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"Congratulations to all of the James Beard finalists from Chicago that were announced today. It is thanks to our world-class chefs and restaurateurs that Chicago has become the new culinary capital of America, bringing jobs and visitors to neighborhoods throughout Chicago. Their dedication to their craft and to their city have helped to drive record tourism growth to Chicago and contributed greatly to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods. The fact that the nominees from Chicago include both well-known names and up-and-coming ones demonstrates that we are a city where the best of the next generation can come to experiment and excel. All of Chicago looks forward to hosting the James Beard Awards in May when our nominees will find themselves in the spotlight and Chicago's thriving restaurant scene will be on the world stage."