See What You Missed at the 2018 James Beard Awards

Here's how some of the chefs were inspired by this year's event theme.

By Michele Laufik May 16, 2018, 7:16 AM EDT

Chef Jamilka Borges of the Independent in Pittsburgh presented an asparagus–spelt tart topped with candied pistachios and rhubarb and garnished with edible flowers.

Photo: Francis Son

2018 James Beard Awards
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On May 7, the James Beard Foundation Awards were held once again at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. This year’s theme, “Rise,” celebrated the culinary community and the power of food.

Attendees and chefs wore pins saying what they “rise” for, including equality, locally sourced food, no waste, and integrity. In addition, as a reflection of the theme, nearly 30 of the gala’s reception chefs were former James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change participants. The boot camps are retreats where chefs train to be leaders for change within the food world, receiving advocacy and media training while learning about important issues, challenges, and opportunities.

After the awards ceremony, which was emceed by Carla Hall, the roughly 2,000 guests noshed on a variety of small plates, including an asparagus–spelt tart, octopus with tomato, and chocolate bon-bons. Here’s a look at the menu and how some of the chefs interpreted the event’s theme.

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