Chicago Chefs Nominated for James Beard Awards

Next restaurant, chef Paul Kahan receive nods in major categories

By Marcus Riley
|  Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012  |  Updated 1:20 PM CDT
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PHOTOS: Chefs in the City 2011

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Chicago is well-represented in James Beard Award nominations.

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It's kind of like the Oscars for food.

Several Chicago chefs and restaurants are in the running for a prestigious James Beard Award this year.

The nominations were announced by the James Beard Foundation on Monday.

Next restaurant received a nod in the Best New Restaurant category and veteran chef Paul Kahan (Blackbird) is up for Outstanding Chef.

Mindy Segal of Mindy's Hot Chocolate was nominated in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category and Dave Beran of Next is in the mix for Rising Star Chef of the Year.

A new category, Outstanding Bar Program, was added this year, and two Chicago restaurants were nominated -- The Aviary and The Violent Hour.

Spiaggia and Topolopampo were nominated in the Outstanding Service category.

Several local chefs received nods in the Best Chef: Great Lakes category, which encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, including Michael Carlson (Schwa), Stephanie Izard (Girl & the Goat), Bruce Sherman (North Pond) and Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia).

Chicago chef Charlie Trotter will receive the 2012 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award.

The awards ceremony will be held May 7th in New York.

Click here for the full list of nominees.

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