James Beard Foundation Awards
- Kevin Boehm & Rob Katz
- Finalist / Outstanding Restauranteur / 2016 & 2017
BOKA RESTAURANT GROUP was founded by Rob Katz and Kevin Boehm in 2002 and has become one of the premier chef-driven restaurant groups in the country. Anchored by partnerships with six of America's great chefs, Stephanie Izard, Giuseppe Tentori, Chris Pandel, Lee Wolen, Mark Hellyar, and Jimmy Papadopoulos, BRG has 19 entities, each of them crafted individually and conceptually unique.
Boka, the group's first restaurant, opened in 2003 and has received a Michelin Star every year since its inception. It has received 3 stars from the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine, and has received the coveted 4 Diamond AAA rating from 2011 to present. Chef/Partner, Lee Wolen, was named 'Chef of the Year' by Eater in 2014 and won 'Best Chef' at the Jean Banchet Awards in 2014. Most recently, Wolen was a finalist for the 2016 and 2017 James Beard Awards in the 'Best Chef: Great Lakes' category.
Boka Catering Group began in 2007 and has been involved in a number of high profile events including Hedge Fund Cares and The Sundance Film Festival. Boka Catering was named 'Best Caterer' at the Jean Banchet Awards in 2013.
Girl & The Goat opened in 2010, and has consistently been one of the most difficult reservations to get in the country. Saveur Magazine named it 'The Best New Restaurant in America,' and it was also nominated for the James Beard Award for 'Best New Restaurant.' Eater National, the Chicago Tribune, and Time Out Chicago all named Girl & the Goat 'Restaurant of the Year' in 2010. Chef/co-owner Stephanie Izard was named Food & Wine's 'Best New Chefs: 2011,' and won the James Beard Award for 'Best Chef: Great Lakes' in 2014, and an Iron Chef in 2017. Trip Advisor named Girl & the Goat the #4 restaurant in the world in their annual awards and The Daily Meal named it #9 in the U.S.
GT Fish & Oyster opened in 2011 and was awarded 4 stars by Time Out Chicago, 3 stars by the Chicago Tribune, and 3 stars by the Chicago Sun Times. Chef/Partner, Giuseppe Tentori, was named Food & Wine's 'Best New Chefs: 2008,' 'Chef of the Year' by Chicago Social, and the restaurant was named 'Best New Restaurant of the Year' by the Chicago Tribune.
Balena opened in 2012 and received 3 stars from the Chicago Tribune, 4 stars from Time Out Chicago, and was listed as one of the '50 Best New Restaurants in America' by Bon Apetit. It was also listed as one of the '10 Best New Restaurants in America' by Gayot, as well as a James Beard semi-finalist for 'Best New Restaurant.'
Little Goat Diner Stephanie Izard’s second venture with Boka Restaurant Group, opened in December 2012. It received 3.5 stars from Red Eye Chicago, and was named one of the 'Best Diners in America' by Food & Wine.
Elaine's Coffee Call opened in March 2012. It was nominated for 'Best New Coffee Shop' at the Time Out Awards and was awarded one of Chicago Magazine’s 'Best 50 Sandwiches in Chicago' for its PB&J.
The J. Parker opened in the summer of 2012. It was nominated for 'Best New Bar' at the Time Out awards, was listed as one of the '50 Best Bars in Chicago' in Chicago Magazine, and was named one of the 'Best Hotel Bars in America' by Food & Wine.
Momotaro opened in 2014 and received 4 stars from Time Out Chicago and 3 stars from the Chicago Tribune. It was named 'Best New Restaurant in America' by Esquire Magazine, 'Restaurant of the Year' by both Chicago Magazine and Chicago Social, and a 2017 finalist for Outstanding Design at the James Beard Awards.
Swift & Sons opened in 2015, and was named as the #1 Steakhouse in Chicago by Time Out Chicago. It garnered a 3 star review from the Chicago Tribune, with the tagline, “Best Beef Wellington. Ever.” Swift & Sons also won the category of 'Best Upscale Restaurant' at the 2016 Hospitality Design awards.
Duck Duck Goat opened in March 2016. Earning 3 stars from the Chicago Tribune, Red Eye Chicago, and Chicago Magazine, Duck Duck Goat swiftly garnered a reputation as one of the hottest restaurant openings in 2016.
GT Prime opened in September 2016 and has been quickly met with critical acclaim, most recently garnering a 3 star review from the Chicago Tribune and a 3.5 star review from Red Eye Chicago, a Jean Banchet nomination for Best Restaurant Design, and named one of America’s 50 Best Steakhouses by The Daily Meal in 2017.
Somerset, featured on InsideHook as their most anticipated restaurant for fall, has opened to quick critical acclaim. Thrillist named Somerset one of Chicago’s “best restaurant openings” in September 2017, Chicago Magazine listed Somerset as #1 in their October Hot List, and received 3 stars from the Chicago Tribune.
Devereaux opened in September 2017, was named by Thrillist as one of Chicago’s “best bar openings”, received 3 stars from the Chicago Tribune, and placed #1 on the hot list for both Eater and Chicago Magazine.
Bellemore opened in December 2017.
Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz were named 'Restaurateurs of the Year' at the Time Out Awards in 2010, by the Chicago Tribune in 2011, and at the Eater Awards in 2012. They were semi-finalists for 'Best Restaurateur in America' at the James Beard Awards in 2015 and were finalists in the same category for the 2016 and 2017 James Beard Awards.
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"Ask any young chef in town, 'Who would you like to work for?' And chances are that Chef would name Kevin Boehm, 40 and Rob Katz, 44, the men behind the hottest restaurant group in Chicago."Chicago Magazine, May 2011
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