An insiders' look at the 2024 MenuMasters Awards

Menu Talk: Pat and Bret deconstruct the ceremony and gala and share their take on the National Restaurant Show.

Menu editors Pat Cobe and Bret Thorn were among the guests who celebrated the winners of the 2024 MenuMasters awards on Saturday. We were in the thick of the event at Morgan Manufacturing in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, sampling the chef-prepared food at the various stations and talking to the eight chefs honored this year.

Chef and restaurateur Nancy Silverton was inducted into the MenuMasters Hall of Fame, and we talk on the podcast about her accomplishments as a chef and restaurateur. She was particularly touched to receive an award from the industry, and commented on how these awards celebrate the diversity of restaurants represented at the ceremony. Other winners included fast casuals Cava and Tender Greens, quick-service players Del Taco and McDonald’s and casual-dining concept Fogo de Chao.

Indian entrepreneur Meherwan Irani and digital cooking guru Samuel “Sam the Cooking Guy” Zien were also honored, further reflecting that diversity.

We also dish on the wild MenuMasters “after party,” where special effects, music, dancing and more food and drinks kept guests hopping until almost midnight.

MenuMasters took place during the National Restaurant Show, so we roamed the exhibits and chatted about our favorite tastes, sips and happenings.

Menu Talk is a collaboration between Restaurant Business Senior Menu Editor Pat Cobe and Bret Thorn, senior food & beverage editor of Nation’s Restaurant News and Restaurant Hospitality. You can subscribe to it wherever you listen to podcasts.

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