LOGAN SQUARE — Two Northwest Side restaurants — Giant in Logan Square and Parachute in Avondale — are in the running for what’s considered the Oscars of the food world.
Both spots are up for national James Beard Foundation Awards, officials announced Wednesday. Giant’s chef/owner Jason Vincent is on the shortlist for Outstanding Chef, while Parachute is a contender for Outstanding Restaurant.
Parachute, 3500 N. Elston Ave., is a 40-seat Korean-American spot. Husband-and-wife chefs Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark took home the award for Best Chef: Great Lakes category in 2019.
Giant, from former Lula Cafe sous chef Jason Vincent, serves elevated Midwestern fare with a focus on farm fresh vegetables. The Logan Square restaurant, located at 3209 W. Armitage Ave., was named one of the country’s best new restaurants by Bon Apetit in 2017.
Vincent thanked patrons and the James Beard Award Foundation in an Instagram post Wednesday. The chef/owner also used the nomination to raise awareness about the challenges facing restaurants and bars during the ongoing pandemic.
“Please remember that 2/3 of restaurants and bars in America are on the brink of closure and contact your elected representatives and demand that they replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund,” Vincent said.
Also this year, Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe, a Logan Square stalwart, is a finalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes, a regional category that includes restaurants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
Hammel is up against three other Chicago-area chefs: Noah Sandoval of Oriole, John Shields and Karen Urie Shields of Smyth, and Erick Williams of Virtue Restaurant & Bar.
The winners will be announced June 13 at a ceremony at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Chicago-area 2022 James Beard Foundation Award finalists:
- Giant, 3209 W. Armitage Ave. (Outstanding Chef — Jason Vincent)
- Parachute, 3500 N. Elston Ave. (Outstanding Restaurant)
- Kasama, 1001 N. Winchester Ave. (Best New Restaurant)
- Maya-Camille Broussard, Justice of the Pies (outstanding baker)
- Nobody’s Darling, 1744 W. Balmoral Ave. (Outstanding Bar Program)
- Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe, 2537 N .Kedzie Blvd. (Best Chef: Great Lakes)
- Noah Sandoval of Oriole, 661 W. Walnut St (Best Chef: Great Lakes)
- John Shields and Karen Urie Shields of Smyth, 177 N. Ada St. (Best Chef: Great Lakes)
- Erick Williams of Virtue Restaurant & Bar, 1462 E. 53rd St (Best Chef: Great Lakes)
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: