Resources

 

Awards Gala General InformationTop

  1. How long is the Awards ceremony?
  2. The Awards ceremony begins at 6:00 P.M. and lasts approximately three hours. The Awards reception immediately follows the ceremony.
  3. Can I come late?
  4. We ask that all guests arrive at Lyric Opera of Chicago before 5:30 P.M. This will help us begin the ceremony on time. Guests arriving late will be seated during appropriate breaks in the program.
  5. Can I volunteer at the Awards?
  6. Event volunteering opportunities are available at the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago on May 2; we are not seeking event volunteers for the Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards on April 26 in New York City. To be considered for opportunities at the James Beard Awards Gala, please email jbfawards@bowenandco.com. Your name will be added to our prospective volunteer list and we will notify you when opportunities become available. Culinary and wine volunteering opportunities are available at the Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner in New York City on April 26; and at the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago on May 2. Check back in March 2016 to learn how you can be added to our prospective volunteer list. 
  7. Is the gala reception seated?
  8. The gala reception is a walk-around tasting. For more information, please call 914.231.6180.
  9. What food is being served?
  10. Our walk-around reception will feature at least 20 recent James Beard Award-winning chefs from around the country who create special tasting dishes for the occasion.
  11. Is the Lyric Opera of Chicago handicapped accessible?
  12. Yes, Lyric Opera of Chicago is handicapped accessible and offers handicapped-accessible seating. When ordering tickets, please inform the box office if you require special seating. For more details, please visit the Lyric Opera website.
  13. Are children permitted to attend?
  14. Alcoholic beverages will be served on the premises. Guests must be 21 years or older to attend.
  15. Is there an after party?
  16. While many local chefs and restaurants host parties after the Awards for their friends, colleagues, and clients, none of these parties are “official” Foundation events. We encourage everyone to celebrate the achievements of the nominees and winners at the gala reception before going to any after parties.

Books, Broadcast & Journalism Awards General InformationTop

  1. What's the format of BBJ Awards Dinner?
  2. The cocktail reception begins at 6:00 P.M.; the seated dinner begins at 7:00 P.M. Guest chefs will create a four-course menu to be served during the ceremony, which usually concludes between 9:00 and 10:00 P.M.
  3. How do I get my tickets?
  4. Tickets will be available online in March 2016. Please call event producers, Bowen & Company, at 914.231.6180 or email boxoffice@jamesbeard.org for further details. No printed tickets will be issued for the event. Guest names appear on a check-in list at the door.
  5. Can I volunteer at the BBJ Awards?
  6. Unlike the James Beard Awards Gala, no event staff or administrative volunteers are needed at this event. Volunteers with culinary training and/or experience should check back for more details available in March. To be added to the prospective volunteer list, please email jbfawards@bowenandco.com.
  7. Is Pier Sixty handicapped accessible?
  8. Yes, Pier Sixty is handicapped accessible. When purchasing tickets, please inform the box office if you require special seating. For more details please call 914.231.6180.
  9. Are children permitted to attend?
  10. Alcoholic beverages will be served on the premises. Guests must be 21 years or older to attend.

Awards Gala TicketsTop

  1. Are there assigned seats for the event? Will I be able to sit with everyone in my party?
  2. Yes, there is assigned seating. We will try our best to seat you with everyone in your party.
  3. How do I get my tickets for the event?
  4. E-tickets will be distributed via email approximately two weeks prior to the event.
  5. Can I pick my tickets up the day of the event?
  6. E-tickets will be distributed via email approximately two weeks prior to the event. However, a “will call” desk will be in the lobby to accommodate last minute requests.
  7. What do I do if I lose my ticket?
  8. Please call the box office at 914.231.6180 to inform us of a lost ticket. You will be asked to arrive early to Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 2, where we will issue you a location pass at the check-in desk.
  9. Does this event sell out?
  10. Yes, this event may sell out.
  11. Are tickets refundable?
  12. Tickets are non-refundable.
  13. I'm a journalist who wants to cover the James Beard Awards Gala on Monday, May 2. Are there tickets for the media?
  14. For press-related inquiries, please email mary.blanton@smapr.com.

AccommodationsTop


Accommodations for the 2016 JBF Awards Gala in Chicago

The James Beard Foundation is pleased to offer discounted rates at the following properties:

Virgin Hotels Chicago
Warwick Allerton Hotel, Chicago

For rates and booking reservations, please click here. If you have further questions, please contact Bowen & Company at 914.231.6180.
 

Directions and ParkingTop


Directions to Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago is located at 20 North Upper Wacker Drive (the theater entrance is at the northwest corner of Madison Street and Wacker Drive). Please take a few minutes to plan your trip and please allow for additional travel time.  ​

By CTA subway and bus:
The following CTA “L” subway and bus stations the theater area:

Subway:
Washington/Wells (Brown/Orange/Pink/Purple lines) — approximately 6 minutes from theater
Clinton (Green/Pink lines) — approximately 10 minutes from theater
Jackson (Blue line) — approximately 15 minutes from theater
Grand (Red line) — approximately 21 minutes from theater

Bus:

Madison & N. Wacker (routes 20, 56, 60, 124, 157, J14) — buss stop is located just outside the Lyric Opera building 


By train:
The Lyric Opera House is conveniently located near both Union Station and the Richard Ogilvie Transportation Center (formerly Northwestern Station). Union Station is bound by the following streets: Clinton (west); Canal (east); Jackson (south); and Adams (north). The Ogilvie Transportation Center is bound by the following streets: Clinton (west); Canal (east); Madison (south)/ main entrance; and Washington (north).


By car:
If you drive on Interstate 290 (Eisenhower) or Interstate 55 (Stevenson) toward the Loop, exit at 90/94 (north). Exit from 90/94 at Washington Street (east). Proceed five blocks east on Washington Street to Wacker Drive. The Civic Opera House is one block ahead on the right (corner of Madison Street and Wacker Drive).

If you take Interstate 90/94 (Dan Ryan) toward the Loop, exit at Washington Street (east). Proceed five blocks east on Washington Street to Wacker Drive. The Civic Opera House is one block ahead on the right (corner of Madison Street and Wacker Drive).

If you take Interstate 90/94 (Kennedy Expressway from O'Hare) toward the Loop, exit at Washington Street (east). Proceed five blocks east on Washington Street to Wacker Drive. The entrance to the Civic Opera House is one block ahead on the right (corner of Madison Street and Wacker Drive).


For out-of-towners:
The Lyric Opera House is at the corner of Wacker Dr. and Madison St.—just a short cab ride (or a pleasant walk) from the Art Institute of Chicago, Symphony Center, Auditorium Theatre, Harris Theatre, Millennium, the Cultural Center, and many other attractions in downtown Chicago. The opera house is also convenient to The Museum of Contemporary Art, Water Tower Place, and to several hotels and restaurants downtown and in the nearby Greek Town, River North, and South Loop neighborhoods.


Valet and Parking at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Parking:
Visit ParkWhiz.com to search for and book Lyric Opera parking at self-park locations near the Opera House. Vehicles dropping off passengers with accessibility needs should approach the Opera House from westbound Madison Street or from the north on Wacker Drive. 


Valet:
ParkWhiz.com offers valet parking options. Valet service is available to Lyric Opera patrons beginning at 5:00pm on May 2.



Directions to Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City

Pier Sixty is housed within the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex, located at 23rd Street and the Hudson River. Vehicles may enter the complex from the West Side Highway between 22nd and 23rd Streets in Manhattan.  

Due to the location of Chelsea Piers we suggest traveling by taxi, limousines, or car.

By car:
To arrive directly at the venue entrance, please instruct your driver to follow all access/parking signs. (Do not follow taxi dropoff.) Please instruct your driver to proceed through the parking gate directly to Pier Sixty, located at the tip of Pier 60. Taxis, cars, and limousines are given 20 minutes of free access in order to drop off and pick up passengers.

Parking at Pier Sixty:
There are several parking lots in the area, including:
Chelsea Piers: entrance is at 23rd Street and the West Side Highway
Edison Fast Park: 507 West 21st Street between 10th and 11th Avenues

By public transportation:
The M23 bus, which runs across 23rd Street, stops at Pier 62, the front door of Chelsea Piers. Pier Sixty is a short walk from Pier 62.

The M14 bus, which runs across 14th Street, stops at West 18th Street, adjacent to Pier 59. Pier Sixty is a short walk from Pier 59.

 

Policies and ProceduresTop

 

A James Beard Foundation Award has become the most coveted honor in the world of food and beverage because of the sound policies and procedures with which they are administered.

 
Governance, Structure, and Operations
 

The Awards Committee of the James Beard Foundation determines policies and procedures for the James Beard Foundation Awards. The volunteer committee consists of the chairperson of each individual Awards program, members of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, and members at large.

The James Beard Foundation Awards consist of six separate recognition programs and two special achievement awards: Books, Broadcast Media, Journalism, Restaurant Design, Restaurants and Chefs, Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, Lifetime Achievement, and Humanitarian of the Year. Each program is administered by an independent volunteer committee whose members serve staggered terms of one to three years. Each committee chairperson reports to the Awards Committee. A committee member is ineligible to enter the awards competition of the program of which he or she is sitting on a committee during his or her year of service. (Though he or she may enter the competition of another awards program.)

Ballot tabulation for the James Beard Foundation Awards is handled by independent accounting firm Lutz and Carr. All results are final and are kept confidential until the Awards presentation ceremony.

The James Beard Foundation Awards are financed by the James Beard Foundation with partial underwriting ("sponsorship") provided by corporations, food product associations, and other contributors. Event and award sponsors neither vote nor influence the policies and procedures of the James Beard Foundation Awards. The James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards receive no outside corporate support and are financed solely by the James Beard Foundation to alleviate any intimation of bias or compromise of topics covered by the journalists.

The James Beard Foundation Awards open call-to-entry begins in mid-October. Semifinalists for the Restaurant and Chef Awards are announced in February. All Awards nominees are announced in March. Winners are announced at the Awards Gala and at the Book, Journalism, and Broadcast Media Awards Dinner in April and May. Each award winner receives a certificate and a bronze medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. Winners receive a complimentary membership for one year to the James Beard Foundation. There are no cash awards.

The Awards were established in 1990 and the first ceremony was in 1991.

 
2016 Awards Committee
 

Paul Bartolotta
​James Biber
Floyd Cardoz​
John Kessler
Michael Lomanaco
​Anne McBride
Steven Olson
Kathleen Purvis
​Phil Vettel
Anne Quatrano
​Ricardo J. Salvador
Zanne Stewart
Toni Tipton-Martin
Phil Vettel
John Washko (Committee Chair)
Andrea Weigl
Emerald Yeh

 

Types of AwardsTop

 
Restaurant and Chef Awards
 

The Restaurant and Chef awards were established in 1990 by the James Beard Foundation.

 

2016 Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee

Bill Addison, Eater.com
Tina Antolini, Host & Producer, Gravy podcast​
Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle
Providence Cicero, The Seattle Times
Jennifer V. Cole, Southern Living
John T. Edge, Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi​
Adam Erace
​Ian Froeb, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Cheryl Alters Jamison, New Mexico Magazine
Kate Krader, Food & Wine
Corby Kummer, The Atlantic and Boston Magazine​
Christiane Lauterbach, Atlanta Magazine and Knife & Fork​
Jordana Rothman
​Patricia Sharpe, Texas Monthly
Tom Sietsema, Washington Post
Phil Vettel (Chair), Chicago Tribune
Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times

Nominee Selection and Judging

Anyone can submit a chef or restaurant for consideration during the online open call for entries in the fall. There is no entry fee.

The Foundation received more than 35,000 entries for the 2015 Restaurant and Chef Awards.

The Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee produces a ballot with approximately 20 semifinalists in each category. This ballot is distributed online to a voting body of over 300 previous James Beard Restaurant & Chef Award winners; 250 panelists divided evenly among 10 regions (see below); and 17 members of the Restaurant and Chef Award subcommittee. All votes count equally and are tabulated by the independent accounting firm Lutz & Carr. The 5 semifinalists with the highest number of votes become the nominees.

The 20 semifinalists in each category are announced in mid-February. A ballot goes out electronically to the judges, and the 5 nominees in each category are announced in March. A second ballot is then distributed to the same voting body. Winners are announced at the Awards ceremony in May.
 

Criteria for Restaurant and Chef Awards

  1. Outstanding Restaurateur
  2. A working restaurateur who sets high national standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for at least 10 years. Candidates must not have won a James Beard Foundation chef award in the past five years.
  3. Outstanding Chef (Presented by All-Clad Metalcrafters)
  4. A working chef in America whose career has set national industry standards and who has served as an inspiration to other food professionals. Eligible candidates must have been working as a chef for the past five years.
  5. Outstanding Restaurant (Presented by Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water)
  6. A restaurant in the United States that serves as a national standard bearer of consistent quality and excellence in food, atmosphere and service. Eligible restaurants must have been in operation 10 or more consecutive years. 
  7. Rising Star Chef of the Year (Presented by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Spring Water)
  8. A chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.
  9. Best New Restaurant (Presented by True Refrigeration®)
  10. A restaurant opened in the calendar year before the award will be given that already displays excellence in food, beverage, and service, and that is likely to make a significant impact in years to come. 
  11. Outstanding Pastry Chef
  12. A chef or baker who prepares desserts, pastries or breads in a restaurant, and who serves as a national standard bearer of excellence.  Must have been a pastry chef or baker for the past five years.
  13. Outstanding Baker
  14. A chef or baker who prepares breads, pastries or desserts in a retail bakery, and who serves as a national standard-bearer of excellence. Must have been a baker or pastry chef for at least five years.
  15. Outstanding Service (Presented by Goose Island Beer Company)
  16. A restaurant in operation five or more years that demonstrates high standards of hospitality and service. 
  17. Outstanding Wines, Beer, or Spirits Professional (Presented by  BACARDÍ® GRAN RESERVA)
  18. A beer, wine or spirits professional who has made a significant national impact on the restaurant industry.
  19. Outstanding Wine Program
  20. A restaurant in operation five or more years that serves as a standard bearer for excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine. 
  21. Outstanding Bar Program (Presented by Tanqueray No. TEN®)
  22. A restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence in cocktail, spirits and/or beer service. 
  23. Best Chefs (10 Regions)
  24. Chefs who have set new or consistent standards of excellence in their respective regions. Eligible candidates may be from any kind of dining establishment and must have been working as a chef for at least five years with the three most recent years spent in the region.


The Regions
Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
New York City (Five Boroughs)
Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY State, RI, VT)
Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
West (CA, HI, NV)
South (AL, AR, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, FL, LA, MS)
Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)
Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)

 

America's Classics

Presented by Brand USA


A restaurant with timeless appeal, beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community. The establishment must have been in existence at least 10 years and be locally owned; preferably it is also informal and moderately priced.

Each year, five winners are chosen by the Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee. Winners are announced at the Nominees Breakfast in March.

 
Book Awards


The Book Awards that are administered by the James Beard Foundation were started in 1966 by French’s Mustard as the R. T. French Tastemaker Awards. They were administered briefly and in turn by Duncan Hines, Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. The James Beard Foundation took them into the fold in 1990.

 

2016 Book Awards Committee

Scott Alves Barton
Hsiao-Ching Chou
​Mehir Desai
Naomi Duguid​
​Robynne Maii
Laurie Ochoa
Tucker Shaw
Andrea Weigl (Chair)

 

Nominee Selection and Judging

Any book published in English in the United States or Canada during the previous calendar year is eligible for an award. Publishers, editors, and authors submit their books for consideration in one of 12 categories:

1. Single Subject
2. Nonfiction Food Writing
3. Reference and Scholarship
4. General
5. American
6. Baking and Desserts
7. Vegetarian/Vegetable-Focused
8. Health
9. International
10. Professional
11. Beverage
12. Photography
 
This year, for the first time, entrants may select to also enter their book in the Photography category. In order to have your book in the photography category, you must enter your book into one of the listed categories, and also enter your book in the photography category.


There is a $100 entry fee for JBF members, $150 for non-members.

The Foundation received more than 400 entries for the 2015 Book Awards.

Four judges are assigned to each category. The judges (48 in total) are not committee members; rather, they’re editors, authors, journalists, and culinary educators who have not published a culinary book during the current Awards year.

Judges are looking for books that contribute to the growing canon of information and knowledge about food and beverage. Content, accuracy, design, and writing style are among the elements considered.

The Book Awards Committee selects the Cookbook of the Year from among the nominated books in each category. Each year the committee also inducts a classic cookbook or an author’s body of work into the Cookbook Hall of Fame.

The nominees are announced at a Nominees Breakfast in March. The winners are announced during the Book, Journalism, and Broadcast Media Awards Dinner in April. The author(s) of the book receive(s) the award.

Criteria for Book Awards

 
Journalism Awards
 

The Journalism Awards were established by the James Beard Foundation in 1992.

 

2016 Journalism Awards Committee

Patricia Calhoun
Roberta Duyff
​Tom Junod
John Kessler (Chair)
Kat Kinsman
Tracie McMillan
Kim O'Donnel
John Willoughby

 

Nominee Selection and Judging

Any article that was published in English in the United States or Canada during the previous calendar year is eligible. Writers, journalists, and editors submit their articles for consideration. There is a $100 entry fee for JBF members, $150 for non-members.

The Foundation received more than 630 entries for the 2015 Journalism Awards.

The judges, who are selected by the Journalism Awards Committee, comprise working editors, journalists (not covering food and beverage topics), retired food and beverage editors and writers, and deans and professors of leading journalism colleges. The judges (more than 100 in total) may not enter in the category that they are judging during the current Awards year.

The judges are looking for accurate, insightful reporting, exceptional writing, unusual perspectives, and other attributes of fine journalism as they pertain to food and beverage topics.

The three nominees in each category are announced at a Nominees Breakfast in March. The winners are announced during the Book, Journalism, and Broadcast Media Awards Dinner in April. The journalist(s) receive(s) the award.

Criteria for Journalism Awards

 
Restaurant Design Awards


The Restaurant Design Awards were established by the James Beard Foundation in 1994.

 

2016 Restaurant Design Awards Committee

James Biber (Chair)
David Darling  
Dung Ngo​
Kristina O'Neal​
Chee Pearlman 

 

Nominee Selection and Judging

Any restaurant or design project that was completed or redone in North America within three years prior to the year the award is being given is eligible. Architects, interior designers, and graphic designers submit their projects for consideration. There is a $100 entry fee for JBF members, $150 for non-members.

The Foundation received more than 175 entries for the 2015 Restaurant Design Awards.

The Restaurant Design Awards Committee is made up of architects, interior designers, and graphic designers. The committee both chooses the jurors who will judge the winners and oversees the process. They are looking for beautiful functional design that seamlessly melds the setting and theme of the restaurant environment.

The nominees are announced at a Nominees Breakfast in March. The winners are announced during the Awards Ceremony in May. The architect(s) or designer(s) receive(s) the award.

Criteria for Restaurant Design Awards

 

Broadcast Media Awards (Presented by Lenox Tableware and Gifts)
 

The Broadcast and New Media Awards were established in 1993 by the James Beard Foundation.

 

2016 Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee

Marion Laney
Deborah Mitchell
Carolyn O'Neil
Ken Rubin
Diane Worthington
Emerald Yeh (Chair)

 

Nominee Selection and Judging

Any English-language TV, radio, or webcast show or segment on food, cooking, or gastronomy, copyrighted and broadcast in the United States or Canada during the previous calendar year is eligible. Producers, writers, hosts, and other people involved in the production submit their work for consideration. There is a $100 entry fee for JBF members, $150 for non-members.

The Foundation received more than 200 entries for the 2015 Broadcast and New Media Awards.

The Broadcast and New Media Awards Committee divides the entries among 10 categories, with 5 to 6 judges are assigned to each category. The judges (more than 50 in total) are chosen by the committee. They include producers, educators, editors, and print journalists. Judges may not enter the category they are judging during current year. They are looking for creativity, accuracy, high production values, and a fresh perspective on food- and beverage-related topics.

The nominees are announced at a Nominees Breakfast in March. The winners are announced during the Book, Journalism, and Broadcast Media Awards Dinner in April. The host(s) or producer(s) receive(s) the award.

Criteria for Broadcast and New Media Awards

 
Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America
 

The Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America was started in 1984 by Cook’s Magazine and Restaurant Business. The James Beard Foundation took them into the fold in 1990.

 

2016 Who’s Who Committee

Dana Cowin
​Ariane Daguin
Robert Del Grande
Sara Moulton
Drew Nieporent
Zanne Stewart (Chair)

 

Nominee Selection and Judging

Any food or beverage industry professional who has made a significant contribution to the industry is eligible for induction. The current members of the Who’s Who are invited to submit names for consideration. Over 70 names were submitted for consideration for 2015.

From the submissions, the Who’s Who Committee creates a nominating ballot and the entire Who’s Who group votes on the inductees for each year. They are looking for unique and long-lasting contribution to the field for at least a decade, with a national impact. The inductees are announced the Awards ceremony in May.

 
Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year Awards
 

The Awards Committee selects the Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian award recipients. They are announced at the Nominees Breakfast in March.

For PR Requests regarding the JBF awards, please contact:
Mary Blanton Ogushwitz
Susan Magrino Agency
212.957.3005
Contact by Email