FnB chef Chef Charleen Badman wins coveted James Beard Award

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Chicago chefs have dominated this category for more than a decade in nominations and wins. "We're all in this together ..."

- Outstanding restaurateur honors went to Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz of the Boka Restaurant Group (Boka, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro, and others.) Pointing to his longtime business partner and close friend, Katz said of Boehm: "This hair has opened so many doors for us!" "The challenge was finding chefs who would take a chance on us". The organization hands out awards for outstanding service, wine, pastry chefs and restaurants among other categories. And besides that you don't belong at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, either.

"If I throw up, I'm sorry", Fields said.

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Last year, the slate of winners was more diverse than it had been in the past, and in 2019 it was even more so, reflecting expanding notions of who and what deserves recognition, both on the part of the James Beard Foundation and the food world as a whole.

It was the fifth year in a row that the awards ceremony took place at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The awards honor those who follow in the footsteps of Beard, considered the dean of American cooking when he died in 1985.

When Kwame Onwuachi of D.C.'s Kith and Kin accepted the Rising Star Chef of the Year award, he called for the food community to include everyone in the conversation. The Michelin-starred chef went on to thank the James Beard Foundation; his chef de cuisine at Providence, Tristan Aitchison; his executive chef at Connie and Ted's, Sam Baxter; and his kitchen teams across his small but growing L.A. restaurant empire. "I know you have a pile of laundry at home to do".

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