The Chicago culinary scene gathered in celebration and recognition of the city’s culinary excellence at the 2019 Jean Banchet Awards. The prestigious honors are named after Chef Jean Banchet, a Chicago Chefs Hall of Fame inductee instrumental in making Chicago the culinary destination that it is today.
The ceremony presented by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the only Chicago-based awards ceremony that recognizes culinary originality and talent throughout the region.
The top honors of the evening went to George Trois for Restaurant of the Year and Chef Jason Hammel for Chef of the Year.
Restaurant of the Year
George Trois is a French-influenced restaurant located in Winnetka. Chef/owner Michael Lachowitz is a third-generation chef who trained under great chefs, including famed chef Jean Banchet at Le Francais in Wheeling, IL. Each guest who books an experience at George Trois is treated to a 12-course chef tasting menu with each course delivered and explained by Chef Michael.
Chef of the Year
Jason Hammel of restaurants Lula Café in Logan Square and Marisol in the Museum of Contempory Art is known for spearheading the “farm-to-table” movement. Chef Hammel was among the first chefs to source local, organic ingredients, and build close relationships with Midwestern farmers.
The complete list of winners is listed below and with Restaurant Week running January 25-February 7, 2019 you have the perfect opportunity to visit some of the winners for great deals. I look forward to Restaurant Week every year because it’s the only time I feel like I’m getting a deal on food prices in the city (click here for my recap of last year). The prix fixe menus allow for diners to have several courses at one set price, starting at $24 for brunch and lunch, and $36 and/or $48 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax, and gratuity)
This year’s Chicago Restaurant Week will be the largest ever, with nearly 400 local restaurants participating, including over 100 first-time participants and 45 suburban restaurants.
I’ve included the links to each of the winning restaurants participating in Restaurant Week. Don’t miss your chance to get in on the fun celebrating Chicago’s excellent culinary scene!
Jean Banchet Complete List of Winners
Restaurant of the YearPresented by the Illinois Restaurant Association: George Trois
Chef of the Year Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water & Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water: Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe, Marisol) Marisol Restaurant Week Menu
Rising Chef of the Year: Alisha Elenz (mfk. restaurant) Restaurant Week Menu
Best Chef-de-Cuisine Presented by Sparrow Coffee Roastery: Ryan Pfeiffer (Blackbird)Blackbird Restaurant Week Menu;
Rising Pastry Chef of the Year Presented by Nielsen-MasseyVanillas: Elaine Townsend (FatRice)
Best Neighborhood Restaurant: Pizzeria Bebu
Best Heritage Restaurant: APlace BY DAMAO
Best New Restaurant: S.K.Y.
Best Mixologist Presented by Breakthru Beverage Illinois: Stephanie Andrews (Billy Sunday)
Best Restaurant Design: Pacific Standard Time Restaurant Week Menu
Best Service: Temporis
Best Bar: Moody Tongue
NEW* Best Counter Service Calumet Fisheries