Monday, May 6, 2013
West Loopers Win Big At James Beard Awards
The Aviary team includes owner Grant Achatz (center) and beverage director Charles Joly (second to left). (Photos: Kent Miller/James Beard Foundation)
Monday night at the James Beard Foundation Awards solidified that the West Loop is Chicago's hottest dining and drinking neighborhood.
Grant Achatz and his team at Aviary beat Chicago's venerable Violet Hour as well as two prominent New York cocktail lounges to win Outstanding Bar Program.
We've been calling Stephanie Izard a "Top Chef" winner for years. We can finally add "James Beard winner" to her title now that she's Best Chef: Great Lakes for Girl & The Goat. She was up against fellow West Loopers Dave Beran (Next) and Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia).
Paul Kahan, by far, had the night's most dramatic moment. In the foundation's 26-year history, there has only been a tie for Outstanding Chef three times. For 2013, Kahan (of avec, Blackbird, Publican, etc.) shared the honor with NYC restaurant kingpin David Chang. This was Kahan's fifth time nominated in the category.
Here's the complete list of winners.