This year, Newcity’s Big Heat feature focuses on those who stand behind the chef in the kitchen. To compile our list, we confer with people who’ve been on the Big Heat Food and Drink 50 in the past, and then we research the growing list of candidates and speak to them. This list includes restaurateurs and restaurant groups, and sometimes chefs themselves; the support people behind those restaurants, including farmers, investors and designers; the people who make beverages, like spirits and beer; and, of course, members of the media.
Making selections for a list like this is always a challenge. We want to recognize the people who’ve succeeded big time—the restaurant groups and others that bring such wonderful dining experiences to our city—but we also want to recognize promising upstarts.
We have no doubt left out many very worthy individuals, and for that we are regretful. At the same time we realize that we are limited by the need to include a wide range of people, from many places in our food culture. We feel confident, though, that our list covers many of the brightest lights in the Chicago culinary firmament, and we hope this Big Heat issue introduces you to people you may never have heard of but who will, in years to come, grow to become critically important players in our city’s ever-evolving food scene. (David Hammond)
Big Heat 50 2023 is written by Cynthia Clampitt, Melissa Elsmo, David Hammond, Tom Keith and Monica Kass Rogers.
All photos by Joseph A. Mietus.
Shot on location at From Here On Food Hall & Market in the Old Post Office building.
Dining and Drinking Editor for Newcity, David also writes a weekly food column for Wednesday Journal in Oak Park and is a frequent contributor of food/drink and travel pieces to the Chicago Tribune, Plate Magazine and other publications. David has also contributed chapters to several books, including Street Food Around the World, Street Food, and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org