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Rick Bayless
The 2015 James Beard Awards: pig roasts and Alton Brown on guitar
The 2015 James Beard Awards: pig roasts and Alton Brown on guitar

For the first time in its 25-year history, the James Beard Awards, which concluded Monday night, were held not in New York City but in Chicago. And boy, did Chicago roll out the red carpet for the restaurant awards. (The journalism and book awards took place in New York the previous week.) Banners along Michigan Avenue’s “magnificent mile” welcomed the 25th annual James Beard Awards. Chicago restaurants gave parties the weekend before the Monday night ceremony, so many that Uber seemed to be always on surge pricing as attendees moved from venue to venue. The smart ones walked — and logged in the miles in this very walkable city. The Purple Pig gave a party for...

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