Karen and John Shields

Karen and John Shields at Smyth Restaurant

Four West Loop chefs have been nominated for James Beard Awards in the Great Lakes region.

The nominees are Gene Kato at Momotaro, Noah Sandoval at Oriole and John and Karen Urie Shields at Smyth.

Smyth, which also serves New American tasting menus, was named restaurant of the year for 2019 by the local Jean Banchet awards. 

"With everything going on in the world right now, we were surprised when we started getting congratulations texts! It feels great to be recognized by James Beard and to have something to celebrate during these strange times," the Shields wrote in an emailed statement.

Momotaro, which blends traditional and contemporary Japanese cuisine, was previously named on Michelin’s best Japanese restaurants in Chicago in 2018.

Oriole, which offers a New American tasting menu, is currently offering pickup meal kits for two inspired by Sandoval’s childhood in Virginia. 

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