Press Releases

May 8, 2017

HMSHost Showcases Culinary Excellence at James Beard Awards Gala with Sponsorship and Tasting Presentation

Celebrates third year as the sole travel dining sponsor for prestigious culinary awards

CHICAGO — Global restaurateur HMSHost leads the way for culinary travel dining with its third year of sponsorship of the prestigious James Beard Awards that honor culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields. HMSHost is the exclusive representative and sponsor from the travel dining industry to celebrate the recognition of this elite group of culinary professionals.

At the James Beard Awards gala reception held in Chicago, HMSHost was among top chefs and beverage professionals, including recent James Beard Award-winning chefs, from across the country to showcase and offer special tasting dishes for gala attendees. HMSHost’s elite culinary presentation spotlighted its award-winning Wicker Park Seafood & Sushi offerings at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

“As the only representative from the airport dining industry, our leadership in culinary innovation is truly highlighted by our ongoing sponsorship of the James Beard Awards in Chicago, a city renowned for its food offerings,” said HMSHost Chief Operating Officer Jeff Yablun. “We congratulate our HMSHost partner chefs recognized this year, including Hugo Ortega, Rick Bayless, and Suzanne Goin. Our relationship with these outstanding chefs underscores our commitment to bring the very best culinary excellence from around the world to travelers.”

HMSHost’s partnerships with 2017 James Beard Award honorees include: Best Chef Southwest winner, Hugo Ortega, who partnered with HMSHost to bring Hugo’s Cocina to George Bush Intercontinental Airport; Rick Bayless, honored with Outstanding Restaurant for Topolobampo, whose HMSHost partnership includes two Tortas Frontera locations at Chicago O’Hare International Airport; and 2017 James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food & Beverage inductee Suzanne Goin, who partnered with HMSHost to offer Larder at Tavern at Los Angeles International Airport.

In addition to this year’s recognized chefs, HMSHost operates restaurants in partnership with other talented chefs previously honored by the James Beard Foundation including Wolfgang Puck, Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, and Todd English, among others. HMSHost’s relationships with all of these chefs and the extraordinary food they create are paramount in creating unforgettable dining experiences for our guests.

This year's awards theme was \"Powered by Food.” It celebrated the thrilling ways that technology has strengthened our connections through food, from the blog post that sparks a trend, to the Instagram that inspires us, and the shared images that become our portal to cuisine from far afield.

HMSHost executive chefs developed a large scale display to showcase delectable and Instagram-worthy culinary and beverage creations. This included the King Crab & Cherries with miso butter poached king crab, wasabi edamame puree, cherry aka shiso fluid gel, and salted hazelnut praline; as well as the Utsukushi Budo “Beautiful Grapes” with Junmai Sake, Cocchi Aperitivo Americano, meritage, grapefruit bitters and demerara sugar.

Learn more about HMSHost’s culinary partnerships at

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 Autogrill Group, the world's leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. Visit for more information.