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monteverde, jason little, burrata e ham
Photograph: Jason LittleMonteverde

This year’s Jean Banchet Award winners read like a culinary checklist for 2018

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen

On Sunday night, Chicago's top chefs, bartenders and industry experts gathered for the Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence, a prestigious annual ceremony that honors the city's best talent. This year's nominee list was stacked with hot-ticket names like Proxi, Elske, Quiote and Mi Tocaya Antojería. Sarah Grueneberg's Monteverde took home the award for Restaurant of the Year, the top honor of the evening, while Andrew Zimmerman—the chef behind sister spots Sepia and Proxi—was named chef of the year. Check out the full roster of winners and nominees below and plan your 2018 dining experiences accordingly. 

Restaurant of the Year: Monteverde
Nominees: Monteverde, The Publican, Sixteen, Vie 

Chef of the Year: Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia, Proxi)
Nominees: Sarah Grueneberg (Monteverde), Noah Sandoval (Oriole), John Shields (Smyth and The Loyalist), Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia, Proxi)

Rising Chef of the Year: Nick Dostal (Sixteen)
Nominees: Diana Dávila (Mi Tocaya Antojería), Nick Dostal (Sixteen), Brian Fisher (Entente), Sam Plotnick and Don Young (Temporis)

Best Chef-de-Cuisine: Bill Montagne (Nico Osteria)
Nominees: Ross Henke (Quiote), Joel Heseman (The Bristol), Bill Montagne (Nico Osteria), Sarah Rinkavage (Lula Cafe, Marisol)

Pastry Chef of the Year: Anna Posey (Elske)
Nominees: Mari Katsumura (Entente), Genie Kwon (Oriole), Greg Mosko (NoMi Kitchen), Anna Posey (Elske)

Rising Pastry Chef of the Year: Kyleen Atonson (Honey’s)
Nominees: Kyleen Atonson (Honey’s), Angelyne Canicosa (Vie), Maree Rogers (Momotaro), Evan Sheridan (Sixteen)

Best Neighborhood Restaurant: Daisies
Nominees: Daisies, Le Bouchon, Old Irving Brewing Co., Osteria Langhe

Best Ethnic Restaurant: Ras Dashen Ethiopian Restaurant
Nominees: HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen, Isla Pilipina, La Chaparrita, Ras Dashen Ethiopian Restaurant

Best New Restaurant: Smyth
Nominees: Elske, Proxi, Quiote, Smyth 

Best Sommelier: Parag Lalit (Sixteen)
Nominees: Andrew Algren (Cherry Circle Room), Matty Colston (Parachute), Jill Gubesch (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Leña Brava, Cruz Blanca, Xoco, Xoco Bistro), Parag Lalit (Sixteen)

Best Mixologist: Amit Gilad (GreenRiver)
Nominees: Stephanie Andrews (Billy Sunday), Julieta Campos (The Whistler), Amit Gilad (GreenRiver), Joshua Novy (Homestead on the Roof)

Best Restaurant Design: Proxi
Nominees: the Albert, Beatnik, Portsmith, Proxi

Best Service: Oriole
Nominees: Acadia, Cherry Circle Room, Oriole, Sepia

Best Bar: Income Tax
Nominees: Best Intentions, Forbidden Root Restaurant & Brewery, Income Tax, Lost Lake

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