Blackbird Team Leads Chicago Beard Restaurant Nominations; Grace, Spiaggia, Aviary Among Other Nominees

Donnie Madia.
Donnie Madia.

There’s no doubt about whose year it is among Chicago James Beard Award restaurant nominees; One Off Hospitality earned four nominations across its properties. Paul Kahan was nominated for the third year in a row for Outstanding Chef (he’s been up there five times total); Donnie Madia was nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur; Blackbird chef de cuisine David Posey was one of two Chicago nominations for Rising Star Chef, along with Jimmy Bannos Jr. of The Purple Pig; and The Violet Hour was nominated for Outstanding Bar Program, again with another Chicago competitor in the category, The Aviary.

Spiaggia was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant, while Topolobampo was nominated for Outstanding Service; both of those are repeats from last year. And to absolutely no one’s surprise, Grace, which just managed to be open in 2012, was nominated for Best New Restaurant, a category which Chicago’s Next won last year.

Four Chicago chefs took spots among the five Best Chef: Great Lakes nominees: Stephanie Izard of Girl & the Goat and Andrew Zimmerman of Sepia (both repeat nominees from last year), Paul Virant of Vie, and Dave Beran of Next (the other is Jonathon Sawyer of Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland).