Over 400 culinary enthusiasts gathered last night at Venue Six10 on Michigan Avenue for the 2020 Jean Banchet Awards. The Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence are the only Chicago-based awards ceremony that recognizes culinary originality and talent throughout the region. Guests were greeted with a champagne reception followed by the award ceremony hosted by Michael Muser, partner and general manager of the soon-to-be opened, Ever.
A selection of award winners includes Smyth for Restaurant of the Year, Anna and David Posey of Elske for Chef of the Year, Craig Harzewki of Brindille for Pastry Chef of the Year, Kyōten for Best New Restaurant, S.K.Y. for Best Service, and Publican Quality Meat for Best Counter Service. Also during the ceremony, legendary chef and restaurateur Ina Pinkney (Ina’s) was awarded the Banchet Culinary Achievement Award. A full list of award winners can be found below.
Following the Banchet Awards, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will host the Grand Chef’s Experience at the Field Museum of Natural History (1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.) on February 8, 2020 where all nominated restaurants will be honored, and event attendees will be treated to tastings from top chefs in Chicago’s culinary scene.
Chef of the Year, presented by S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water & Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water
Honoring culinary excellence and advancing the state of Chicago dining and the industry.
- Anna and David Posey (Elske)
Restaurant of the Year, presented by the Illinois Restaurant Association
Honoring the standout restaurant of the year.
Rising Chef of the Year
Honoring the most exciting talent to have arrived on the scene within the last two years.
- Jess Galli (Middle Brow Bungalow)
Best New Restaurant
Honoring the most exciting new restaurant. (Nominees must have opened since November 2017.)
Best Chef-de-Cuisine, presented by Sparrow Coffee Roastery
Honoring the names of tomorrow doing exceptional work in Chicago’s restaurants.
- Mariya Russell (Kumiko | Kikkō)
Pastry Chef of the Year
Honoring the standouts who create the endings that ensure meals are memorable.
- Craig Harzewski (Brindille)
Rising Pastry Chef of the Year, presented by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas
Honoring the rising talents in the world of pastry and dessert.
- Tatum Sinclair (S.K.Y.)
Best Neighborhood Restaurant
Honoring the restaurants that help define their neighborhoods with excellence in food and service.
Best Heritage Restaurant
Honoring the restaurants working within a cultural tradition and heritage.
- Cafe Istanbul
Best Counter Service
Honoring casual dining experiences that stand out in creativity and execution.
- Publican Quality Meats
Honoring the most exceptional and innovative establishments in beverage service.
Best Bartender, presented by Breakthru Beverage Illinois
Honoring the most creative and outstanding talents in preparing and serving beverages.
- Kevin Beary (The Bamboo Room at Three Dots and a Dash)
Honoring the wine professional who stands out for the best program and presentation.
- Aaron McManus (Oriole)
Best Restaurant Service
Honoring the establishment providing the highest level of welcoming and helpful service.
Best Restaurant Design
Honoring the most creative and impressive design for a restaurant or other establishment.
The Jean Banchet Culinary Achievement Award
Honoring a career in excellence and support of the Chicago restaurant community.
· 2020 Honoree: Chef Ina Pinkney (Ina’s)