MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Two Wisconsin chefs have earned national honors for their hard work and dedication to serving the best dishes possible.

On June 5, the James Beard Awards were held to recognize chefs, restaurateurs, authors, and journalists in the United States.

Itaru Nagano and Andrew Kroeger, the chefs at Fairchild in Madison, took home the Best Midwest Chef award.

According to Fairchild’s website, Nagano started cooking at a Japanese restaurant in Madison to relearn the language after moving from Japan to the United States at the age of nine.

After getting hooked on cooking, Nagano moved around the country, making sushi and Japanese food. He lived and cooked in Los Angeles, New York, and Phoenix before moving back to Madison.

Nagano worked under several award-winning chefs, from the likes of Jose Andres to Tom Colicchio. He enjoys making simple food that is simple and not over-complicated but with good ingredients. At Fairchild, he aims to bring fine dining back into casual, having really good food done the right way.

As for Andy Kroeger, he has also been all across the United States, working for some of the most recognizable chefs. He returned to Madison to open Fairchild with Nagano as the two found the perfect place in Madison on Monroe Street.

Kroeger’s specialty is handmade pasta and whole-animal butchering. Fairchild’s website says they will have a pasta section on their menu and plan to purchase whole animals to use in a variety of ways in their dishes.

“What an incredible honor — thank you to every person who made it happen, our friends, family, staff current and former, farmers, producers, guests. To be recognized amongst a crowd of our industry peers and all of the deserving nominees is an honor we don’t take for granted,” read a social media post on the Fairfield Instagram account.

For more information on Fairchild, including details on Chef Nagano and Chef Kroeger, you can click here.