James Beard Award finalists announced: Obelix, Kasama are among the nominees

The James Beard Foundation on Wednesday announced the finalists for its 2023 restaurant and chef awards.

Although Chicago does not dominate the Great Lakes region's best chef category as before, the nomination goes to chef/owner Diana Dávila of Logan Square's hidden gem My namesake's wishand chef/owners Tim Flores and Genie Kwon of the Michelin-starred modern Filipino powerhouse with in the eastern Ukrainian village. (Kasama is nominated for best new restaurant of 2022.)

Chicago is also represented in the best new restaurant category, with one of the category's 10 nominations monumentcool modern French restaurant on River North.

Chef de Cuisine Damarr Brown of Hyde Park is well known Virtue Restaurant & Bar is one of the nominees in the new chef category. (Chef/restaurant owner Erick Williams won the Great Lakes region's chef of the year last year.)

Michelin star Sepia the restaurant, chef Andrew Zimmerman's crown jewel in the West Loop, is one of five nominees in the outstanding hospitality category.

Also announced on Wednesday were the recipients of Humanitarian of the Year, awarded to Olivia Watkins and Karen Washington, co-founders of Black Farmers Fund; and the Lifetime Achievement Award for multi-cookbook author (including “Invitation to Indian Cooking,” inducted into the James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame in 2006), teacher and actress Madhur Jaffrey, CBE.

The James Beard Award is considered the culinary world's Oscar, recognizing achievements in the industry across the country.

Winners will be announced June 5 at a gala ceremony at the Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr. Tickets for the event will go on sale at 16:00 on March 31 at squadup.com.