Underscoring the company’s commitment to culinary excellence and to the City of Chicago, HMSHost announced it will sponsor the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards. The Beard Awards encompass all facets of the food and restaurant world, from chefs to cookbook authors, and rank as the highest honor for food and beverage professionals in North America. In 2015, for the first time, the ceremony will be held outside of New York City, in Chicago.

“We are very proud and excited to be a part of this prestigious event. Chicago is truly a world-class city with world-class culinary taste, so it is only natural that the James Beard Awards would be held here,” says Tom Fricke, president and CEO of HMSHost. “Mayor Emanuel worked tirelessly to secure this event—not surprising given his continued dedication to attracting the very best chefs and restaurants to Chicago.” 

Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and continue to emphasize the Foundation’s mission: to celebrate, preserve, and nurture America’s culinary heritage and diversity. 

HMSHost is the largest restaurant operator in the airport industry, enjoying long-lasting relationships with chefs who entrust the company with their brands. Since 1998, HMSHost has been a provider of high-quality restaurants at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and award-winning food and drink options to O’Hare travelers, including some of Chicago’s best offerings such as Rick Bayless’ Tortas Frontera, Stefani’s Tuscany, Wolfgang Puck, and BJ’s Market. 

“HMSHost is sponsoring this event as a celebration of Chicago’s culinary excellence, something we have been committed to providing this city for the last two decades," Fricke says. "We are proud that many of HMSHost’s partners have had their menus developed by the very best culinary experts in the world."

Since 1990, HMSHost’s partners and concessionaires have racked up more than 40 Beard Award nominations and wins, including: recent 2014 Outstanding Chef winner Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza; 2012 Outstanding Pastry Chef winner Mindy Segal; and Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Wolfgang Puck.

Chef Profiles, Industry News