Chicago's Donnie Madia Wins Big At James Beard Awards

Donnie Madia, owner of the One Off Hospitality Group, joins Chicago Tonight after a big night at Monday's James Beard Foundation Awards, which were held for the first time in Chicago. Madia, whose restaurants include avec, Blackbird, and The Publican, won Outstanding Restaurateur. His bar The Violet Hour won Outstanding Bar Program.


Monday night, The James Beard Foundation Awards for chefs and restaurants was held at Chicago’s Civic Opera House. The ceremony's been running for 25 years, but this is the first time it's ventured outside of New York City.

Chicago had four winners: Rich Melman for Lifetime Achievement, Brindille for Outstanding Restaurant Design (75 Seats and Under), The Violet Hour for Outstanding Bar Program, and Donnie Madia for Outstanding Restaurateur. Madia is owner and managing partner of One Off Hospitality Group, which owns The Violet Hour and seven other establishments, including avec, Blackbird, Dove’s Luncheonette, and The Publican.

View a slideshow.

Read a full list of the winners here.

Two-time James Beard Foundation Award winner Richard Melman, founder and chairman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award at Monday’s ceremony. Chicago Tonight interviewed Melman about the honor in February. Watch the video.


Read a selection of tweets about the James Beard Foundation Awards.