Today the James Beard Foundation announced the nominees for its 2011 Awards (aka the Oscars of the food world), and while Chicago has its usually healthy representation of late, we’re most proud of our very own Julia Thiel and Sky Full of Bacon’s Mike Gebert, who were nominated for their four-month-old Key Ingredient series, in particular the first three episodes:

Grant Achatz vs. kluwak kupas

Curtis Duffy vs. Chinese black beans

John des Rosiers vs. geraniums