Bayless Wins Yet Again at 2010 Jean Banchet Awards

The 2010 Jean Banchet awards were handed out on Friday night at the 13th Annual Grand Chefs Gala at the Fairmont Hotel. The $400-a-head evening was to benefit cystic fibrosis research, but all eyes were really on who would come away with awards for Chicago’s best chefs in a handful of categories. The awards, which are voted for by the participating and nominated chefs, produced some interesting results: the evening’s big winner was Rick Bayless, tapped as “best celebrity chef,” with the corresponding award for “best celebrity pastry chef” going to Sepia’s Cindy Schuman. And there’s more:

In the “rising chefs” category (which we guess is like JV?), winners for chef and pastry chef, respectively, were Blackbird’s Mikey Sheerin and, curiously, Stephanie Prida. Not that Prida doesn’t deserve acknowledgment — she’s aces at her craft — but at Blackbird she works under executive pastry chef Patrick Fahy. Prida’s co-nominees in her category all run their pastry kitchens. Maybe Prida landed the nomination on the strength of the way she tore things up at one sixtyblue?

Here’s a list of the nominees, with winners italicized.

Rising Pastry Chef
Meg Galus, Tru
Craig Herzewski, Naha
Stephanie Prida, Blackbird
Natalie Zarzour, Pasticcieria Natalina

Rising Chef
Rob Levitt, Mado
John De Rosiers, Inovasi
Joshua Linton, Aja
Michael Sheerin, Blackbird

Celebrity Pastry Chef
Suzanne Imaz, Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Sarah Levy, Sarah’s Pastries & Candies
Mindy Segal, Hot Chocolate
Cindy Schuman, Sepia

Celebrity Chef
Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill
Michael Carlson, Schwa
Curtis Duffy, Avenues
Paul Kahan, Blackbird

Best Neighborhood Restaurant
Piccolo Sogno

Best Fine Dining Restaurant

Best Sommelier
Scott Tyree, Sepia

Bayless Wins Yet Again at 2010 Jean Banchet Awards