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Mi Tocaya
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Chicago snagged 28 semifinalists for the 2018 James Beard Awards

Written by
Grace Perry

If you were craving a new reason to brag about Chicago’s outstanding dining scene, you’ll be pleased to know that the James Beard Foundation’s got your back. Today, the organization that awards culinary excellence announced the 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists, and Chicago spots are all over the list. Over 20,000 restaurants, programs and individuals were nominated, and as a city, Chicago snagged up these 28 nods overall:

Best New Restaurant


Mi Tocaya Antojería

Outstanding Baker

Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread

Outstanding Bar Program

Lost Lake

Outstanding Chef

Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia

Carrie Nahabedian, Naha

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Jennifer Jones Enyart, Dos Urban Cantina

Meg Galus, Boka

Outstanding Restaurant

North Pond

Outstanding Restaurateur

Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group

Outstanding Service



Outstanding Wine Program

The Boarding House

Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional

Charles Joly, Crafthouse Chicago

Rising Star Chef of the Year

Sarah Rinkavage, Marisol

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

Andrew Brochu, Roister

Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice

Diana Dávila, Mi Tocaya Antojería

Paul Fehribach, Big Jones

Brian Fisher, Entente

Jason Hammel, Lula Café

Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute

Ryan McCaskey, Acadia

David Posey and Anna Posey, Elske

Iliana Regan, Elizabeth

Noah Sandoval, Oriole

Zoe Schor, Split-Rail

Lee Wolen, Boka

The 2018 James Beard Foundation Awards Gala is taking place at our very own Lyric Opera on Monday, May 7. Learn more about how the JBF judges and awards restaurants and bars here.

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