Chicago Has 15 James Beard Award Semifinalists For 2022

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The James Beard Foundation released its list of semifinalists — known as the “long list” — Wednesday morning, and Chicago restaurants, bars, chefs, and beverage professionals snagged 15 nominations. That number is four fewer than the 19 semifinalists named in 2020, the last time the awards were given. The awards ceremony for some of the highest honors in the food world will return on June 13 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Finalists will be revealed in a livestream on Wednesday, March 16.

This year’s Chicago nominee highlights include a Best New Restaurant nod for Kasama, the smash-hit Filipino hotspot from wife-and-husband team Genie Kwon and Tim Flores in West Town named one of Eater’s 11 Best New Restaurants in America. Meanwhile, Noah Sandoval’s recently revamped Oriole earned a nomination for Outstanding Restaurant alongside Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark’s Parachute, which remains temporarily closed.

The 2022 semifinalist list is also stacked with first-time nominees, including Shannah Primiano of Porto for Outstanding Pastry Chef, Maya-Camille Broussard of Justice of the Pies for Outstanding Baker, and queer-friendly cocktail spot Nobody’s Darling for Outstanding Bar Program. Rodolfo Cuadros, the chef behind the pan-Latin restaurant Amaru and vegan-friendly Bloom Plant Based Kitchen, and Darnell Reed of Luella’s Southern Kitchen also earned their first Best Chef: Great Lakes nominations.

Obvious stresses of the pandemic aside, many in the industry will be watching the proceedings closely after the chaos of 2020’s cancelled ceremony. The Foundation claimed the awards were derailed by COVID-19, but New York Times reporting has indicated that the awards were canceled because of allegations of sexism and bullying behavior among nominees and because there were to be no Black winners. The 2022 awards are also the Foundation’s first after an extensive audit that prompted the introduction of a few new protocols, including an independent ethics committee to vet nominees.

Head over to Eater for the long list from around the country. This year’s Chicago semifinalist nominations are below.

(* denotes a repeated nominee from past years)

Outstanding Restaurant



Best New Restaurant


Outstanding Pastry Chef

Shannah Primiano, Porto

Outstanding Baker

Maya-Camille Broussard, Justice of the Pies

Outstanding Bar Program

Nobody’s Darling

Best Chef: Great Lakes

Darnell Reed, Luella’s Southern Kitchen

Dave Park, Jeong

Diana Dávila Boldin, Mi Tocaya Antojería

*Erick Williams, Virtue

*Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe

*John Shields and Karen Urie Shields, Smyth

*Noah Sandoval, Oriole

*Paul Fehribach, Big Jones

Rodolfo Cuadros, Amaru and Bloom Plant Based Kitchen

Disclosure: Some Vox Media staff members are part of the voting body for the James Beard Foundation Awards.


1462 E. 53rd Street, Chicago, IL


3472 North Elston Avenue, , IL 60618 (872) 204-7138 Visit Website


177 North Ada Street, , IL 60607 (773) 913-3773 Visit Website

Big Jones

5347 North Clark Street, , IL 60640 (773) 275-5725 Visit Website


661 West Walnut Street, , IL 60661 (312) 877-5339 Visit Website

Mi Tocaya Antojería

2800 West Logan Boulevard, , IL 60647 (872) 315-3947 Visit Website

Luella’s Southern Kitchen

4609 North Lincoln Avenue, , IL 60625 (773) 961-8196 Visit Website

Lyric Opera

20 N Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606 312 332 2244 Visit Website


1904 West North Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 687-9790 Visit Website


1460 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60642 (312) 877-5016 Visit Website


1001 North Winchester Avenue, , IL 60622 (773) 697-3790 Visit Website

Lula Cafe

2537 North Kedzie Boulevard, , IL 60647 (773) 489-9554 Visit Website

Bloom Plant Based Kitchen

1559 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60622 (312) 363-3110 Visit Website


1600 West Chicago Avenue, , IL 60622 (312) 600-6336 Visit Website

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