Roll out the red carpet, food lovers (and watch the crumbs).
You’ll find eight local chefs up for an award based on excellence and other factors like commitment to the community.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 3, when the finalists will be announced, and also for Monday, June 10, when a ceremony in Chicago will reveal the winners.
Until then, here’s a breakdown of this year’s semifinalists.
- Tavel Bristol-Joseph of Canje | Bristol-Joseph’s Caribbean flavors have been turning heads since Canje opened in 2021. In fact, the chef was also nominated in this category last year.
- Geoff Ellis of Mum Foods Smokehouse & Delicatessen | Ellis’ deli on Manor Road serves humanely raised, Akaushi beef sourced from Texas farmers, and makes every menu item from scratch.
- Joseph Gomez of Con Todo | Try Gomez’s incredible tacos and tostadas at Celis Brewery, and don’t miss out on the brunch options.
- Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel of Birdie’s | This lauded wine bar and restaurant already has a slew of awards under its belt and is known for long lines out the door come dinnertime.
- Fermín Núñez of Suerte | Núñez’s restaurant Suerte was also James Beard-nominated last year for its expansive list of mezcal, raicilla, sotol, and other liquors.
Best New Restaurant
- Ramen del Barrio | The new Japanese-Mexican fusion restaurant inside Hana World Market serves slow-cooked carnitas inside thick, decadent broth.
Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker
- Mariela Camacho of Comadre Panadería | This is the second year in a row Camacho has been nominated for her delicious pan, cakes, and pastries.
Outstanding Wine and Other Beverages Program