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James Beard Foundation



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…



August 31, 2012

>By Melanie Young

Much has been written about the legacy of Julia Child, who would have turned 100 years old this week. Many of her colleagues and admirers have posted their Julia recollections and tributes online. In my role as president of Les Dames d’Escoffier New York ( I have responded to a number of questions on what she meant to the food and beverage industry and to women who work in the field, which is significant. People have shared their favorite recipes from her cookbooks, most notably Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

But as someone with both a palate and passion for good food who professes to be neither a professional chef or home cook, just a woman lucky enough to have wonderful people in her life who enjoy cooking for her, my lessons from Julia are not about cooking.

I was fortunate in my life to have connected with Julia on several occasions in my role as Awards Director for The James Beard Foundation (, escorting her to media interviews, working with her on her script for various shows and producing a tribute in her memory after she left us. She was a towering woman in height and in personality, and I admired her for many reasons that did not necessarily all have to do with food.

I admired Julia as a role model. Here was a woman who found her passion for fine food while living in France and pursued serious cooking in her late 30s. She published her first cookbook in her 50s and went on to become a television star long after many much younger women today are deemed to old for the screen. Her book had been turned down multiple times until it met the keen eye of Editor Judith Jones, but she did not let rejection turn into dejection. Julia demonstrated that a late bloomer can really blossom into something wonderful.

Julia’s height, her voice, her looks were uniquely her own and she played them up well. Today, it seems so many women need to alter their looks to feel comfortable with themselves.

Julia, like me, was a breast cancer survivor and at a time when Continue Reading…



April 28, 2012

By Francine Cohen and Victoria Ruvolo

“…showers bring May flowers.” And, the James Beard Awards.

Yes, it’s that time again. Time to see who steps onto the stage at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall to accept the medal that announces to the hospitality industry that he (or she) is at the top of their game.

About a month ago the 2012 James Beard award nominees were announced, leaving the food world all a buzz. And the chatter will last up until late in the evening of May 7th, when the last award has been handed out and the last morsel of food created by the country’s best chefs and the last drop of champagne has been savored by the winners.

In celebrating the 25th anniversary of the foundation, and 23 years of bestowing these awards, it is evident that the James Beard Foundation is as much a winner as any of the stellar culinary and beverage artists who got a nod. James Beard Foundation President, Susan Ungaro, notes, “This year is the 25th anniversary of the foundation. And the 23rd year of the awards. Our awards committee wanted this year’s event to celebrate 25 years of American food at its best and salute the legacy of James Beard. Most notably, after our ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall, the grand tasting will feature chefs from all over the country each creating a recipe from one of James Beard’s cookbooks. He was not only a restaurant advisor/consultant, but also a mentor to a number of great restaurant owners and chefs; many of whom went on to win.”

She continues, “We are really excited about the fact that we’re playing up James Beard’s role in the development of the food world. How prescient he was Continue Reading…



March 23, 2011

Congratulations to the nominees for 2011

The James Beard Foundation is proud to announce the final nominees for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation’s most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries.

The nominees were announced during a press conference at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland, OR, hosted by Susan Ungaro, James Beard Foundation President, Woodrow W. Campbell, James Beard Foundation Board Chairman, and Eric Stromquist, Oregon Culinary Institute President. This is the third year that the Foundation has taken its nominations announcement “on the road,” and with Portland being James Beard’s birthplace and hometown, it was the ideal setting for the annual nominations event. Nominees in 55 categories were announced in the Foundation’s various awards programs – Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design and Graphics, Book, Broadcast and Journalism – in addition to special achievement award honorees including Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America and America’s Classics. A complete list of nominees can be found at the end of this release, as well as on

On Friday, May 6, 2011, the James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner, an exclusive event honoring the nation’s top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists, will take place at Espace in New York City. The evening will be hosted by Ted Allen and Gail Simmons. On Monday, May 9, 2011, Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and Traci Des Jardins will host the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. During the event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design and Graphics categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards including Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Who’s Who and the America’s Classics award honorees. During the Gala Reception immediately following, top culinary talents from across the country will serve dishes that reflect the nation’s diverse and multi-cultural influences in a nod to this year’s awards theme, “The Ultimate Melting Pot.”

In addition, for the first time in the history of the Journalism awards category, judging will be based solely on content and not on the outlet or type of specific media. This year, the Journalism awards will be platform neutral, giving more opportunities to reward excellent work, regardless of whether a story appears in a newspaper, a magazine or an online outlet. Name and format changes have also been made to the individual categories, and there are also a number of new Journalism awards categories, including Humor, Personal Essay and Profile. A special Publication of the Year Award has been added as well.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and continue to emphasize the Foundation’s mission: to celebrate, preserve, and nurture America’s culinary heritage and diversity. Each award category has an individual Awards Committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program. All award winners receive a certificate and a bronze medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. There are no cash prizes.

Tickets to the May 9th Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception are now on sale and can be purchased at or through the Awards Box Office at 212.925.0054. General public tickets are $450 ($400 for James Beard Foundation members).

The 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards are presented with support by the following partners: In Association Sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters, Groupon; Premier Sponsors: Green & Black’s® Organic Chocolate, Lenox Tableware and Gifts, Mercedes-Benz; Supporting Sponsors: The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Lavazza, Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, Stella Artois; Gala Reception Sponsors: Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water, Certified Angus Beef® Brand, Ecolab, Pernod Ricard USA, Rums of Puerto Rico, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water; and with additional support from Chefwear and St. Giles Hotel.

About the James Beard Foundation
Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, and publications, and by maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit Find insights on food at the James Beard Foundation’s blog Delights & Prejudices. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter.

2011 James Beard Foundation Awards Nominees

2011 James Beard Foundation Book Awards
Presented by Green & Black’s® Organic Chocolate

For cookbooks published in English in 2010
Winners will be announced May 6, 2011

American Cooking
The Food, Folklore, and Art of Lowcountry Cooking by Joseph E. Dabney (Cumberland House)

The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual by Frank Castronovo, Frank Falcinelli, and Peter Meehan (Artisan)

Pig: King of the Southern Table by James Villas (John Wiley & Sons)
Continue Reading…



February 18, 2011

James Beard Foundation announces 2011 James Beard Award restaurant, chef and wine & spirits professionals seminfinalists

Photo by Eileen Miller

28,000 f&b professionals were recommended. But only an elite group made the cut.

Together the semifinalists represent a prestigious group of chefs, restaurateurs, and spirits/wine professionals who, with their culinary talent and spirited approach to hospitality, have reached point in their career where it’s become evident that these f&b industry leaders are people you need to know.

On Monday, March 21, 2011, the James Beard Foundation ( will announce the final Restaurant and Chef nominees, as well as nominees in all awards categories – including Restaurant Design and Graphics, Book, Broadcast and Journalism nominees – and special achievement award honorees during an invitation-only luncheon at the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland, OR. The nominations will also be announced live via the James Beard Foundation’s Twitter page at The list of final Restaurant and Chef nominees will include five finalists in each award category, narrowed down from the list of semifinalists by a panel of more than 550 judges.

”We are delighted to bring this year’s nominations announcement press event to Portland, where James Beard was born and where his first food memories were created,” says Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation. “Today, Portland is home to so many wonderful restaurants and chefs, including five James Beard award winners, which is certainly a testament to the Foundation’s ongoing mission to foster and celebrate culinary talent from across the country.”

The annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner, an exclusive event honoring the nation’s top cookbooks, culinary broadcast programs and food journalists, will take place on Friday, May 6, 2011 at Espace in New York City. The following Monday evening, the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will take place at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, during which the Restaurant and Chef and the Restaurant Design and Graphics awards will be handed out, along with a number of special achievement awards, including Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and Who’s Who honorees, as well as the five America’s Classics award winners. All award winners receive a certificate and a bronze medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia.

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped Continue Reading…