Oriole, S.K.Y. Both Earn Three Jean Banchet 2019 Award Nominations

S.K.Y. earned three Banchet nominations.

Read the full nominee list for the Chicago restaurant awards

The 2019 Jean Banchet Award nominees are out and for the second-straight year, Oriole — the West Loop/Fulton Market fine dining restaurant — earned three nominations. Among its three nominations, two-Michelin-starred Oriole is in the running for Restaurant of the Year along with Acadia and Avec. And unlike Michelin Guide inspectors who aren’t considering suburban restaurants, the Banchet panel included Winnetka’s George Trois for its 2019 Restaurant of the Year.

For the 2018 awards, Noah and Cara Sandoval’s Oriole took home one Banchet (for best service). The awards recognize Chicago’s top culinary talent. The 2019 awards will take place Sunday, January 13 at Venue Six10.

Oriole wasn’t the only restaurant to receive a trio of nominations. S.K.Y., the Pan-Asian restaurant in Pilsen from Stephen Gillanders, was also named three times. S.K.Y. is in the running for Best New Restaurant along with Bar Biscay in West Town, Etta in Wicker Park, and Passerotto in Andersonville.

The Banchets added a new category this year: Best Counter Service. That recognizes media darlings like Tempesta Market in West Town and Pretty Cool Ice Cream in Logan Square. The committee also changed the names of another category. They replaced the antiquated Best Ethnic Restaurant with Best Heritage Restaurant. Those nominees include Sichuan restaurant Place Called Damao and Polish standby Staropolska.

Another surprise is with fast-casual restaurants. The chef duo behind Honey Butter Fried Chicken, the Eater 38 fast-casual spot in Avondale, is in the mix for Chef of the Year. Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski are in a competitive category with Big Jones’ Paul Fehribach, Lula Cafe/Marisol’s Jason Hammel, and Smyth and the Loyalist’s John Shields.

Pacific Standard Time, the restaurant from chef Erling Wu-Bower in River North, earned two nominations. Natalie Saben was nominated for Rising Pastry Chef of the Year, and the restaurant was nominated for Best Restaurant of the Design. PST made Eater National’s Best New Restaurants of the Year in the entire country — the only Chicago spot to make the ranking — but it wasn’t named in any of the Banchet’s more prestigious categories.

The panel is awarding its 2019 Culinary Achievement Award to chef Michael Foley, a restaurant consultant who operated Printer’s Row in the South Loop until 2004. Fooditor ran an extensive profile on Foley in May.

Take a look at the full list of nominees below.

Restaurant of the Year



George Trois


Chef of the Year

Paul Fehribach (Big Jones)

Jason Hammel (Lula Cafe, Marisol)

Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski (Honey Butter Fried Chicken)

John Shields (Smyth and The Loyalist)

Rising Chef of the Year

Ian Davis (Band of Bohemia)

Alisha Elenz (Mfk. restaurant)

Stephen Gillanders (S.K.Y.)

Otto Phan (Kyōten)

Best New Restaurant

Bar Biscay




Best Chef-de-Cuisine

Norman Fenton (Schwa)

Andrew Holladay (Lula Cafe)

Ryan Pfeiffer (Blackbird)

Adam Zoscsak (Sepia)

Pastry Chef of the Year

Nicole Guini (Blackbird, Avec)

Craig Harzewski (Brindille)

Sarah Mispagel (Sepia, Proxi)

Chris Teixeira (Steadfast, Portsmith)

Rising Pastry Chef of the Year

Courtney Kenyon (Oriole)

Natalie Saben (Pacific Standard Time)

Tatum Sinclair (S.K.Y.)

Elaine Townsend (Fat Rice)

Best Neighborhood Restaurant

Cellar Door Provisions

The Promontory


Pizzeria Bebu

Best Heritage Restaurant

A Place By Damao

Morena’s Kitchen

Rica Arepa Venezuelan Café


Best Sommelier

Jamel Freeman (Bellemore)

Jill Gubesch (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Leña Brava)

Christopher Harris (Entente)

Aaron McManus (Oriole)

Best Mixologist

Stephanie Andrews (Billy Sunday)

Olivia Duncan (Nico Osteria)

Liz Pearce (The Drifter)

Jay Schroeder (Todos Santos)

Best Restaurant Design

BiXi Beer

Gibsons Italia

Pacific Standard Time


Best Service


NoMI Kitchen

Shanghai Terrace


Best Bar

Ludlow Liquors

Spilt Milk

Moody Tongue


*Best Counter Service

Ava’s Italian Ice

Calumet Fisheries

Pretty Cool Ice Cream

Tempesta Market

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