Stories / Awards

A Rising Star Chef of the Year Nominee Talks Chicago Hits

Maggie Borden

April 17, 2017


The James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year Award celebrates the country's up-and-coming toques who are pushing the industry forward with their innovative techniques and styles. Since these tastemakers have their fingers on the pulse of today's dining scene, we asked this year's nominees to guide us through the best food and drink of their home base. Here, Jenner Tomaska of 2012 Best New Restaurant Award winner Next in Chicago, shares his recommendations for everything from Tuesday-night pizza deals to clutch hangover cures in the Windy City.


Date Night: Juno—"Chef BK makes the best sushi in town. Be sure to give him a fist pump if you sit at the counter." 

Cheap Eats: "Reno in Logan square runs a two for $20 pizza on Tuesdays. They make my favorite pizza in Chicago."  

Breakfast: The Breakfast Club and Grille—"Stuffed potato pancakes are the perfect hangover cure."

Drinks: "Lone Wolf and Money Gun are two great places to get drink close to Randolph and Fulton Market."

Burgers: "Au Cheval is known for their burgers, but don't skip the foie gras terrine and the chicken livers!"

Dive Bar: "Clark St. is an industry late-night spot."  

Live Music: "If you're in the mood for live music and beers, Underground Wonder Bar and Kingston Mines are both great."  

Ice Cream: "Bobtail in Lake View is a must-visit. It's a small parlor with traditional flavors. Chocolate chip cookie dough is my go-to."

Learn more about the 2017 James Beard Awards.


Maggie Borden is associate editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram and Twitter.