Another feather in Chicago's culinary cap

June 12, 2008

As you doubtless know by now, last night Chicago's own Stephanie Izard became the first female to win Bravo's Top Chef reality show. Not only was the Chicagoan a fan favorite, the entire season was filmed here in Chicago. Add that to Grant Achatz's winning the James Beard award earlier this week and Chicago's looking like anything but the Second City where food is concerned. Watching the finale at a bar last night the civic pride was palpable. When Stephanie was announced as the winner, the whole place erupted in applause (almost as much excitement as when I watched the White Sox win the World Series at a northside bar). Anyhow, all this got me thinking: is there something about Stephanie's hard-working, appropriately humble personality that is common to Chicagoans? I think those attributes are more rewarded and encouraged in creative professionals in Chicago than in our coastal counterparts, NYC and LA. What do you think? Am I just drinking the Windy City Kool-Aid or is there something to this notion? And if there is something to it, could Stephanie's victory be a symbolic approval for the "Chicago way" of working in creative fields?
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