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.
Jean Banchet Awards
The Jean Banchet Awards 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)
It’s always a good time to discover a new restaurant so even if you miss them during Restaurant Week add them to you list to visit another time!
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 restaurant’s website. Don’t miss your chance to get in on Chicago’s excellent culinary scene!
Jean Banchet Complete List of Winners
Restaurant of the year presented by the Illinois Restaurant Association: George Trois Website
Rising Chef of the Year: Alisha Elenz (MFK. restaurant) MFK Website
Best Chef-de-Cuisine Presented by Sparrow Coffee Roastery: Ryan Pfeiffer (Blackbird) Blackbird Website
Pastry Chef of the Year Presented by Cacao Barry: Nicole Guini (Blackbird, Avec) Avec Website
Rising Pastry Chef of the Year Presented by Nielsen-MasseyVanillas: Elaine Townsend (FatRice)
Best Neighborhood Restaurant: Pizzeria Bebu Website
Best Heritage Restaurant: APlace BY DAMAO Website
Best New Restaurant: S.K.Y. Website
Best Mixologist Presented by Breakthru Beverage Illinois: Stephanie Andrews (Billy Sunday) Billy Sunday Website
Best Restaurant Design: Pacific Standard Time Website
Best Service: Temporis Website
Best Bar: Moody Tongue Website
NEW* Best Counter Service Calumet Fisheries Website