James Beard Awards Will Move from New York City to Chicago in 2015

05/20/2014 at 12:56 PM ET

James Beard medal
Victor Spinelli/WireImage

The James Beard Foundation is getting into a Chicago state of mind.

For the first time in a quarter century, the culinary non-profit will move its annual awards ceremony out of the Big Apple and to the Windy City, with the ceremony to be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 4, 2015.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel was joined by James Beard Foundation (JBF) president Susan Ungaro, and representatives from tourism organization Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association to announce the decision. Also attending were more than 30 chefs, including previous James Beard award winners like Rick Bayless, Jimmy Bannos, Jr. and Stephanie Izard.

“The James Beard Foundation has enjoyed a special friendship with the city of Chicago for decades. It’s a city that boasts over 40 James Beard Award winners, as well as a special community of chefs and restaurateurs who have always supported the work of our Foundation,” said Ungaro in a statement. She also mentioned that the move was “consistent with our mission to honor excellence all across America.” This year, Jimmy Bannos, Jr. of Chicago’s Purple Pig restaurant was one of two recipients of the Rising Star Chef of the Year award.

This isn’t the first time the JBF has planned an awards-related event in Chicago. Events for the nominations announcements have been held at Frontera Grill, one of Bayless’ restaurants, in 2009 and more recently at The Publican, a Paul Kahan-owned restaurant in the West Loop neighborhood, in March.

—Lexi Dwyer

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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