The James Beard Foundation announced that the entry and recommendation period for the 2022 James Beard Awards is officially open. These Awards will be the first since 2019 to be presented at an in-person ceremony with a full roster of nominees and honorees, and the first since changes to the Awards were made as a result of a comprehensive audit, which involved an extensive overhaul of policies and procedures for the program.

The James Beard Foundation announced in August 2020 that it would not be handing out Awards in 2021 while the program underwent an internal and external review of policies and procedures, ensuring a more transparent, accessible, and equitable process for future James Beard Awards. As a result of the recommendations, the James Beard Foundation made a number of changes to Awards policies and procedures—and to some of its categories—centered around the organization’s mission to celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture. The changes were made to address systemic bias, increase the diversity of the voting body, and make the Awards more accessible to more communities.

“We are thrilled to announce the call for entry for the 2022 James Beard Awards, with a strengthened commitment toward celebrating the rich diversity of our industry,” says Dawn Padmore, Vice President of Awards. “In light of all the challenges faced since the pandemic, we look forward to returning to the stage, recognizing excellence, and championing an industry where everyone has the opportunity to reach their highest potential.”

The James Beard Awards’ mission is to recognize exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system, as well as a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and a culture where all can thrive. For more than 30 years, the annual James Beard Awards have provided national acclaim and recognition of restaurants, food and beverage professionals, authors, journalists, broadcast media, and others in the food ecosystem.

The James Beard Foundation Awards consist of five separate recognition programs and two special achievement awards: Media Awards (Book, Broadcast Media, and Journalism); Restaurant and Chef Awards; Leadership Awards; Lifetime Achievement; and Humanitarian of the Year Awards.


  • The deadline for submitting entries (Media Awards) and recommendations (Restaurant and Chef Awards and Leadership Awards) is Tuesday, November 30, 2021* at 11:59 P.M. ET.
  • Physical book copies must arrive at the warehouse for review by Monday, December 6, 2021

In an effort to remove any financial barrier to entry, fees for Media Awards have been decreased from $150 to $75 per entry, and limited grants will be available during the first two weeks of the Call for Entry (October 12 to October 26) to cover the entry fee for those who state a financial need.

Awards committee and subcommittee members recommend and vote on recipients of the Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year Awards.

The Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists will be announced on Wednesday, February 23, 2022. Nominees for all award categories will be revealed in the spring (an update will be posted on our website when this date is determined).

Highlights of changes to the 2022 James Beard Awards categories are as follows:

All Media Awards categories (Book, Broadcast Media, and Journalism) will now have an Emerging Voice category to invite and celebrate new voices in this space.

Book Awards

  • Update: American category is now U.S. Foodways, which are books with recipes focused on the cooking or foodways of regions or communities in the United States.
  • Update: Photography category is now Visuals, which will include books on food or beverage with exceptional graphic design, art, illustrations, or photography.

Broadcast Media Awards

  • Categories have been revised overall in order to better reflect the current landscape of the industry and platforms where food content is being created. Highlights of new categories include:
    • Social Media Account, which recognizes excellence in a single food-related post or compilation of up to three posts that clearly represent the intention of the Facebook page, Twitter account, TikTok account, Instagram feed, or other social media format.
    • Reality or Competition Visual Media, which recognizes excellence in food-related video production with realism or competition as its primary intent, whether broadcast, streamed, accessed online or through an app.
    • Commercial Sponsored Visual Media, which recognizes excellence in food-related video production clearly developed and marketed with prominent visual branding. It may be broadcast, streamed, accessed online or through an app. 

Journalism Awards

  • Columns category is now Columns and Newsletters, which recognizes the work of an individual that demonstrates thought-provoking opinion and a compelling style on food- or drink-related topics. An entry consists of three examples of a regularly published column or newsletter, in print or online.

Restaurant and Chef Awards

  • The Rising Star Chef of the Year category is now Emerging Chef with no age limit, in recognition that a chef may become part of the industry at various points in their life.
  • The Outstanding Chef category has changed from someone working as a chef for five years to now at least three consecutive years.
  • The Outstanding Pastry Chef category was previously for a pastry chef or baker who makes desserts, pastries, or breads served in a restaurant. It is now for a pastry chef or chef who makes desserts, pastries, or breads served as part of a meal. Eligible businesses can be a food business and do not need to be brick-and-mortar.    
  • Outstanding Wine Program and Outstanding Bar Program candidates are making efforts to foster a diverse portfolio and team in addition to excellent service.

Alignment Statement

Entries and recommendations for Awards programs will now require a short written statement or audio/visual recording that demonstrates how they and/or their work aligns with one or more of the Awards’ mission and the Foundation’s values. It is important to note that the statement will be evaluated on content and alignment, not for language fluency, video quality, or production value. Entrants are encouraged to write or speak in their own authentic words.

Statements can be submitted in the following formats: 

  • Written (up to 150 words)  
  • Audio (up to 60 seconds)  
  • Video (up to 60 seconds) 

Candidates’ alignment statements will be scored on a scale of 0-10, and will be taken into consideration during the judging process. Committees meet after deadlines close to review the entries and recommendations and confirm eligibility. The voting body, including judges chosen for their category expertise, reviews and votes on the entries to determine the nominees and winners, as applicable to each program.    

For more information and to view the full list of 2022 Awards programs, criteria, and deadlines, please visit the James Beard Foundation’s Awards page. Entries for all categories can be submitted via the online portal there through November 30.

For more information about the new James Beard Awards audit process:

The Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony is slated for June 13, 2022, to be held at the Lyric Opera Theater in Chicago. Dates and details for the Leadership and Media ceremonies to be announced.

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