The James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will return to Chicago in 2016 and 2017.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago; Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation; Don Welsh, president and CEO of Choose Chicago; and Sam Toia, president and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association announced the location for upcoming years.
The first James Beard Awards to be held outside of New York City, the 2015 awards will take place May 4 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
"Ever since we announced last year that Chicago would host the JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards Gala for its 25th anniversary, our great city has been electric with excitement and anticipation," says Mayor Emanuel. "Chicago has a rich history with the Foundation, delivering restaurant and chef winners 23 out of 24 years with more than 40 James Beard Award winners to date.”
The almost sold-out 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards will feature awards for the restaurant, chef, and restaurant design categories, along with special achievement awards including Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America, and America's Classics. A gala reception will immediately follow, featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country.
"We received a groundswell of enthusiastic support from chefs, restaurateurs, and sponsors all across the country when we announced that the silver anniversary of the Awards would take place in Chicago," says Ungaro. "The entire city of Chicago has proven to be a generous and creative partner in planning this year's Awards. Returning for two more years is not only exciting, but offers continuity for even more opportunities for our Foundation's most important event of the year."
The JBF's Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards will continue to remain in New York City.
"Just as we garnered tremendous support from the business, culinary, and travel industries for this year's JBF Awards, Choose Chicago is committed to continuing to create the most memorable experience for this prestigious annual celebration," Welsh says. "The opportunity to welcome America's greatest culinary leaders to Chicago and roll out the red carpet for three straight years continues to align perfectly with our strategies to achieve Mayor Emanuel's goal of attracting 55 million annual visitors by 2020."