clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Philly in Chicago: Highlights From the 2015 James Beard Awards

No medals came back to Philadelphia, but there are still plenty of good moments to share.

Outstanding Chef nominee Marc Vetri poses with chefs Paul Kahan, Jonathan Waxman, and Stuart Brioza.
Outstanding Chef nominee Marc Vetri poses with chefs Paul Kahan, Jonathan Waxman, and Stuart Brioza.
@chefjwaxman/Instagram

As you've probably heard by now, Philly was completely shut out at last night's James Beard Foundation Awards. Our city even lost out to Baltimore for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic, which was our greatest fear. Still, it looks like the Philadelphia contingent of nominees made the most of their time in Chicago.

Throughout it all, of course, they ate. Marc Vetri documented a day-after breakfast featuring the iconic apple pancake at Original Pancake House. Joe Cicala told us today that he "covered a lot of ground" during his visit and was "super impressed with everything — food and service," with notable stops including a first-night dinner at Paul Kahan's Blackbird, charcuterie boards at Publican Quality Meats and cocktails at the (Beard Award-winning) Violet Hour. After the awards, he hit afterparties at the Girl and the Goat and the Aviary.

Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby gave a shout-out to the veggie ramen at Furious Spoon and clearly took the eating part of their brief stay seriously:

For the curious, Landau tells us the other three meals came courtesy of the Trenchermen, Tanta, and Momotaro. (They also hit the afterparty at Girl and the Goat, which had "absolutely nothing for us to eat.") And in what sounds like a potentially ill-advised move given all that eating, the couple also found time to ride some coasters at Six Flags:

[Photo courtesy of Rich Landau]

For more Chicago food porn, check out the recent IG feed of write/Beard committee member/truly dedicated eater Adam Erace, who managed to hit Topolobampo, Fat Rice, Parachute, Little Goat, and more.

But restaurants aside, there were plenty of other highlights from the weekend. Here, Marc Vetri and Stephen Starr do their best to project chill positivity in the face of twin losses:

The two losers!!!! Sorry Philly! We tried!

A photo posted by marcvetri (@marcvetri) on

It turns out the evening's disappointments were multi-faceted:

But if nothing else, the awards ceremony was an opportunity to show off some sweet fashion choices:

Before the awards, some of the chefs had time to enjoy Chicago and take in some of the crucial sights:

Not surprisingly, there were multiple posts documenting visits to Eataly, not least of which this one (notable for cameos from both Lidia and the notorious Angry Grandpa shirt):

Hanging with Lidia at Eataly! It's a good day!

A photo posted by marcvetri (@marcvetri) on

But after the awards, there was pretty much only one thing to be done:

Have you ever wished you could see chefs Marc Vetri and Jonathan Waxman cruising around in a party bus? Of course you haven't, but sometimes dreams come true even if you didn't have the audacity to dream them:

Love this guy @marcvetri @beardfoundation #partybus

A photo posted by Jonathan Waxman (@chefjwaxman) on

With Philly overlooked once again, some found comfort in the Philly.com comments section, an unlikely source for solace if ever there were one:

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Philadelphia newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world