All eyes are on Chicago tonight as the “Oscars of the culinary world” — officially the James Beard Awards — are being presented to the nation’s best chefs and restaurants in a black-tie gala ceremony at the Lyric Opera House.

Click here to go to the live stream of the James Beard Awards

This is the fourth time Chicago is hosting the coveted awards ceremony, after relocating here from New York in 2015 for the first time in the awards’ 25-year history. That hosting agreement was to have expired in 2017, but in 2016, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on behalf of the city and the James Beard Foundation extended their partnership guaranteeing the Beard Awards ceremony will take place here through 2021.

In the official statement announcing the extension of the partnership, “the City of Chicago, Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association will collaborate with the Foundation in its many philanthropic endeavors, including student scholarships, partnering in both Chicago Eats Week and Chicago Restaurant Week, as well as JBF Taste America events nationwide, and the support of JBF Impact Programs and the Foundation’s commitment to establish a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy and thought leadership.”


Gala ceremony tonight: A closer look at Chicago’s James Beard nominees