James Beard Foundation Now Accepting Entries for 2019 Awards

The James Beard Foundation announced Monday that the call for entries for the 2019 Awards is officially open. Deadlines for submissions are as follows:

Leadership Awards: December 1, 2018

Book Awards: December 7, 2018

Restaurant and Chef Awards: December 31, 2018

Journalism and Broadcast Media Awards: January 2, 2019

Restaurant Design Awards: January 25, 2019

Several notable changes have been made in both the Media and Restaurant and Chef Award categories, including:

Book Awards: As the publishing industry’s output of food books continues to flourish, the book committee has put in place a two-tiered judging system to handle the large volume of entries. This system will include an initial review by the committee and its judges, and then secondary, more-in-depth review, to ensure a more thorough judging process.

Broadcast Media Awards: The longstanding “Television Segment” category will be expanded to become the “Outstanding Reporting” category in an effort to recognize and affirm the quality of reporting that can be seen in other forms of broadcast media, including radio, podcast or online broadcast. This new category will focus on the individual works for reporter(s).

Journalism Awards: In the Journalism Awards, a newly added “Short-Form Personal Essay” will replace the “Humor” Category. Additionally, to honor the late, multi James Beard Award-winning food writer Jonathan Gold of The Los Angeles Times, the “Local Impact Award” will now be known as the “Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.” Judges hope to discover and Award new writers who are telling stories of their cities and regions, just as Jonathan continually shone a light on his beloved Los Angeles. Finally, the “Food and Health” category will be renamed “Health and Wellness” to better suit the entries focused on mental and physical health and the ways in which diets impact quality of life.

Entry Fees: The James Beard Foundation, together with its supporting sponsor S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, who is committed to shining a spotlight on diverse voices in the industry, will make the first two weeks of entry, October 15– October 29, 2018, free for the Book, Broadcast Media, and Design Awards in order to remove any financial barrier to entry. For work to be published or released after the window closes, (i.e. between October 29 and December 30), the Foundation will allow individuals to write in for exception, which the committees will review on a case by case basis. To ensure the Journalism awards attract new voices, the entry fee for first-time submissions will be waived for the entire entry period (October 15, through January 2, 2019). Individual writers who have never submitted a work and who have never had their work submitted on their behalf by a media company to which they contribute are eligible for this free entry.

Leadership Awards: The James Beard Leadership Awards nomination process has, for the first time, been added to the open public call for candidates. With this shift, the Foundation hopes to ensure that the pool of potential nominees reflects the broadest group of changemakers working to improve our food system overall.

Restaurant and Chef Awards: For Restaurant Design, “Other Eating & Drinking Places” is a new category and award that will honor the diversity of choice in eating and drinking with the expansion of variety and quality designs. Eligible establishments for this new award includes bars, quick service and fast casual restaurants, diners, counter service, food trucks & food halls, ice cream and cake shops, pop-ups, take-out counters, and coffee bars and shops. This new category joins the current categories, for smaller and larger restaurants.

Earlier this month the Foundation announced changes to the policies and procedures that govern its annual Awards. These changes, aimed to increase accessibility, representation, and transparency, will be in effect during this year’s 2019 call for entry period. They are a first step intended to increase gender, race, and ethnic representation in the governance and outcomes of the Awards, as well as to increase transparency of the judging process, and to make entry to the Awards more accessible.

The Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists will be announced February 27, 2019. Nominees for all award categories will be revealed on March 27, 2019

The 2019 James Beard Awards celebrations will begin in New York City on Friday, April 26, 2019, with the James Beard Media Awards, an exclusive event honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists that will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers.

The events then move to Chicago, beginning with the Leadership Awards Dinner on Sunday, May 5, 2019, at which honorees will be recognized for their work in creating a more healthful, sustainable, and just food world. The James Beard Awards Gala will take place on Monday, May 6, 2019, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. During the event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, and America’s Classics. A gala reception will immediately follow, featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country.

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