Chicagoans will have some hometown heroes to cheer on when the James Beard awards are handed out at the Lyric Opera in June.
Local chefs and restaurants were named as finalists in several categories, it was announced Wednesday.
Here are the Chicago contenders:
— Damarr Brown of Virtue, for emerging chef. Brown is chef de cuisine at the Hyde Park restaurant owned by chef Erick Williams. Nominees in this category are "likely to make a significant impact in years to come, while contributing positively to their broader community," according to the James Beard Foundation.
— Sepia, for outstanding hospitality. The restaurant, located in the Fulton River District, also has a Michelin star.
— For best chef, in the Great Lakes region, in something of an upset, Chicago only scored two of the five nominations in a category the city's chefs typically dominate. This year's nominees are Diana Dávila of Mi Tocaya Antojería in Logan Square, and Tim Flores and Genie Kwon of Kasama in East Ukrainian Village.
The awards ceremony will be held June 5 and will be livestreamed on Eater.
The awards were first handed out in 1991 and recognize chefs and restaurants in 22 categories.