Events / Greens

JBF Greens x Gaijin

Wed, April 12, 2023

6:30 PM
Price: $85 Click Here for Tickets

Join JBF Greens for a celebration of cherry blossom season at Gaijin in Chicago’s West Loop.  
As Chicago’s first okonomiyaki restaurant, Gaijin is the brainchild of chef/partner Paul Virant (a James Beard Award nominee), who was first introduced to okonomiyaki—a savory cabbage pancake—by his wife who spent time studying in Japan. As a self-described “gaijin,” or “foreigner” in Japanese, chef Paul playfully embraces this perspective while honoring traditional preparations and techniques.  
For the occasion, chef Paul and pastry chef Angelyne Canicosa will curate a special menu inspired by the annual cherry blossom season in Japan.  

Beverage pairings will be provided by Jun-Jun Vichaikul of Konbini & Kanpai. Drawing inspiration from the ubiquitous convenience stores of Japan, Jun-Jun and his wife, Naomi, showcase an array of sake, Asian spirits, craft beer, and curated wines at their craft bottle shop in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.
*70% of your ticket price will go directly to the host chef to support their business while 30% will go towards the Foundation’s national programming that is rooted in advocacy, racial equity, sustainability, and women’s leadership for the culinary industry. 
All reservations must be made in advance. Should the event(s) be cancelled due to any unforeseen circumstances, including COVID-19, The James Beard Foundation will offer options including ticket exchanges, use of tickets for future events, and option to donate tickets.


Chilled Choya Ujicha Umeshu > Green Tea-Infused Umeshu Sake 

Welcome Beverage and Starter 
Cherry Blossom Perfect Manhattan > Suntory Whisky with Mancino Sakura Vermouth and Luxardo 

Sakura Sunomono > Japanese Cucumber Salad with Soy and Mushrooms  
*Contains: soy 
First Course 
Crab Korokee > Deep-Fried Crab Croquettes with Sakura Mayonnaise, Tomatoes, Carrots, and Pea Shoots 
*Contains: alliums, egg, fin fish, gluten, and shellfish 
Akashi-Tai Junmai Ginjo Sparkling Sake ​​​​​​​

Second Course 
Smoked Whitefish Osaka-Style Okonomiyaki with Ikura, Kewpie Mayonnaise, Aonori, and Bonito Flakes 
*Contains: alliums, egg, fin- fish, and gluten 

Tsukemono Trio > Chef’s Selection of Japanese-Inspired Pickled Vegetables 
*Contains: soy 

Japanese Rice with Furikake 
*Contains: sesame 
Narutotai Ginjo Namazake Genshu Sake ​​​​​​​

Third Course 
Sakura–Almond Dacquoise with Sakura Bean Paste, White Chocolate Mousse, and Lychee–Sakura Glaze 
*Contains: dairy, eggs, gelatin, and nuts 

Mizu Oyuwari Sakura Shochu > Hot Water and Sakura Cask Shochu ​​​​​​​


Related Info

Learn more about JBF Greens.

Learn more about Gaijin.  

The Foundation is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity and which is free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. In keeping with this commitment, the Foundation will not tolerate harassment of guests or staff in any form at Foundation events.


Presenting Sponsor

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Hosted By



Official James Beard Foundation Partners

National Greens Sponsors


Chicago Partners

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Event Donor

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