Chef Jason Vincent, Kasama restaurant among the Chicago nominations for 2022 James Beard Awards

In the category of best chef Great Lakes, Chicagoans received four of the five nominations.

SHARE Chef Jason Vincent, Kasama restaurant among the Chicago nominations for 2022 James Beard Awards
Chef Jason Vincent of Giant restaurant has been nominated as a finalist for outstanding chef from the James Beard Awards.|

Chef Jason Vincent of Giant restaurant has been nominated as a finalist for outstanding chef from the James Beard Awards.|

Kristen Mendiola.

Jason Vincent of Chicago’s Giant restaurant was nominated as a finalist for outstanding U.S. chef from the 2022 James Beard Awards, it was announced Wednesday.

The prestigious awards, celebrating the best in the culinary industry across the country, are considered to be the Oscars of the restaurant business.

“It’s humbling to be listed among such an amazing group of chefs, especially knowing how much we’ve all gone through these past two years,” Vincent said. “It’s not lost on me that this nomination comes exactly two years after we had to shut down our restaurants for the first time. I’m grateful to both our staff and guests for all the support these past five years and encourage our community to continue supporting their local restaurants. Please remember that two-thirds of restaurants and bars in America are on the brink of closure. Please contact your elected representatives and demand that they replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.”

Chicago is represented in the outstanding restaurant category by Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim’s American-Korean eatery Parachute (Clark and Kim won in the best chef Great Lakes category in 2019), while the modern Filipino restaurant/bakery Kasama, helmed by chefs Genie Kwon and Timothy Flores, received a nomination for best new restaurant.

In the regional category of best chef Great Lakes, Chicagoans received four of the five nominations, with nods going to Jason Hammel, Noah Sandoval, John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, and Erick Williams.

Chicago’s Erika Allen, co-founder and operations CEO of Urban Growers Collective, a South Side-based nonprofit farm, was awarded a 2022 Leadership Award from the James Beard Foundation for her work to create a more equitable, healthy and just local food system. She is also the co-owner of the nonprofit Green Era Sustainability Partners, which works to improve management of biodegradable waste.

The restaurant and chef award winners will be announced June 13 in a gala event at the Lyric Opera House hosted by Kwame Onwuachi, actor/chef and executive producer at Food & Wine Magazine. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns of restaurants, this is the first time in two years that the awards will be presented.

Here is the list of Chicago finalists:

Outstanding chef: Jason Vincent, Giant

Oustanding restaurant: Parachute

Best new restaurant: Kasama

Outstanding baker: Maya-Camille Broussard, Justice of the Pies

Outstanding bar program: Nobody’s Darling

Best chef Great Lakes region:

  • Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe
  • Noah Sandoval, Oriole
  • John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, Smyth
  • Erick Williams, Virtue Restaurant & Bar

Tickets for the James Beard Awards gala in Chicago will go on sale March 21 at jamesbeard.org.

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