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Here Are Chicago’s 2018 James Beard Award Nominees

It’s a good year for the Boka Restaurant Group.

The dining room at Boka   Photo: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune

Ten Chicago restaurants and industry professionals were announced this morning as James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award nominees. While Chicago was not represented in the Outstanding Chef or Outstanding Restaurant categories, it swept the Best Chef: Great Lakes division, with a shortlist that includes Lee Wolen of Boka, who takes one of four nominations for the Boka Restaurant Group.

The list features four women, including Sarah Rinkavage of Marisol for Rising Star Chef of the Year. Also noted is Sun Wah BBQ, which was designated by James Beard Foundation as one of America’s Classics.

Here are the finalists:

Outstanding Baker
Greg Wade, Publican Quality Bread

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Meg Galus, Boka

Outstanding Restaurateur
Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group (Boka, GT Fish & Oyster, Girl & the Goat, and others)

Outstanding Service

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Sarah Rinkavage, Marisol

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Andrew Brochu, Roister
Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice
Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute
David Posey and Anna Posey, Elske
Lee Wolen, Boka


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