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2014 James Beard Awards



February 20, 2014

JamesBeard Award Medallion

Before spring officially kicks in the annual food & drink rite of passage begins; a close read of the names of anointed hospitality industry leaders who are fortunate and skilled and lauded and connected enough to have their names land on the semi-finalists’ list for this year’s James Beard Awards. And then the ensuing chatter about whether those nominees are deserving and who was “robbed.”

They say, it’s an honor just to be nominated, and that’s true. In our book, everyone who makes a difference in the lives of restaurant, bar and hotel guests every day is a winner, but for now, let’s just see who the James Beard Foundation ( might be handing an award to on May 5th where the theme for the 2014 Awards is “Sounds of the City.”

This year’s theme explores the enduring relationship between music and food, celebrating the many ways in which the culinary community is inspired by music and the artists who create it. Music has continually played an important role in the culinary world, from inspiring chefs in the kitchen to setting the tone in a dining room and everything in between. A surprising number of chefs have crossed over from the world of music to food and even more continue to express themselves as musicians in their downtime. From Nashville to New Orleans, Detroit to Seattle, this year’s gala reception will feature chefs from some of America’s beloved musical cities creating dishes inspired by their favorite sounds, whether it’s a local musical act, special song, or impactful musician.

There’s no doubt that being nominated for a James Beard Award has an impact on careers. The James Beard Foundation holds an online open call for entries beginning in mid-October of each year. According to sources at the Foundation this year, over 38,000 entries were received, a list which the Restaurant and Chef Committee goes through to determine eligibility and regional representation. Based on the results and eligibility requirements for each award, the committee then produces a nominating ballot that lists the semifinalists in each of the 20 Restaurant and Chef awards categories, some of which include Outstanding Chef (Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters), Outstanding Restaurant, Best Chef in ten different U.S. regions, Rising Star Chef of the Year, Outstanding Service, Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional, Outstanding Bar Program, and Best New Restaurant.

The list of semifinalist nominees is then sent to an independent volunteer panel of more than 600 judges from across the country. This panel, which comprises leading regional restaurant critics, food and wine editors, culinary educators, and past James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award winners, votes on specific award categories to determine Continue Reading…



December 20, 2013

Judging Panel Announced For James Beard Foundation’s 2014 Restaurant Design Awards

JamesBeard Award Medallion

New York, NY (December 19, 2013) – The James Beard Foundation is proud to announce a distinguished panel of jurors that will serve as the judging authority for the 2014 Restaurant Design Awards. This panel invites restaurants, architects, interior designers, and graphic designers to submit their projects for consideration for the 2014 Restaurant Design Awards. The distinguished 2014 jury includes Kristina O’Neal, partner of the James Beard Design Award-winning firm AvroKO in New York City; Clive Piercy, the founder and Creative Director of the Santa Monica, California-based air conditioned design, and a James Beard Design Award nominee in 2012; Los Angeles restaurateur Caroline Styne, a 2012 James Beard nominee for Restaurateur of the Year; Adam D. Tihany, widely regarded as one of the world’s preeminent hospitality designers and an early pioneer of the restaurant design profession; and Marion Weiss, cofounder of WEISS/MANFREDI Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism in New York City, and the Graham Chair Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Restaurant Design Awards were established by the James Beard Foundation in 1994 and have become highly coveted by visionary designers nationwide. “The design of a restaurant is absolutely essential to the overall experience,” said juror Adam D. Tihany. “It is the first impression, a direct extension of the chef, his food and personality. Together, the partnership between design and cuisine create what we understand as dining today.”

Any restaurant or design project that was completed or redone in North America since January 2011 is eligible, and the deadline for entry is Monday, January 20, 2014. The Restaurant Design Awards are comprised of two categories, Restaurants of 76 seats and over; and Restaurants of 75 seats and under. Architecture, Interior Design, Graphic Design, and all other design aspects of a restaurant will now be considered comprehensively in each submission for restaurant design. “The JBF Design Awards signify our commitment to honor all aspects of the culinary industry,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “The judges will be looking for candidates where excellent design is an integral part of the restaurant’s overall concept.” All those interested in submitting projects for consideration should visit for the complete guidelines. The nominees will be announced at a Nominees Breakfast in Chicago in March, with the winners named at the Awards Ceremony on May 5, 2014.

The committee overseeing the awards process is made up of architects, curators, interior designers, and graphic designers who are experts in the field; it’s this committee that has chosen the jurors who will judge this year’s entries. This year’s committee includes James Biber, principal of Biber Architects in Continue Reading…