony’s top prize in the outstanding chef category with New York City’s David Chang. The West Loop’s Randolph Street has become a benchmark of sorts for all things delicious, and Kahan’s Blackbird restaurant is the neighborhood’s Godfather. For almost two decades, Blackbird’s led Chicago’s fine dining charge and its recognition on the national stage is long overdue. The last Chicagoan to win the award was Alinea’s Grant Achatz in 2008.

Girl The Goat’s Stephanie Izard Wins Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region

Girl The Goat’s Stephanie Izard won a regional award for Best Chef: Great Lakes. Chicago was highly represented in the category with four out of its five nominees representing Chi-Town.

The Aviary Honored for Outstanding Bar Program

The Aviary, an cocktail by by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas, won the award for outstanding bar program.

Also nominated:

  • Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig, Rising Star Chef of the Year
  • David Posey, Blackbird, Rising Star Chef of the Year
  • Spiaggia, Outstanding Restaurant
  • Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitalit Group, Best Restauranteur
  • Topolobampo, Outstanding Service
  • The Violet Hour, Outstanding Bar Program
  • Grace, Best New Restaurant
  • Dave Beran, Next, Best Chef: Great Lakes
  • Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Best Chef: Great Lakes
  • Paul Virant, Vie, Best Chef: Great Lakes
  • Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award
  • Nina Barrett, WBEZ’s Fear of Frying, Radio Show/Audio Webcast

For more information about Chicago’s Michelin rated dining scene, click here.

Help us keep the lights on by subscribing to Chicago Like a Local. For your efforts, we’ll deliver awesome stories (like this one) to your inbox. Do we have a deal?