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Outstanding Chef (Tie): Paul Kahan, Blackbird

Chicago is arguably America's most exciting food city, and if there's one chef who can take credit for transforming the Windy City's culinary landscape, it's Paul Kahan. At his flagship restaurant, Blackbird, he bucked the notions of fine dining, juxtaposing intelligent service and exacting plates with pop music and a frenetic, jam-packed dining space. Since then, the meat-centric chef has gone on to open sister restaurant Avec, gastropub The Publican, The Violet Hour (also a nominee this year for outstanding bar program), Mexican hot spot Big Star, and a butcher shop, Publican Quality Meats.

Source: Getty

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