Lula Cafe wins 2024 James Beard award; ceremony held in Chicago

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team and Eric Horng WLS logo
Tuesday, June 11, 2024 4:29AM
Lula Cafe chef speaks after James Beard award win
The chef at Lula Cafe spoke Tuesday about the restaurant's James Beard award win.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The 2024 James Beard Awards were held in downtown Chicago Monday evening.

A who's who of the culinary and hospitality industry began gracing the red carpet outside the Lyric Opera Monday afternoon. Chefs and restaurateurs from around the country are in Chicago for the awards. The Beard Awards have been held in Chicago for the last several years.

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The James Beard Foundation is known for its prestigious restaurant awards and several Chicago chefs and restaurants were nominated this year.

Lula Cafe in Chicago won in the Outstanding Hospitality category, described as "A restaurant, bar, or other food and drinking establishment that fosters a sense of hospitality among its customers and staff, that serves as a beacon for the community and demonstrates consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations, while contributing positively to its broader community."

James Beard Awards 2024 winners will be announced tonight. Chicago restaurants in Logan Square, West Town, River North and Lincoln Park are nominated.

Chef Anna Posey of Elske in West Town is nominated for the Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker award.

Two Chicago-area chefs were nominated for Best Chef in the Great Lakes region: Sujan Sarkar of Indienne in River North and Jenner Tomaska of Esmé in Lincoln Park.

Lula Café in Logan Square is nominated for the Outstanding Hospitality award.

"Really strong representation from the Chicago restaurant community, and every year. I mean, it's just such a phenomenal food town. Chicago represents very strongly every year," said Kris Moon, president and COO of the James Beard Foundation.

"Not only is this the best city in the world, I think, but also too that we're a great food city. And thanks to the Beard Foundation for coming to Chicago that we're able to host the Oscars of cooking," said chef Art Smith.

The ceremony was livestreamed by the foundation starting at 5:30 p.m. To watch, click here.

To see the full list of nominees, click here.

After the awards, there was a huge party for hundreds of attendees at Union Station with food and drink.