Chicago nominees for James Beard awards include Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurant

Josh Noel

March 16, 2022

Chicago bars and restaurants received several high-profile nominations in the annual James Beard Foundation Awards announced Wednesday.

Among the nominees for national awards are Jason Vincent, owner and operator of Logan Square’s Giant, for Outstanding Chef; contemporary Korean restaurant Parachute, nominated for Outstanding Restaurant; and Kasama, nominated for Best New Restaurant.

Chicago also has four of the five Best Chef nominations from the Great Lakes region: Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe; Noah Sandoval of Oriole; John Shields and Karen Urie Shields of Smyth; and Erick Williams of Virtue Restaurant & Bar.

Nobody’s Darling, an Edgewater cocktail bar open less than a year that its Black women owners described as “a lesbian bar, and a gay bar, and a queer bar, and a trans bar,” is a finalist for Outstanding Bar Program.

Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice of the Pies is nominated for Outstanding Baker.

Winners will be announced June 13 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, broadcast live via the James Beard Foundation’s Twitter feed. The city has hosted the award since 2015, the first time the awards happened outside of New York City since they began in 1990. This year’s in-person event will be the first since 2020.

During Wednesday’s announcement, the foundation also named Chicago’s Erika Allen as one of its four 2022 Leadership Awards winners, honored for their work toward creating a healthier, more equitable and sustainable food system. Allen is co-founder and CEO of Urban Growers Collective, a nonprofit farm on the city’s South Side; and co-owner of Green Era Sustainability Partners, which seeks to improve management of biodegradable waste and access to soil.

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The awards return this year after criticism over a list of 23 would-be winners in 2020 that failed to include any Black people.

The James Beard Foundation said in a news release it underwent “a hiatus during which the awards underwent a full audit of its policies and procedures, continuing the work to remove bias, increase transparency and accessibility.”

The ceremony will continue to take place in Chicago through 2027.