Why You Might Avoid Hitting Providence, Mozza, Animal, and Other L.A. Restaurants Tonight

Some of the city’s best chefs are outta town—for good reason

Tonight marks what many in the industry often call the “Oscars of the Food World,” the James Beard Foundation’s annual Restaurant and Chef Awards. (We’re still proudly sporting a fresh medal from last week’s Beard foundation Books, Broadcast, and Journalism awards—it works with everything.) While we may not have the vast number of local nominees we’d like, many of L.A.’s top talents will be ditching their chef whites for formalwear tonight on the red carpet at Chicago’s Lyric Opera. Will their not being in the kitchen affect your meal? Probably not. But if catching a glimpse of Nancy Silverton behind the mozzarella bar was a big reason for your Monday night Mozza reservation, you might want to think again.

L.A.’s reigning Italian queen has been spotted in the Windy City squeezing investor, TV personality, and newly crowned James Beard Winner Phil Rosenthal. We suspect she’s there to support Mozza’s Outstanding Pastry Chef nominee Dahlia Narvaez.

We’ve also got word that Suzanne Goin, husband David Lentz (of Hungry Cat), partner Caroline Styne, and the rest of the Lucques group are in Chi-Town to support their fearless culinary leader who—let’s hope—can bring home the big Outstanding Chef win after nine nominations. Nine. 

Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo  aren’t at Animal or Son of A Gun either—they’ve been documenting their pit stops at Chicago standbys Jimmy’s Red Hots and Dove’s Luncheonette over the weekend, while their competition for Best Chef West, Jeremy Fox, appears to have left his post at Rustic Canyon for brunch at Logan Sqaure hotspot Lula Café. We’d be shocked if Providence’s Michael Cimarusti, our third hometown hero in the category, isn’t far behind.

first stop in Chicago #wehaventmadeittothehotelyet

A photo posted by @animalvinny on

Back to life cocktail by @paulkahan and team, killer

A photo posted by @animalvinny on


amazing breakfast at @lulacafe with @rachaelsheridan @4jala4 @jnavach. Thanks @jasonhammel!

A photo posted by Jeremy Fox (@chefjeremyfox) on

The award for the most delicious Chicago getaway so far, though, goes to Maude’s Curtis Stone, whose Instagram feed has been killing us with snaps of donuts, ramen, and deep dish since he landed yesterday. The Australian charmer isn’t missing anything here, though. Maude is closed on Mondays.