Winners of the James Beard Awards were announced Monday--with a pairing of local talent on the menu.
Chicago restaurants took the following awards:
Best Chef Great Lakes
Sarah Grueneberg, Monteverde, Chicago
Bayless has won many Beard honors over the last 26 years, the Associated Press reported, including outstanding chef in 1995 and Humanitarian of the Year in 1998. Topolobampo is a well-known favorite of Barack and Michelle Obama and previously received nominations for outstanding restaurant and outstanding service. Another James Beard Award-winning Chicago chef — Grant Achatz of Alinea — presented Bayless with the award.
"We just wanted to bring some of the heart and soul that people have shared with us in Mexico and share it with the people in this country," an emotional Bayless said as he accepted the award at Chicago's Lyric Opera. "We have in our restaurants always sought to put heart first."
Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, Monteverde is located in the city's West Loop neighborhood.
"[The restaurant] is an Italian restaurant that blends the traditions of Italian culture and cooking with influences from Chef Sarah Grueneberg’s trips around the world, as well as her family heritage," its website says.
The Beard Awards moved to Chicago in 2015 after being based in New York for more than 20 years. The James Beard Foundation announced last October that the awards will remain in Chicago through 2021. This year's host was actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson of the TV sitcom "Modern Family."