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The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is announcing the four nominees in each of the Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence 13 categories. New to the Awards this year is the category of Best Ethnic Restaurant and a culinary achievement award chosen by the Jean Banchet Panel.

 The Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence is the only Chicago-based awards presentation that recognizes and rewards culinary originality and talent in the Chicagoland area. 

 The awards process began with a call for nominations open to the public through online voting. The selection of nominees were then narrowed down to four for each category by the Jean Banchet Panel. 

 Winners for each category will be selected by those within the culinary industry via secret ballot voting and presented at the Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence on Sunday, January 17, 2016 at Venue Six10. The evening will raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

 The 2015 Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence nominees:

Restaurant of the Year presented by the Illinois Restaurant Association:  El Ideas, Fat Rice, INTRO, Parachute

 Chef of the Year: Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice; Phillip Foss, El Ideas; Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia; Chris Pandel, Bristol/Balena – B. Hospitality

 Best New Restaurant; BoeufHaus; The Blanchard; Bom Bolla; Momotaro

 Rising Chef of the Year presented by ITW Food Equipment Group:  Ashlee Aubin, Salero; Beverly Kim & Johnny Clark, Parachute; Thomas Rice & Kurt Guzowski, TÊTECharcuterie; Jason Vaughan, Pub Royale

 Pastry Chef of the Year:  Lisa Bonjour, MK; Meg Galus, Boka; Sandra Holl, Floriole; Chris Teixeira, West Town Bakery

 Best Chef-de-Cuisine:  Dennis Bernard, Doves Luncheonette; David Fingerman, Graham Elliot Bistro; Ed Sura, Perennial Virant; Tony Quartaro, Formento’s

 Best Neighborhood Restaurant: mfk.; Osteria Langhe; The Radler; Three Aces

 Rising Pastry Chef of the Year presented by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas:  Angela Diaz, Owen and Engine; Marjorie Easley, The Blanchard; Aya Fukai, Sixteen; Kelly Helgesen, Lula Café

 Best Sommelier: Nathan Adams, BoeufHaus; Jill Gubesch, Topolobampo/Frontera Grill; Elizabeth Mendez, Vera ; Steve Morgan, Formento’s

 Best Mixologist presented by Wirtz Beverage Illinois:  Jacyara De Oliveira, Sportsmans Club; Dustin Drankiewicz, The Promontory/Dusek’s/Punch House; Jason Lerner, Masa Azul; Liz Pearce, The Drifter

 Best Restaurant Service:  BOKA, Billy Sunday, El Ideas, Formento 

 Best Restaurant Design: 3Arts Club; Cherry Circle Room; Fulton Market Kitchen; Swift & Sons

 NEW CATEGORY Best Ethnic Restaurant: Andy’s Thai Kitchen; Furious Spoon; Shokran; Birrieria Zaragoza

 NEW-Banchet Culinary Achievement Award: New this year, the Banchet Culinary Achievement Award is given to a chef who has displayed extraordinary prowess throughout his/her career. It is awarded to someone who is not only an incredible chef, but one whose work has become part of why Chicago is the culinary destination it is today. As an active participant in the city of Chicago, this chef’s passion for the culinary arts is only matched by his/her generosity in community outreach and charitable activities.

 The inaugural Banchet Culinary Achievement Award will be presented to Chef Carrie Nahabedian of Naha and Brindille.  Studying under the tutelage of Chef Jean Banchet, Chef Nahabedian has embraced his philosophy of fine dining and has made her own exceptional mark on Chicago’s culinary scene.   

 For more information, please visit the Jean Banchet Awards website at or call (312) 236-4491.

 About the Greater Illinois Chapter: The Greater Illinois Chapter of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is headquartered in Chicago and contributes to the national foundation as the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis.  There are currently 1,047 children and adults in the state of Illinois living with cystic fibrosis.

 About The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system of nearly 30,000 children and adults in the U.S.  The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the worlds leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis.  The Foundation funds more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support.  Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease.  The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. 

 For more information, please visit or call 312-236-4491.

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