On May 6, the Lyric Opera of Chicago was once again the setting for the spectacular 2019 James Beard Awards gala. Industry leaders from the United States attended the ceremony dedicated to the theme “Good Food For Good”, a mantra synonymous with the mission of the James Beard Foundation.
Awards were given in the categories of Restaurant, Chef, and Restaurant Design, as well as awards for special achievements such as Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, America’s Classics, and Humanitarian of the Year. This year the Outstanding Pastry Chef recognition went to Kelly Fields who, in addition to running the Southern-Rooted Bakery and Restaurant Willa Jean (New Orleans), develops relationships with local farmers, advises emerging chefs and has created Yes Ma’am, a foundation designed to inspire and encourage women who are chefs. Meanwhile, the Outstanding Baker award went to Greg Wade, Head Baker of Publican Quality Bread Chicago who works hand in hand with Chefs de Cuisine, farmers, and retailers to make loaves that fit the menus of the restaurants and stores within and outside the One Off family. The list of all the winners can be found on their website.