The James Beard Foundation annually awards a wide range of talent in the food and beverage industry in the USA including chefs, restaurateurs, cookbook authors, food journalists, restaurant designers, architects, farmers, bread bakers, winemakers, cheese makers and more.
The awards are considered "the social and gastronomic highlight of the year," a prestigious honor celebrating America's culinary culture. On February 22, the semifinalists were announced and on March 22 at Dickie Brennan's Palace Cafe in New Orleans the finalists will be revealed. The winners are presented on May 3 at the annual black-tie gala at Lincoln Center in New York City marking the 20th anniversary of the awards.
Although the voters are a mix of journalists and past winners, Nation's Restaurant News, through its food writers' blog section, is inviting the public to vote for Who Would You Nominate For James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef?
Some notable winners from 2009 include:
Outstanding Restaurant: Jean Georges (Chef/Owner: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Owner: Phil Suarez, New York, NY)
Outstanding Chef: Dan Barber (Blue Hill, New York, NY)
Rising Star Chef: Nate Appleman (A16, San Francisco, CA)
Best New Restaurant: Momofuku Ko (Chef/Owners: David Chang and Peter Serpico, New York, NY)
Cookbook of the Year: Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes (Author: Jennifer McLagan, Publisher: Ten Speed Press, Editor: Clancy Drake)
Vote here for your pick in a poll for Rising Star Chef , unfortunately public votes will not be included in this year's selection: http://nrnfoodwriter.blogspot.com/2010/02/beard-awards-season-begins.html
Complete list of semifinalists: http://www.jamesbeard.org/files/2010_SEMIFINALISTS_FINAL.pdf