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Chef Rodolfo Cuadros Amaru
Photograph: Courtesy Amaru

9 Chicago chefs are nominated for the James Beard Best Chef: Great Lakes award

The local chefs behind Amaru, Luella's Southern Kitchen, Mi Tocaya Antojería and Lula Cafe are among the nominees.

Zach Long
Written by
Zach Long

For the first time since 2019, the James Beard Foundation will hold its James Beard Awards ceremony on June 13, recognizing some of the most talented chefs, bakers, bartenders, sommeliers and restauranteurs in the United States. The awards ceremony will take place at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, but the James Beard Foundation revealed its semifinalists this morning—and there are plenty of familiar faces up for awards.

Chicago is well represented among the semifinalists for the Best Chef: Great Lakes award, which recognizes an outstanding chef based in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan or Ohio—a Chicago chef has taken home the award during the past four ceremonies. There are a total of nine Chicago chefs up for the 2022 Best Chef: Great Lakes award, listed below:

The complete list of semifinalists for the Best Chef: Great Lakes award includes chefs based in Indianapolis, Detroit, Cincinnati, Dearborn, MI and Lakewood, OH.

Chicago restaurants and bars are also semifinalists in other James Beard Awards categories, including Parachute and Oriole in the Outstanding Restaurant category; Kasama in the Best New Restaurant category; and Nobody's Darling in the Outstanding Bar Program category. Additionally, Shannah Primiano of Porto is semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef and Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice of the Pies is a semifinalist for Outstanding Baker.

While the awards ceremony won't take place until June 13, you have plenty of time to visit the local semifinalists and sample their offerings. In fact, show up at Time Out Market Chicago this weekend and you can try tacos and Latin-America dishes at Lil Amaru or explore the New Orleans-style fare at a Luella's Southern Kitchen Mardi Gras pop-up.

Congrats to all of the James Beard Award semifinalists!

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