James Beard Awards 2022: A look at the Chicago nominees
The awards recognize chefs, restaurants, bakers, bar programs, restaurant groups and more with the coveted honor considered by many to be the Oscars of the culinary industry.
On Monday night, the nation’s culinary world will gather in Chicago to honor the best in the business at the James Beard Awards.
The gala event will recognize chefs, restaurants, bakers, bar programs, restaurant groups and more with the coveted honor considered by many to be the Oscars of the culinary industry. The annual event, resuming after a two-year hiatus due to COVID restrictions, will be held at the Lyric Opera House and hosted by actor-chef and Food & Wine magazine producer Kwame Onwuachi.
What does this all mean for Chicago’s culinary scene? It means nominations in six categories, including the highly coveted outstanding restaurant, best new restaurant and outstanding chef.
We’ll have to wait until Monday night to know who will receive the awards in each of the 22 categories (the full list of nominees is below).
In the meantime, here’s a brief look at the Chicago nominees for 2022. If you can’t be there in person on Monday night the proceedings will be streamed live via the James Beard Foundation’s official Twitter account.
Nominee: Jason Vincent of Giant restaurant.
Conde Nast Traveler named the New American-focused Giant one of its 26 Best Restaurants in Chicago for 2022, noting “Chef Jason Vincent mans the energetic spot, turning out a menu of 15-20 seemingly disconnected small and medium plates. The common denominator is the chef’s commitment to flavor. There are no trend-chasers here, no theme, and no mission other than to serve high-impact fare.” Or as Chef Vincent’s T-shirt says, “nothing special.”
Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim’s American-Korean eatery Parachute (Clark and Kim won in the best chef Great Lakes category in 2019), has been wowing diners since 2014. The husband-and-wife team (who also helm their newest eatery, Wherewithall) serve up a menu that has earned them a Michelin star and a spot on Bon Appetit’s national “Best New Restaurants” list.
Best new restaurant
Chef/owners Genie Kwon and Tim Floreshelm this modern Filipino restaurant/bakery in East Ukrainian Village. The eatery is a 2022 recipient of one Michelin Star. The two chefs (previously at Oriole) create a dinner tasting menu “that is ambitious, clever and distinct, mixing Filipino traditions with contemporary notes,” the Michelin Guide notes.
Nominee: Maya-Camille Broussard, Justice of the Pies
Buy them whole, buy them by the slice — you don’t want to miss the deliciousness that is the hallmark of Maya-Camille Broussard’s seemingly endless array of handmade-from-scratch, sweet and savory pies, quiches and tarts. If salted caramel peach pie or brandied banana butterscotch pie pique your interest, there’s a whole world awaiting her menu. There’s no storefront, so you’ll need to order online for delivery or check the website for area eateries/Farmer’s Markets featuring her creations for on-the-spot pickup.
Outstanding bar program
Nominee: Nobody’s Darling
The queer cocktail bar in Andersonville is one of two Black-owned LGBTQ+, “women-centered, women-forward” bars in Chicago. Helmed by co-owners Angela Barnes and Renauda Riddle, the cocktail bar oozes inclusivity and is named after Alice Walker’s poem “Be Nobody’s Darling.”
Best chef Great Lakes region
(Chicagoans received four of the five category nominations, with nods going to Jason Hammel, Noah Sandoval, John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, and Erick Williams.)
The nominees are:
- Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe
Since 1999, the Logan Square eatery has consistently offered a respite from the day-to-day with its farm-to-table, new American menu. It remains one of the hottest brunch spots in the city. Chef Hammel has twice been nominated in this category.
- Noah Sandoval, Oriole
Executive chef/owner Chef Sandoval helms this newly reconfigured contemporary-American restaurant in the West Loop, where it has made its home since 2016. The restaurant is the recipient of two Michelin Stars, led by Sandoval’s acclaimed tasting menu. The Michelin Guide offers this insight: “While its industrial bones remain, the space now has a bespoke elegance evidenced by imposing ceilings and an impressive bar. The beautifully appointed kitchen is in full view. Chef Noah Sandoval and team are deeply committed to and passionate about their unbridled creations.”
- John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, Smyth
Executive chef John Shields and his wife executive pastry chef Karen Urie Shields helm the West Loop eatery, the recipient of two Michelin Stars, and the 2020 Jean Banchet Restaurant of the Year. The Michelin Guide praised the duo, noting: “This talented brigade, led by Chefs John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, has evolved since opening. Theirs is cooking that is desirable, impactful, and doesn’t need an onslaught of luxury ingredients to impress. Instead, sheer creativity is applied to seasonal produce.”
- Erick Williams, Virtue Restaurant & Bar
Chef/owner Erick Williams, one of Chicago’s acclaimed Black chefs in fine dining, helms the 2022 Bib Gourmand honoree. With its focus on Southern American cuisine, the Michelin Guide says of the restaurant: “Occupying a corner of Hyde Park within view of the University of Chicago, this is an inviting retreat with a welcoming bar, striking dining room, and buzzy kitchen helmed by the very talented Erick Williams.” In a 2019 Sun-Times interview, Williams said his restaurant “represents this kind of wholesome environment, where [customers are] taken care of, where they are recognized as individuals, needs are met, appetites are satiated.”
In addition to the chef/restaurant awards to be presented on Monday night,legendary celebrity chef/TV host/cookbook author Martin Yan will receive the JBF Lifetime Achievement Award for a “lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America.” Yan is perhaps most known for his cooking show “Yan Can Cook,” which spawned 3,500 episodes since its debut in 1978.
James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, culinary historian, and filmmaker Grace Young will receive the Humanitarian of the Year Award for “an individual or organization working in the food realm who has given selflessly and worked tirelessly to better the lives of others and society at large.” Young is being honored for her work to save America’s Chinatowns amid Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Here is the complete list of 2022 nominees:
• Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group (Rasika, Bindaas, Annabelle, and others), Washington, D.C.
• Chris Bianco, Tratto, Pane Bianco, and Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix
• Kevin Gillespie, Red Beard Restaurants (Gunshow and Revival), Atlanta
• Akkapong “Earl” Ninsom, Langbaan, Hat Yai, Eem, and others, Portland, OR
• Chris Williams, Lucille’s Hospitality Group, Houston
• Ellen Yin, High Street Hospitality Group (Fork, a.kitchen + bar, High Street Philly, and others), Philadelphia
• Reem Assil, Reem’s, Oakland and San Francisco, CA
• Mashama Bailey, The Grey, Savannah, GA
• Peter Chang, Peter Chang, VA and MD
• Jason Vincent, Giant, Chicago
• Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle
• Brennan’s, New Orleans
• Butcher & Bee, Charleston, SC
• Chai Pani, Asheville, NC
• Parachute, Chicago
• The Walrus and the Carpenter, Seattle
• Angel Barreto, Anju, Washington, D.C.
• Calvin Eng, Bonnie’s, NYC
• Cleophus Hethington, Benne on Eagle, Asheville, NC
• Serigne Mbaye, Dakar Nola, New Orleans
• Edgar Rico, Nixta Taqueria, Austin
• Crystal Wahpepah, Wahpepah’s Kitchen, Oakland, CA
Best New Restaurant:
• Angry Egret Dinette, Los Angeles
• Bacanora, Phoenix
• BARDA, Detroit
• Dhamaka, NYC
• Horn BBQ, Oakland, CA
• Kasama, Chicago
• Leeward, Portland, ME
• Owamni, Minneapolis
• Oyster Oyster, Washington, D.C.
• Roots Southern Table, Farmers Branch, TX
• Ursula, NYC
Outstanding Pastry Chef:
• Warda Bouguettaya, Warda Pâtisserie, Detroit
• Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles
• Claudia Martinez, Miller Union, Atlanta
• Ruben Ortega, Xochi, Houston
• Caroline Schiff, Gage & Tollner, NYC
• Maya-Camille Broussard, Justice of the Pies, Chicago
• Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland, ME
• Don Guerra, Barrio Bread, Tucson, AZ
• Caroline Schweitzer and Lauren Heemstra, Wild Crumb, Bozeman, MT
• Zak Stern, Zak the Baker, Miami
• Cúrate, Asheville, NC
• House of Prime Rib, San Francisco
• Hugo’s, Houston
• Sylvia’s Restaurant, NYC
• Ticonderoga Club, Atlanta
Outstanding Wine Program:
• The Four Horsemen, NYC
• Frenchette, NYC
• The Little Nell, Aspen, CO
• Maydan, Washington, D.C.
• Rebel Rebel, Somerville, MA
Outstanding Bar Program:
• Alley Twenty Six, Durham, NC
• Attaboy, Nashville
• barmini by José Andrés, Washington, D.C.
• Julep, Houston
• Nobody’s Darling, Chicago
Best Chef: California:
• Brandon Jew, Mister Jiu’s, San Francisco
• Bryant Ng, Cassia, Santa Monica, CA
• Sarintip “Jazz” Singsanong, Jitlada, Los Angeles
• James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland, CA
• Pim Techamuanvivit, Nari, San Francisco
Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH):
• Omar Anani, Saffron De Twah, Detroit
• Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe, Chicago
• Noah Sandoval, Oriole, Chicago
• John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, Smyth, Chicago
• Erick Williams, Virtue Restaurant & Bar, Chicago
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA):
• Angel Barreto, Anju, Washington, D.C.
• Amy Brandwein, Centrolina, Washington, D.C.
• Jesse Ito, Royal Izakaya, Philadelphia
• Cristina Martinez, South Philly Barbacoa, Philadelphia
• Chutatip “Nok” Suntaranon, Kalaya Thai Kitchen, Philadelphia
Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI):
• Dane Baldwin, The Diplomat, Milwaukee
• Karen Bell, Bavette La Boucherie, Milwaukee
• Jorge Guzmán, Petite León, Minneapolis
• Gregory León, Amilinda, Milwaukee
• Sean Sherman, Owamni, Minneapolis
• Yia Vang, Union Hmong Kitchen, Minneapolis
Best Chef: Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY):
• Jose Avila, El Borrego Negro, Denver
• Cody Cheetham,Tavernetta, Denver
• Caroline Glover, Annette, Aurora, CO
• Dana Rodriguez, Work & Class, Denver
• Eric Skokan, Black Cat Farm Table Bistro, Boulder, CO
Best Chef: New York State
• Amanda Cohen, Dirt Candy, NYC
• JJ Johnson, FIELDTRIP, NYC
• Ayesha Nurdjaja, Shuka, NYC
• Chintan Pandya, Dhamaka, NYC
• Junghyun Park, Atomix, NYC
Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT):
• Vien Dobui, CÔNG TỬ BỘT, Portland, ME
• Tiffani Faison, Orfano, Boston
• Courtney Loreg, Woodford Food and Beverage, Portland, ME
• Nisachon Morgan, Saap, Randolph, VT
• Damian Sansonetti, Chaval, Portland, ME
Best Chef: Northwest and Pacific (AK, HI, OR, WA):
• Carlo Lamagna, Magna Kusina, Portland, OR
• Robynne Maii, Fête, Honolulu
• Thomas Pisha-Duffly, Oma’s Hideaway, Portland, OR
• Sheldon Simeon, Tin Roof, Kahului, HI
• Mutsuko Soma, Kamonegi, Seattle
Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV):
• Katie Button, Cúrate, Asheville, NC
• Greg Collier, Leah & Louise, Charlotte, NC
• Philip Krajeck, Rolf and Daughters, Nashville
• Cheetie Kumar, Garland, Raleigh, NC
• Ricky Moore, SALTBOX Seafood Joint, Durham, NC
Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)
• Blake Aguillard and Trey Smith, Saint-Germain, New Orleans
• Adam Evans, Automatic Seafood and Oysters, Birmingham, AL
• Timothy Hontzas, Johnny’s Restaurant, Homewood, AL
• Melissa M. Martin, Mosquito Supper Club, New Orleans
• Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans
Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK):
• Fernando Olea, Sazón, Santa Fe
• Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe
• Salazar Brothers, La Guelaguetza, Albuquerque, NM
• Giovanni Scorzo, Andreoli Italian Grocer, Scottsdale, AZ
• Jamie Tran, The Black Sheep, Las Vegas
Best Chef: Texas:
• Tiffany Derry, Roots Southern Table, Farmers Branch, TX
• Christine Ha and Tony J. Nguyen, Xin Chào, Houston
• Quy Hoang, Blood Bros. BBQ, Bellaire, TX
• Steven McHugh, Cured, San Antonio, TX
• Iliana de la Vega, El Naranjo, Austin