The 2020 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence Winners

Restaurant of the Year Presented by the Illinois Restaurant Association Smyth

Chef of the Year Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water & Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water Anna and David Posey (Elske)

Rising Chef of the Year Jess Galli (Middle Brow Bungalow)

Best Chef-de-Cuisine Presented by Sparrow Coffee Roastery Mariya Russell (Kumiko | Kikkō)

Pastry Chef of the Year Craig Harzewski (Brindille)

Rising Pastry Chef of the Year Presented by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Tatum Sinclair (S.K.Y.)

Best Neighborhood Restaurant Passerotto

Best Heritage Restaurant Cafe Istanbul

Best New Restaurant Kyōten

Best Sommelier Aaron McManus (Oriole)

Best Bartender Presented by Breakthru Beverage Illinois • Kevin Beary (The Bamboo Room at Three Dots and a Dash)

Best Restaurant Design: Tzuco

Best Restaurant Service: • S.K.Y.

Best Bar: Kumiko

Best Counter Service Publican Quality Meats

Banchet Culinary Achievement Award: Ina Pinkney (Ina's)



The 2019 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence Winners


Restaurant of the Year Presented 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)

Rising Chef of the Year: Alisha Elenz (mfk. restaurant)

Best Chef-de-Cuisine Presented by Sparrow Coffee Roastery: Ryan Pfeiffer (Blackbird)

Pastry Chef of the Year Presented by Cacao Barry: Nicole Guini (Blackbird, avec)

Rising Pastry Chef of the Year Presented by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas: Elaine Townsend (Fat Rice)

Best Neighborhood Restaurant: Pizzeria Bebu

Best Heritage Restaurant: A Place BY DAMAO

Best New Restaurant: S.K.Y.

Best Sommelier Presented by Champagne Henriot: Jill Gubesch (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Leña Brava)

Best Mixologist Presented by Breakthru Beverage Illinois: Stephanie Andrews (Billy Sunday)

Best Restaurant Design: Pacific Standard Time

Best Service: Temporis

Best Bar: Moody Tongue

NEW* Best Counter Service Calumet Fisheries

Banchet Culinary Achievement Award: Michael Foley (Printer's Row)



The 2018 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence Winners

Restaurant of the Year, Presented by the Illinois Restaurant Association: Monteverde

Chef of the Year, Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water & Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water: Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia, Proxi)

Rising Chef of the Year: Nick Dostal (Sixteen)

Best Chef-de-Cuisine, Presented by Sparrow Coffee Roastery: Bill Montagne (Nico Osteria)

Pastry Chef of the Year: Anna Posey (Elske)

Rising Pastry Chef of the Year, Presented by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas: Kyleen Atonson (Honey’s)

Best Neighborhood Restaurant: Daisies

Best Ethnic Restaurant: Ras Dashen Ethiopian Restaurant

Best New Restaurant: Smyth

Best Sommelier, Presented by Champagne Henriot: Parag Lalit (Sixteen)

Best Mixologist, Presented by Breakthru Beverage Illinois: Amit Gilad (GreenRiver)

Best Restaurant Design: Proxi

Best Service: Oriole

NEW * Best Bar: Income Tax

Banchet Culinary Achievement Award: Katsu and Haruko Imamura (Katsu)



The 2017 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence Winners

Restaurant of the Year, Presented by Illinois Restaurant Association: Blackbird

Chef of the Year, Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water & Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water: Andrew Brochu (Roister)

Rising Chef of the Year, Presented by ITW Food Equipment Group (Hobart, Vulcan, Traulsen): Bill Montagne & Jennifer Kim (Snaggletooth)

Best Chef-de-Cuisine, Presented by Sparrow Coffee Roastery: Wilson Bauer (Schwa)

Pastry Chef of the Year: Meg Galus (Swift & Sons/Momotaro/BOKA)

Rising Pastry Chef of the Year, Presented by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas: Alison Cates (Honey’s)

Best Neighborhood Restaurant: Sumi Robata Bar

Best Ethnic Restaurant: 5 Loaves Eatery

Best New Restaurant: Oriole

Best Sommelier: Rachel Driver Speckan (City Winery)

Best Mixologist, Presented by Breakthru Beverage Illinois: Julia Momose (GreenRiver)

Best Restaurant Design: Dixie

Best Restaurant Service: BOKA

Best Alternative Dining: Nomad

Banchet Culinary Achievement Award: Rick Bayless


The 2016 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence Winners

Restaurant of the Year, Presented by Illinois Restaurant Association: Fat Rice

Chef of the Year, Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water & Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water: Chris Pandel: Bristol/Balena – B. Hospitality

Rising Chef of the Year, Presented by ITW Food Equipment Group (Hobart, Vulcan, Traulsen): Beverly Kim & Johnny Clark: Parachute

Best Chef-de-Cuisine: Tony Quartaro: Formento’s

Pastry Chef of the Year: Sandra Holl: Floriole

Rising Pastry Chef of the Year, Presented by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas: Kelly Helgesen: Lula Café

Best Neighborhood Restaurant: mfk.

Best Ethnic Restaurant: Birrieria Zaragoza

Best New Restaurant: The Blanchard

Best Sommelier, Presented by Tenzing Wine and Spirits: Elizabeth Mendez: Vera

Best Mixologist, Presented by Breakthru Beverage: Jacyara De Oliveira: Sportsman’s Club

Best Restaurant Design: Cherry Circle Room

Best Restaurant Service: Billy Sunday

Banchet Culinary Achievement: Carrie Nahabedian (NAHA, Brindille)