Today the press release every food site and section in the land is rewriting is the announcement of the 2018 James Beard Award nominees for media and chefs and restaurants.*
Boka Restaurant Group proceeds inexorably toward world domination with four nominations: Meg Galus for Outstanding Pastry Chef, Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz for outstanding restaurateur, the flagship Boka for Outstanding Service, and Lee Wolen for Best Chef: Great Lakes. All richly deserved.
The latter category is dominated by Chicago chefs, as it usually is, including Andrew Brochu of Roister, David and Anna Posey of Elske, Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark of Parachute, and Abe Conlon of Fat Rice.
Greg Wade of Publican Quality Breads is up for Outstanding Baker and Sarah Rinkavage of Marisol is in the running for Rising Star Chef of the Year.
Sun Wah has been nominated in the America’s Classics category.
In the media awards, no surprise, Steve Dolinsky is up for Best Television Segment and—an actual surprise—the University of Chicago Press is in the running for a Reference, History, and Scholarship award for a book called The Culinarians: Lives and Careers From the First Age of American Fine Dining by David S. Shields.
The media awards will be announced April 27 in New York. The chef and restaurant awards will be at the JBFA Gala on Monday, May 7, at the Lyric Opera House
*Full disclosure: This year I was on the Great Lakes Region judging committee, so I voted on the restaurant, chef, and restaurant design nominees.