Contact Information

Please visit our contact page for to reach out regarding general event information, press, sponsorship, and volunteering
 

Awards Process General Information

What are the James Beard Awards?
The James Beard Awards, aka the James Beard Foundation Awards or simply the Beard Awards, are the food industry’s highest honor. Time magazine called them “the Oscars of the food world.” Through the Awards we promote good food for good™ by recognizing those who are making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Awards are given within six main categories: Restaurant and Chef, Book, Journalism, Broadcast Media, and Restaurant Design and Leadership.  

Who are the judges?
The judges for the awards are all experts in their fields selected by the governing committee for each awards category. For example, the Book Awards Committee selects the judges for the Book Awards from a national pool of authors, editors, and other professionals in the publishing field who do not have books up for awards during they year that they are judging. The judges review the entries and vote with ballots. In the case of the Restaurant and Chef Awards, the voting body includes all past Restaurant and Chef winners. The ballots are then tallied by an independent accounting firm. Each Awards program has a slightly different judging system, click here to learn more.

Who enters?
We get thousands of entries from across the U.S.A., and for certain award programs, beyond. The eligibility requirements are different for each Awards program. Click here to find links to each program’s full criteria. Since 2019, awards the Foundation has instituted a period of free entry for those awards that have a fee (namely, Book, Journalism, Broadcast Media, and Design) to allow more access to the Awards. 

How are the Awards financed?
The Awards are a program of the James Beard Foundation, which means the trustees of the Foundation have overall fiduciary responsibility for them. Sponsorship, entry fees, and ticket and advertising sales are intended to cover the cost of the Awards program, which includes fees for the independent auditors, administrative costs for the judging, the costs for the production of the ceremony, and the costs associated with the reception. Additional funds raised from the Awards support the Foundation’s other programs. 

How do I enter?
Click here to enter the awards. Further instructions and criteria can be found on the linked entry website.

How are the Awards financed?
The Awards are a program of the James Beard Foundation, which means the trustees of the Foundation have overall fiduciary responsibility for them. Sponsorship, entry fees, and ticket and advertising sales are intended to cover the cost of the Awards program, which includes fees for the independent auditors, administrative costs for the judging, the costs for the production of the ceremony, and the costs associated with the reception. Additional funds raised from the Awards support the Foundation’s other programs. To learn more about our Impact Programs, click here.

Can you win a James Beard Foundation Award if you haven’t participated in a James Beard Foundation event?
Absolutely. Every step is taken to ensure that the Awards are open to all eligible candidates and administered fairly. James Beard Foundation staff members are not allowed to vote on the Awards, nor are trustees. And although we are extremely grateful to everyone who participates in our events, those events are in no way related to the awards process. Also, you do not need to be a James Beard Foundation member to receive a nomination or win an award.

Is there anything an entrant can do to increase his or her chances of winning?
Besides performing to the best of his or her abilities, there’s nothing anyone can do to affect the outcome of an award. We hear stories of people campaigning for various awards but our procedures are overseen by an independent accounting firm and are not susceptible to outside influence.

Are James Beard Foundation trustees eligible for an award?
No. James Beard Foundation Trustees are not eligible to win a James Beard Foundation Award. (Nor can they influence the voting in any way.) Trustees must sign a statement of conflict of interest that affirms that they or their relatives will not be eligible for an award.

What about staff?
No way. As with the trustees, all management and staff sign a conflict of interest statement that affirms that they or their relatives will not be eligible for an award.

Can sponsors affect the outcome?
Absolutely not. Sponsors do not take part in judging or determine any Awards policies.

What do James Beard Foundation Award winners receive?
Bragging rights, a handsome medal, an impressive certificate, a lot of publicity, and the satisfaction of having been recognized by your peers. In 2019, Leadership Award honorees will receive a $10,000 prize that can be donated to a nonprofit organization of their choice. No other James Beard Awards carry cash prizes.

 

Gala Awards General Information

How long is the Awards ceremony?
The Awards ceremony begins at 6:00 P.M. and lasts approximately three hours. The Awards reception immediately follows the ceremony.

Can I come late?
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.

Can I volunteer at the Awards?
Event and culinary volunteering opportunities are available at the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago. Click here to complete the event volunteer inquiry form and we will reach out as opportunities become available. For further details to apply to be a culinary volunteer, click here.

Is the gala reception seated?
The gala reception is a walk-around tasting. For more information, please call 914.231.6180.

What food is being served?
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.

Is the Lyric Opera of Chicago handicapped accessible?
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.

Are children permitted to attend?
Alcoholic beverages will be served on the premises. Guests must be 21 years or older to attend.

Is there an after party?
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.

 

Media Awards General Information

What's the format of the Media Awards Dinner?
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.

How do I get my tickets?
Tickets will be available online on March 27, 2019 at 12 P.M. ET.. 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.

Can I volunteer at the Media Awards?
Unlike the James Beard Awards Gala, no event staff or administrative volunteers are needed at this event. Volunteers with wine training and/or experience are welcome to apply. For further details to apply to be a wine volunteer, click here. 

Is Pier Sixty handicapped accessible?
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.

Are children permitted to attend?
Alcoholic beverages will be served on the premises. Guests must be 21 years or older to attend.

 

Gala Awards Tickets

Are there assigned seats for the event? Will I be able to sit with everyone in my party?
Yes, there is assigned seating. We will try our best to seat you with everyone in your party.

How do I get my tickets for the event?
E-tickets will be distributed via email approximately two weeks prior to the event.

Can I pick my tickets up the day of the event?
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.

What do I do if I lose my ticket?
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 the day of the Awards where we will issue you a location pass at the check-in desk.

Does this event sell out?
Yes, this event may sell out.

Are tickets refundable?
Tickets are non-refundable.

I'm a journalist who wants to cover the James Beard Awards Gala. Are there tickets for the media?
For press-related inquiries, please email JBFA@magrinopr.com.