The 2010 Jean Banchet awards were handed out on Friday night at the 13th Annual Grand Chefs Gala at the Fairmont Hotel. The $400-a-head evening was to benefit cystic fibrosis research, but all eyes were really on who would come away with awards for Chicago's best chefs in a handful of categories. The awards, which are voted for by the participating and nominated chefs, produced some interesting results: the evening's big winner was Rick Bayless, tapped as "best celebrity chef," with the corresponding award for "best celebrity pastry chef" going to Sepia's Cindy Schuman. And there's more:
In the "rising chefs" category (which we guess is like JV?), winners for chef and pastry chef, respectively, were Blackbird's Mikey Sheerin and, curiously, Stephanie Prida. Not that Prida doesn't deserve acknowledgment — she's aces at her craft — but at Blackbird she works under executive pastry chef Patrick Fahy. Prida's co-nominees in her category all run their pastry kitchens. Maybe Prida landed the nomination on the strength of the way she tore things up at one sixtyblue?
Here's a list of the nominees, with winners italicized.
Best Neighborhood Restaurant
Best Fine Dining Restaurant
Scott Tyree, Sepia