Press Releases

May 3, 2023

HMSHost Celebrates Road to the James Beard Awards with Chef Series at Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Star-studded Lineup of Award-winning Chefs and Restaurateurs Includes Rick Bayless, Paul Kahan, Greg Wade, and Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants

BETHESDA, Maryland (May 3, 2023) – Global restaurateur HMSHost, a world leader in creating dining for travel venues, is celebrating Chicago’s rich culinary scene this month as Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) prepares to welcome hundreds to the city for the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious James Beard Awards on Monday, June 5. Throughout May, HMSHost’s JBF@ORD Chef Series will give passengers traveling to or through O’Hare the chance to meet talented, James Beard Award-winning chefs, bakers, and restaurateurs, and taste some of their delicious culinary creations.

“HMSHost operates many exceptional dining venues at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, several of which are in partnership with James Beard Award-winning chefs and brands, including Tortas Frontera by Rick Bayless, Summer House Santa Monica by Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants, and Publican Tavern by One Off Hospitality,” said Stephen Douglas, HMSHost Vice President of Business Development. “We are incredibly excited to bring such a star-studded lineup of culinary professionals to the terminal this month, so travelers can experience Chicago as one of the country’s top destinations for food — even if they never leave the airport.”


Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Rick Bayless (Tortas Frontera)

12 – 1 p.m.

Terminal 3 – Near Gate K2

Come meet James Beard Award-winning chef Rick Bayless and sample his famous guacamole. Fifty lucky travelers will also take home a signed copy of Rick’s cookbook, “More Mexican Everyday.” Chicago-born Fannie May chocolates will also be there with plenty of samples and giveaways.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Matt Bonanno (BonAnno Vintners)

1 – 2 p.m.

Terminal 2 – Near Gate E1

Join Matt Bonanno, Chicago resident and founder of Napa Valley’s BonAnno Vintners, to taste the Summer House Rosé — made exclusively for Summer House Santa Monica, which HMSHost opened at O’Hare in 2016 in partnership with James Beard Award-winning Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants. Ferrero Rocher chocolates will also be there with plenty of samples and giveaways.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Paul Kahan (One Off Hospitality) and Greg Wade (Publican Quality Bread)

1 – 2 p.m.

Terminal 2 – Near Gate E1

Come meet James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Kahan and James Beard Award-winning baker Greg Wade and enjoy a Spring Tartine with Asparagus, Pea Shoots, & Pecorino, made on Publican Quality Bread. Several lucky travelers will also take home a copy of one of their cookbooks, “Cheers to the Publican,” “Cooking for Good Times,” or “Bread Head.” Lindt chocolates will also be there with plenty of samples and giveaways.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Osvaldo “Ozzie” Ocegueda and Ben Goodnick (Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants)

1 – 2 p.m.

Terminal 2 – Near Gate E1

Come meet two chefs from James Beard Award-winning Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants as they serve up samples of Summer House Santa Monica’s popular cauliflower hummus, along with an ahi tuna and watermelon tostada. Ghirardelli chocolates will also be there with plenty of samples and giveaways.

“We’re honored to partner with HMSHost and the James Beard Foundation to showcase some of the best flavors Chicago has to offer at O’Hare’s award-winning restaurants,” Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee said. “Chicago is a world-class culinary destination, and while we always encourage travelers to explore everything the city has to offer, we’re proud to offer them a taste of that excellence even if they’re only passing through our great airports.”

Local students from the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart® program — a two-year, industry-backed culinary arts and restaurant management program for high school students — will participate in the JBF@ORD Chef Series during the events on May 9, May 24, and May 30. The students — from Manley Career Academy High School, Roberto Clemente Community Academy, and Benito Juarez Community Academy in Chicago — will gain firsthand experience supporting a culinary event in the terminal at one of the world’s busiest airports.

For more information about the JBF@ORD Chef Series, visit or visit the temporary exhibition in Terminal 2, near gate E1, at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

HMSHost Leading the Industry

HMSHost is recognized by the industry as the leader in travel dining with awards such as Restaurateur with the Highest Regard for Customer Service and Best Brand Restaurateur for Shake Shack by Airport Experience News. USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards gave first place honors to both of HMSHost’s Whisky River locations at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport. ACI-NA, the trade association representing commercial service airports in the United States and Canada, recognized HMSHost with the 2020 Associate Inclusion Champion Award, for leadership and achievement in the ongoing inclusion of business and workforce diversity, outreach, and advocacy. Additionally, ACI-NA awarded HMSHost the 2022 Excellence in Airport Concessions Award for the Best Employee Recognition Program. The company also creates original award-winning events and campaigns including Airport Restaurant Month, Channel Your Inner Chef live culinary contest, 1,000 Acts of Kindness, and Eat Well. Travel Further.

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates locations all over North America, and is part of Dufry Group (SIX: DUFN –, the leading travel experience player worldwide that uniquely combines retail, food & beverage and digital. The group serves 2.3 billion passengers in more than 75 countries in 5,500 outlets across 1,200 airports, motorways, cruise lines, seaports, railway stations and other locations across six continents. Visit for more information and connect with HMSHost on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.