Chicago Sweeps 19 Nominations for the 2020 James Beard Awardson March 4, 2020 at 7:51 pm

The James Beard Awards are the most coveted among chefs and restaurants in the food and beverage industry. Every year, restaurants and chefs hope to earn a spot on one of the lists which include categories like Best New Restaurant, Outstanding Chef, Outstanding Pastry Chef, and Outstanding Restaurant. This year, Chicago swept 19 nominations in all of those categories and more.

james beard awards chicago
Photo Credit: Tzuco

Thattu and Tzuco are fighting for the Best New Restaurant Award. Thattu’s menu is inspired by Indian street food and features a wide variety of curries using traditional Indian spices. Tzuco is a French-Mexican-inspired restaurant with Michelin-star chef Carlos Gaytan as the Executive Chef.

For the Outstanding Chef award, we have chef Sarah Gruenberg of Monteverde. Monteverde is an Italian restaurant where the pasta is handmade throughout the day and where simple and traditional ingredients are the star. Sarah Gruenberg quickly rose through the culinary ranks here in Chicago, starting at the prestigious Spiaggia where she started as a line cook in 2005. Since then, she has continued to make a name for herself and won her first James Beard Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2017.

Photo Credit: Boka Instagram

For the Outstanding Restaurant award, there is Boka in Chicago. Boka’s menu features seasonal American food and was opened in 2003 by Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz. Since their opening, they’ve garnered a lot of attention from the industry and have been nominated for several James Beard Awards in the past.

And for the Outstanding Pastry Chef award, Emily Spurlin of Lula Cafe was nominated. Lula Cafe is a farm to table stable in Logan square and is most known for its casual yet sophisticated brunches.

Chicago also had a few more nominees from some of the other categories like Lost Lake for Outstanding Bar Program and Spiaggia for Outstanding Wine Program.

The James Beard Awards will be held later in March but overall, Chicago had 19 nominations across all the categories.

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Featured Image Credit: Lost Lake

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Chicago Bears: 3 mistakes Pace must avoid as free agency beginson March 4, 2020 at 12:00 pm

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Chicago Bears, Matt Nagy

Chicago Bears (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

As we draw near to the start of the new league year, there are some moves the Chicago Bears can’t afford to make.

In just a little over two weeks, the new league year will begin and the Chicago Bears’ offseason will officially kickoff. Although technically teams can begin to contact players and begin the negotiation process on March 16th, the year doesn’t officially begin until March 18th, meaning no deals can become official until then. As that date approaches, there are some mistakes that the Bears simply can’t afford to make.

But first, let’s take inventory of where the team is as they prepare for this offseason. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Coming off an electric 2018 season, the team was supposed to take the next step in 2019 and compete for a Super Bowl. It didn’t happen, unfortunately, and now the team has more questions regarding their roster than one could have imagined just 12 months ago.

This offseason was supposed to be about fine-tuning rather than major overhauling, but the reality is because of what transpired in 2019, there are some significant holes and weaknesses that must be addressed if they want any chance of being a playoff team come 2020.

They have to figure out who will take over for recently released cornerback Prince Amukamara and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel, as well as identify replacements for safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and guard Kyle Long. While those are important decisions for Pace, we identify three mistakes he can’t afford to make this offseason.

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