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40

Richard Melman

Founder, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

Age: 72

Chicago’s original culinary innovator (R.J. Grunts in 1971) continues to move and shake the foodie scene. In the past eight months alone, Lettuce Entertain You’s paternal leader opened RPM Steak and Intro—both blockbusters. This year, Melman receives the James Beard Foundation’s lifetime achievement award. That’s all well and good, but such honors are usually meant for those who are at the tail end of their careers. 

Photo: Courtesy of LEYE

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