Chicago will celebrate the arrival of the 2023 James Beard Awards® presented by Capital One from Friday, June 2 through Monday, June 5 with a weekend of intimate and large-scale events, including concerts, special collaborations, education sessions, and much more.
The James Beard Awards, considered to be among the nation’s most prestigious honors, recognize exceptional talent in the culinary and food media industries, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive.
Co-hosts Choose Chicago and Illinois Restaurant Association champion the city’s vibrant hospitality community throughout the year, but this weekend provides a particularly proud moment.
Open to the public, 2023 festivities include:
A Welcome to Chicago Concert
Judson & Moore – Judson & Moore Distillery, 3057 N Rockwell St, Bldg 5, Chicago, IL 60618
WHEN: Friday, June. 2, 8 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Judson & Moore kicks off Awards weekend with a special “Welcome to Chicago” concert in their tasting room. The event will showcase some of the most exciting things coming out of Chicago right now, including artist Michelle Billingsley’s newest album, award-winning whiskeys from Judson & Moore, and the city’s favorite tacos from Big Star. Enjoy a night of live music, dancing, creative libations, and delicious food.
Cocktails and bites will be available for purchase. Whiskey lovers will also have the opportunity to join a distillery tour at 4 p.m. to learn more about Judson & Moore’s signature spirits and distilling process. Tour tickets can be purchased for $25.
Pizzeria Beddia Pop-Up
RPM Events, 317 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654
WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Hey pizza lovers, get ready for an exciting pop-up! RPM Events is welcoming Chef Joe Beddia of Pizzeria Beddia, the famous Philly pizza joint named Best Pizza in America by Bon Appetit magazine, for a special three-course menu available for one day only. The menu includes family-style starters such as Cantabrian Anchovies, Caesar Salad, and more; a second course featuring a variety of signature pies; and soft serve for dessert. Each course will be paired with wines selected by the award-winning RPM Sommelier Team. This one-day-only pop-up is $95 plus tax.
Coffee Talk: An Industry Roundtable on Mental Health in Hospitality
Sparrow Coffee Roastery, 2040 West Fulton St, Chicago, IL 60612
WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Presented by Hope for the Day & The Graceful Ordinary Moderated by Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods. Hope for The Day, a nonprofit organization empowering the conversation on proactive suicide prevention, joins restaurant partners Chris & Megan Curren of The Graceful Ordinary to present an informative discussion and roundtable on the importance of mental health in the restaurant and hospitality space. The coffee chat will kick off with a reception including a tasting of some of Sparrow’s rare and exotic blends + some light food from Chef Curren and The Graceful Ordinary.
JBF Session: Food Access & Sustainable Communities
Kendall College at National Louis University, 2nd Floor Atrium, 122 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago IL 60603
WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.
A sustainable community is defined by its ability to manage its human, natural, and financial capital to meet current needs, while ensuring adequate resources for future generations. Equitable food access is a key feature of this model, but what happens when the human capital is unable to sustain itself? In this discussion, chefs and activists address this challenge, what drives it, and their own solutions toward a better future, while investing in the present. Moderated by Colleen Vincent, Vice President of Community, James Beard Foundation. Panelists include:
- Rick Bayless, Topolobampo and Frontera Grill, Multiple-time James Beard Award Winner
- Maya-Camille Broussard, Justice of the Pies, 2022 James Beard Nominee, Outstanding Baker
- Brandon Chrostowski, EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute, 2023 James Beard Award Nominee, Outstanding Restaurateur
- Valerie Horn, Community Agricultural Nutritional Enterprises (CANE), Whitesburg, KY, 2023 James Beard Foundation Leadership Winner
- Justin Pioche, Pioche Food Group, 2023 James Beard Award Semifinalist, Best Chef – Southwest
- Sarah Welch, Marrow, 2023 James Beard Nominee, Best Chef: Great Lakes
- Erick Williams, Virtue, 2022 James Beard Award Winner, Best Chef – Great Lakes
Beef & Bandidos
Al’s #1 Italian Beef (Little Italy), 1079 W Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60607
WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Al’s Beef, the inventor of Chicago’s iconic Italian Beef Sandwich (circa 1917) is hosting a happy hour at Al’s Beef in Little Italy in celebration of the 32nd annual James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards in Chicago. The founding family of Italian Beef is opening the doors of their beloved neighborhood beef stand on West Taylor Street!
They’re partnering with El Bandido Yankee Tequila and its co-founder, NHL Hall-of-Famer Chris Chelios, along with the family that owns and operates Chicago’s legendary Mario’s Italian Lemonade business. Guests will enjoy Italian Beef, specialty tequila-infused cocktails, tequila-spiked lemonade from Mario’s, and gift bags with one-of-a-kind Chicago collectibles from Chris Chelios and Chris Pacelli (of the Al’s Beef family).
The Abundance Setting x JBF Panel: Who’s Watching the Kids?
Kendall College at National Louis University, 7th Floor, 18 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m. (with reception to follow)
“Who’s Watching the Kids?” The decision to advance a career in the culinary and hospitality industry or to have a family often becomes the deal breaker for women in this industry. This often is the source of attrition of women leadership in this industry, especially in the kitchen. Women chefs who have been juggling many roles in the restaurant business will share how they have made it work, the challenges, and what meaningful changes are needed for women to continue to progress. Panelists include:
- Diana Dávila, Chef/Owner Mi Tocaya Antojeria, JBF 2023 Finalist Best Chef Great Lakes
- Mary Sue Milliken, Author/ Media Personality and Chef/Owner Border Grill, Co-Founder Non-profit Regarding Her, JBF Restaurant Award 1985
- Tigist Reda, Chef/Owner Demera, Host of Chicago Chefs Cook for Tigray, Abundance Setting Mentor
- Becca Grothe, Chef/Co-Owner of Tribecca’s Sandwich Shop, Alum of The Abundance Setting’s 3 Chefs/3 Moms Program
- Erick Williams, Virtue Restaurant & Bar, 2022 James Beard Award Winner – Best Chef Great Lakes, Mustard Seed Kitchen, Daisy’s Po-Boy and Tavern, Top This Mac and Cheese
- A short reception with bites from incredible restaurants in the Chicago area that are women-led (Demera, Floriole, Tribecca’s, Verzenay, Soul & Smoke) and beverages donated by Proxies will follow after the panel discussion.
The session will be hosted by Beverly Kim, Founder, The Abundance Setting and Chef/Owner, Parachute (JBF 2019 Best Chef Great Lakes) and Sarah Stegner, Founding Member, The Abundance Setting and Chef/Owner, Prairie Grass Cafe (JBF 1998 Rising Star Chef).
Get Roasted: Brew and Brunch Roasting Tour
Big Shoulders Coffee Roasting Works, 2415 W 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608
WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Journey through the world of specialty coffee through the eyes of Award-winning craft roaster Big Shoulders Coffee with co-founders Patricia Coonan and Chef Tim Coonan. The event will be fluid, so roam as you please, set up with fresh coffee and homemade brunch, live roasting demonstrations, a micro-lot pourover station, an espresso bar with latte art exhibition, coffee mocktails, draft cold brew and sparkling creations, craft beer from Alarmist Brewing, and Mimosas featuring our Sunny B. Don’t miss the craft coffee brew and brunch event of the year. All guests will receive a bag of freshly roasted coffee to go.
A Culinary Crawl Through Logan Square Hosted by Doug Psaltis & Hsing Chen of Eat Well Hospitality
Logan Square, Chicago
To celebrate the return of the James Beard Awards, Doug Psaltis and Hsing Chen of Eat Well Hospitality are organizing the second annual Logan Square Culinary Crawl. Guests can kick off the day with a Grecian brunch at Andros Taverna, where pastry chef Hsing Chen will include a selection of pastries inspired by James Beard. Stop by before or after a visit to the Logan Square Farmers Market just steps away. Spend the rest of the day exploring this unique neighborhood, which is home to several highly acclaimed independent restaurants and bars.
Stop by Bang Bang Pie for coffee and a classic pie inspired by James Beard, indulge in a specialty ice cream flavor from Pretty Cool Ice Cream or stroll over to Taqueria Chingón for a bite of al pastor or tacos. Begin the evening with Happy Hour at Daisies, plan for Sunday Supper of Asian American flavors at Second Generation, and cap off the evening with after-dinner drinks at Spilt Milk or The Meadowlark. No tickets or RSVP are required, though reservations at Andros Taverna, Daisies, and Second Generation are recommended to guarantee seating.
Three Dots and a Decade: Award-winning Cocktail Bar Three Dots and a Dash Celebrates 10 Years
435 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
WHEN: Sunday, June 4, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Join Three Dots and a Dash as they welcome an acclaimed lineup of bartenders from around the world for Three Dots and a Decade, celebrating their 10th birthday and the James Beard Awards. To mark the occasion, original cocktails from each of the renowned bars will be available for a proper toast to ten. The participating bars have received top recognitions from Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards, the James Beard Awards, and World’s 50 Best Bars, and include: Thunderbolt (Los Angeles, CA), Limantour (Mexico City, Mexico), Trailer Happiness (London, England), Friday Saturday Sunday (Philadelphia, PA), Navy Strength (Seattle, WA), Manhatta (New York, NY), Tiki Tatsuya (Austin, TX), Bar Leather Apron (Honolulu, HI), Handshake Speakeasy (Mexico City, MX), Blossom Bar (Boston, MA), and the Aviary (Chicago, IL).
Tickets for Three Dots and a Decade are limited and start at $95, plus tax; each ticket includes 5 cocktails along with some tropical bites and musical entertainment.
SUNDAY SEISIÚN with The Dawson & The Dead Rabbit
The Dawson, 730 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
WHEN: Sunday, June 4, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
The Dawson welcomes NYC ‘World’s Best Bar’ winner The Dead Rabbit for a night of cocktails, Irish fare, live music and great craic during the pop-up event of the summer. $1 from each specialty cocktail sold will directly benefit the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.
Gaijin, 950 W Lake St, Chicago, IL 60607
WHEN: Sunday, June 4, 2023, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Enjoy complimentary cocktails, food, and live performances during a fun summertime party with friends. Gaijin Matsuri will feature will a lively evening of music, House of Suntory cocktails, carefully curated bites, and a special Japanese-themed performance by the Japanese Arts Foundation.
Stadium Chef Series – Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field, 1060 West Addison Street, Chicago, IL 60613
WHEN: Sunday, June 4, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
In partnership with Marquee Development and benefitting James Beard Foundation, this dinner is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gather and dine at historic Wrigley Field, at the center field! Standing Reception followed by Family-Style Feast.
- Host Chef Matthias Merges, Folkart Management, Chicago
- Wrigley Field Executive Chef David Burns, Levy Restaurants, Chicago
- JBF Award Nominee Vince Bugtong, Abacá, San Francisco
- JBF Award Semifinalist Thai Dang, HaiSous, Chicago
- Chef Lamar Moore, Top Chef Alum, Bronzeville Winery, Chicago
- Chef Chris Pandel, Swift & Sons, Chicago
- Chef Ricki Ramirez, Big Star, Chicago
- JBF Award Winner Sarah Stegner, Prairie Grass Cafe, Northbrook, IL
- Chef Djibril Webb, Mordecai, Chicago
- JBF Semifinalist Jonathon Zaragoza, Birrieria Zaragoza, Chicago
Hilton Presents Exclusive V.I.P. Takeover of Bernard’s
Waldorf Astoria Chicago, Bernard’s, 11 E. Walton, 3rd Floor, Chicago, IL
WHEN: Sunday, June 4, 7:00 pm – 12:00 am
Capturing the spirit of this year’s “Outstanding Bar Award,” Hilton is hosting a takeover event of Bernard’s at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. At the event, guests will mingle with the best and brightest in the industry. In partnership with Proof & Company, guests will also indulge in the recreation of several of the Company’s “World’s Best Bars” award-winning cocktails alongside Bernard’s most prized drinks and hors d’oeuvres.
JBF Greens x Frontier: 2023 Awards Weekend Happy Hour
Frontier, 1072 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642
WHEN: Sunday, June 4, 2023, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Join JBF Greens at Frontier for a happy hour in celebration of the 32nd annual James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards in Chicago. The West Town tavern will open especially for JBF Greens (and friends!) to toast the 2023 Awards. Chicago community philanthropist, mentor to fellow Black chefs, and James Beard Award semifinalist, executive chef Brian Jupiter oversees Frontier, Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods, and Jup’s Soups. For the occasion, chef Jupiter—commonly known as “Chef Jup” by his teams—will create a selection of hunted, farmed, foraged, and harvested bites inspired by what generations of pioneers ate and hunted on the trail. *70% of your ticket price will go directly to the host chef to support their business, while 30% will go towards the Foundation’s national programming that is rooted in advocacy, racial equity, sustainability, and women’s leadership for the culinary industry.
“Omakase” with Raj Parr Wine Pairings
Indienne, 217 W Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654
WHEN: Sunday, June 4, 2023, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Join chef Sujan Sarkar and the Indienne team for a special evening during James Beard Awards weekend in Chicago. Attendees will enjoy an Indian “omakase” featuring small plates that encapsulate and celebrate the distinctive regional flavors of Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Goa, and Jaipur, with an optional beverage pairing featuring wines from the Raj Parr portfolio. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus are available. Tickets are $90 per person +$60 per person (with optional wine pairing).
JBF Cocktail for a Cause
Bar Mar by José Andrés, 120 N Upper Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday: 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Monday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sip for good! In celebration of the James Beard Foundation Awards in Chicago, Bar Mar by José Andrés will donate a portion of proceeds from each Salt Air Margarita sold from Saturday, June 3 through Monday, June 6 to support the JBF Women’s Leadership Fund. José’s signature margarita is the perfect way to cocktail for a great cause throughout the weekend!
JBF@ORD Chef Series
10000 W Balmoral Ave, Chicago, IL 60666
This May, global restaurateur HMSHost is celebrating Chicago’s rich culinary scene as O’Hare International Airport prepares to welcome hundreds to the city for the prestigious James Beard Awards. Throughout the month, HMSHost and O’Hare will give those traveling to or through the airport the chance to meet talented, James Beard Award-winning chefs, bakers, and brands, and taste some of their delicious culinary creations.
May 24, 1 – 2 p.m.: One Off Hospitality (Paul Kahan & Greg Wade) – Terminal 2, near gate E1 (Butch O’Hare airplane space)
May 30, 1 – 2 p.m.: Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants (Ozzie Ocegueda & Ben Goodnick) – Terminal 2, near gate E1 (Butch O’Hare airplane space)
The James Beard Food Box
Can’t make it to the awards? Bring the ultimate taste of Chicago home with Here Here Market’s The James Beard Chicago Alumni Box: Deluxe Edition ($78) and The James Beard Chicago Alumni Box: Sauce, Spice & Everything Nice Edition ($43). What better way to celebrate one of the most prestigious culinary awards, and the incredible chefs behind them, than by filling your fridge, pantry, and bar with their very own products?
- The Deluxe Edition brings the best of Chicago’s culinary talent to your house with a dream team of the city’s top restaurant talent that will make your cooking, snacking, and drinking game worthy of national acclaim. The package includes Chef Sarah Gruenberg’s Gnocchetti Pasta from Monteverde, Stephanie Izard’s Chili Lime Chili Crunch from her popular This Little Goat line, Chef Darnell Read’s Luella’s Mix Popcorn, Zach Engel’s Hazelnut Duqqa, and more.
- The Sauce and Spice Edition include Monteverde’s Garlic Salt & Lemon Pepper seasoning, the secret to their acclaimed ribeye, Galit’s hand-crafted blend of all of the good things you’d find on an everything bagel, now bottled and ready to use on just about anything, Wazwan’s Garlic Serrano Mustard Achar, That Honey You Had on Your Cheese Board from All Together Now!, and This Little Goat’s This Little Goat went to Mexico everything crunch, a savory and nutty blend that adds textural dimension and a burst of flavors to anything you sprinkle it on, from fish tacos to ceviche.
Featured Image: Three Dots and a Dash/Lettuce Entertain You