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The Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence will return in January 2020 and the public can begin recommending their choices spanning 15 categories across the region’s culinary community today through October 20th. The Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence is the only Chicago-based awards ceremony that recognizes regional culinary originality and talent. The event will be held on Sunday, January 19, 2020 at Venue SIX10 (610 S. Michigan Ave.) and will begin with a champagne reception followed by an awards presentation where the winners and other culinary milestones from 2019 will be recognized. Following the awards, guests will head upstairs for the post-awards party complete with open bar, late night bites, and music.

The evening will honor the Restaurant of the Year presented by the Illinois Restaurant Association, Chef of the Year presented by S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water & Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water, Rising Chef of the Year, Best Chef-de-Cuisine presented by Sparrow Coffee Roastery, Pastry Chef of the Year, Rising Pastry Chef of the Year presented by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, Best Neighborhood Restaurant, Best New Restaurant, Best Bar, Best Sommelier presented by Champagne Henriot, Best Bartender presented by Breakthru Beverage Illinois, Best Heritage Restaurant, Best Counter Service, Best Restaurant Design and Best Restaurant Service. 

Award winners from the previous three years (2017-2019) may not be nominated again in the same category, though they are eligible in other categories. Public recommendations are now open and may be made online via The results are tallied and the Jean Banchet panel, comprised of Chicago’s premier culinary experts and opinion leaders, narrow the nominations to four per category. The final four nominees are announced on November 6, 2019, then members of the Chicago industry cast their votes from November 25th through December 8th and winners are announced at the January 19th ceremony.  

Following the Banchet Awards, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Greater Illinois Chapter will host the Grand Chefs Experience, an evening of interactive dining, cocktails and desserts on February 8, 2020 at the Field Museum of Natural History (1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.).   


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