On May 20, Chicago scored a major culinary coup when Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation, announced that the 2015 James Beard Awards would be held not only at Chicago, but right here at Lyric in the beautiful Ardis Krainik Theatre!

On May 20, Chicago scored a major culinary coup when Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation, announced that the 2015 James Beard Awards would be held not only at Chicago, but right here at Lyric in the beautiful Ardis Krainik Theatre! Considered the Oscars of the food world, the Beard Awards always feature the best chefs from around the country gathering to celebrate their art form.

This historic move marks the 25th anniversary of the awards and is the first time that they will take place outside of New York City. Flanked by past James Beard Award winners and famed Chicago chefs—including Rick Bayless, Grant Achatz, Tony Mantuano, Art Smith, Gale Gand, Graham Elliott, Stephanie Izard, and Rick Tramanto—Mayor Emanuel and Ungaro toasted this very special event in a press conference at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

Lyric General Director Anthony Freud, whose passion for food is almost equal to his passion for opera, remarked, "I couldn't be more thrilled that this celebration of great food should take place in our opera house, which has seen so many celebrations of great opera." 

Photo credits:

  • Pictures from the James Beard Foundation press conference announcing the move to Chicago for 2015. (l-r) Tony Mantuano and Graham Elliot; Rick Bayless; Susan Ungaro and Mayor Emanuel. (Credit Adam Alexander Photo)