For 11 years the Jean Banchet Awards, named for the chef of the legendary Le Francais in Wheeling, have honored the best in Chicago fine dining. For 10 years they’ve been picked by, we don’t know, people who have a lot of money to dine out, we guess. But now you can have your say, too. Go here and you can enter your choices in categories such as Celebrity Chef, Celebrity Pastry Chef, Rising Chef, Best Neighborhood Restaurant and more. And this isn’t one of those deals where they ask for your choices and then pick who they were planning to pick anyway; the top four choices in each category will be the nominees, they say. It all leads up to the Grand Chefs Gala in January, which raises money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. So it’s a good thing and worth taking the time to have a little fun putting some names down.
Curtis Duffy was a big winner last year. Photo: courtesy of Avenues