Awards FAQs

 

BACKGROUND

 

What are the James Beard Foundation Awards?

The James Beard Foundation Awards, aka the Beard Awards, are the food industry’s highest honor. Awards are given in many categories, including chefs and restaurants, books, journalism, broadcast media, and restaurant design and graphics, as well as for lifetime and humanitarian achievements. Time magazine called them “the Oscars of the food world.” Find out more about the JBF Awards.

 

Who are the judges?

The judges for the awards are selected by the governing committee for each awards category. For example, the Book Awards Committee selects the judges for the book awards. The judges choose the winners by reviewing the entries and voting with secret ballots. The judges are all experts in their fields who may not enter their awards category during the year they are judging. (Judges may, however, enter awards categories they are not judging.) The judging process is overseen by an independent accounting firm.

 

Who enters?

Fortunately, the reputation of the Beard Awards means that we get thousands of entries from across the country. Anyone can enter. Each awards category, such as journalism or books, is administered in a slightly different way consistent with other awards in the field. This means that the entry process, requirements, and deadlines vary from one category to the next. But the process for each category begins on our website, where entry details and forms are posted in mid October for the following year’s awards. See JBF Awards entry details.

 

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.

 

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 assure 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. In fact, some of our highest honors have been received by chefs who have never joined the Foundation or participated in a Foundation event.

 

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 states 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 states 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. There are no cash awards.

 

 

GALA AWARDS GENERAL INFORMATION

 

How long is each Awards Ceremony?
The Gala Awards Ceremony begins at 6:00 P.M. and lasts approximately three hours. The Gala 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. to allow the Awards Ceremony to begin on time. Guests arriving late will be seated during appropriate breaks in the program.

 

Can I volunteer at the Gala Awards?
Event volunteering opportunities are available at the James Beard Awards Gala in Chicago on May 1, 2017; we are not seeking event volunteers for the Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards on April 25, 2017 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.

 

Is the Gala Reception seated?
No, the Gala Reception is a walk- around tasting. For more information, please call Bowen & Company at 914.231.6180.

 

What food is being served at the Gala Reception?
Our Gala 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 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: https://www.lyricopera.org/yourvisit/accessibility.

 

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?
Although many chefs and restaurants around town host parties after the Awards for their friends, colleagues, and clients, none of these parties are technically “official” James Beard Foundation events. We encourage everyone to celebrate the achievement of the nominees and winners at the Gala Reception before going to any after parties to which they have been invited.

 

 

BOOK, BROADCAST, AND JOURNALISM AWARDS GENERAL INFORMATION

 

What is the format for the BBJ Awards Dinner?

The cocktail reception begins at 6:00 P.M., followed by a seated dinner that begins at 7:00 P.M. Guest chefs will create a four-course menu to be served during the Awards ceremony, which usually concludes between 9:00 and 10:00 P.M.. 

 

How do I get my tickets?

Tickets will be available online in March 2017. Please call the 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 BBJ Awards?

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 2017. To be added to the volunteer prospect list that receives information at that time, please email jbfawards@bowenandco.com

 

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 on Monday, May 1, where we will issue you a ticket at the check-in desk.

 

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

 

Are tickets refundable?
Tickets are non-refundable.

 

 

ACCOMMODATIONS  

 

More details on Awards accommodations will be available in early 2017.  If you have further questions, please contact Bowen & Company at 914.231.6180.

 

Directions to Lyric Opera of Chicago

 

Lyric Opera of Chicago, 20 North Upper Wacker Drive

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 5 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 5 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 5 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

 

Valet:

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

 

Parking:

Discounted parking is available for Lyric Opera customers. Discounted rate of $14.00 is applied if you purchase your parking from http://www.thepoetrygarage.com/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.

 

Directions to Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City, located at Pier 60, 23rd Street and West Side Highway

 

Pier Sixty is located within the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex, 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 travelling by taxi, limousines, or car.

 

By car:
Taxis, Cars & Limousines: To arrive directly at the venue entrance, please instruct your driver to follow all access/parking signs. (Do not follow taxi drop-off.) 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 offree access 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 theWest Side Highway
Edison Fast Park:507 West 21st Street (10th-11th Avenue)

By public transportation:
Bus: The M23 bus, which runs across 23rd Street, stops at Pier 62, the front door of Chelsea Piers. From Pier 62, it is a short walk to Pier Sixty.
Bus: The M14 bus, which runs across 14th Street, stops at West 18th Street, adjacent to Pier 59. From Pier 59, it is a short walk to Pier Sixty.

 

 

AWARDS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

RESTAURANT AND CHEF AWARDS

 

Who or what is eligible to win?

Eligibility depends on the Awards category. For instance, to be nominated for a Rising Star Chef award, the chef must be age 30 or younger. Once a chef has won a particular award, he or she is ineligible to win it again for five years, but is still eligible to win an award in another category.

 

How are the nominees selected?

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 Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee discusses and analyzes the open-call-for-entry results in order to compile the nominating ballot. The committee also reviews input from regional panelists. The committee will slate 20 individuals or restaurants (“semifinalists”) in each award category which, in the committee’s good faith and judgment, are both in adherence and compliance with the rules defining categories and delineating eligibility requirements outlined herein and in the Conflicts Policy and appropriate candidates for an award. The committee reserves the right to separate teams on nominating ballot. This list is announced in mid-February. The ballot is distributed electronically to a voting body of more than 300 previous James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award winners; 250 panelists divided evenly among ten regions; and 17 members of the Restaurant and Chef Awards subcommittee. All votes count equally and are tabulated by the independent accounting firm Lutz and Carr. The five semifinalists with the greatest number of votes become the nominees.

 

Who chooses the winners?

The five nominees in each category are announced in March. A second ballot is then distributed to the same voting body that selected the semifinalists. As described above, the judges include previous Restaurant and Chef Award winners, the Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee, leading regional restaurant critics, food and wine editors, and culinary educators. Winners are announced at the Awards ceremony in May.

 

What are the judges looking for?

In each category, the judges are looking for individuals and restaurants whose contribution to their field is unique and long-lasting. The specific criteria depend on the category. For example, the Outstanding Restaurant award is given to a restaurant that is at least ten years old and that has set industry standards, while the Best New Restaurant award is given to a new restaurant judged likely to influence future trends.

 

How many entries were received for this category this year?

We received more than 20,000 entries for the Restaurant and Chef categories this year.

 

 

BOOK AWARDS

 

Who or what is eligible to win?

Any original book published in English and distributed in the United States and Canada during the previous calendar year. The author(s) or photographer(s) of the book receive(s) the award.

 

How are the nominees selected?

Publishers, editors, and authors submit their books for consideration in one of 12 categories: American, Baking and Desserts, Beverage, Health, General, International, Non-Fiction Food Writing, Photography, Professional, Reference and Scholarship, Single Subject, and Vegetarian/Vegetable-Focused. There is a $100 entry fee for JBF members, $150 for nonmembers.

 

Who chooses the winners?

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.

The Book Awards Committee selects the Cookbook of the Year from among the nominated books in each category. From among the books submitted for nomination, an award is given for Outstanding Photography. Each year the committee also inducts a classic cookbook or an author’s body of work into the Cookbook Hall of Fame.

 

What are the judges looking for?

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

 

How many entries were received for this category this year?

We received more than 400 Book Awards entries this year.

 

 

JOURNALISM AWARDS

 

Who or what is eligible to win?

The Journalism Awards are open to any active food and beverage journalist in the United States and Canada. Articles must be submitted in English. Articles must be the original work by the author and published in the previous calendar year.

 

How are the nominees selected?

Writers, journalists, and editors submit their articles for consideration. There is a $100 entry fee for JBF members, $150 for nonmembers.

 

Who chooses the winners?

The judges, who are selected by the Journalism Awards Committee, comprise working editors, journalists, 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 they are judging during the current Awards year.

 

What are the judges looking for?

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

 

How many entries were received for this category this year?

Almost 700 Journalism Awards entries were received.

 

 

RESTAURANT DESIGN AWARDS

 

Who or what is eligible to win?

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.

 

How are the nominees selected?

Architects, interior designers, and restaurateurs submit their projects for consideration. There is a $100 entry fee for JBF members, $150 for nonmembers.

 

Who chooses the winners?

The Restaurant Design Awards Committee is made up of architects, interior designers, and graphic designers. The committee both chooses the five judges who will judge the winners and oversees the process.

 

What are the judges looking for?

The judges are looking for beautiful, functional design that seamlessly melds the setting and theme of the restaurant environment.

 

How many entries were received for this category this year?

More than 170 Restaurant Design Awards entries were received this year.

 

 

BROADCAST MEDIA AWARDS

 

Who or what is eligible to win?

Awards are open to all radio and television broadcasts and webcasts covering food and beverage topics, broadcast and copyrighted for the first time in North America the previous year.

 

How are the nominees selected?

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 nonmembers

 

Who chooses the winners?

Five or six judges are assigned to each of the eight Broadcast Media Awards categories. The judges (more than 50 in total) are chosen by the Broadcast Media Awards Committee. They include producers, educators, editors, and print journalists. Judges may not enter the category they are judging during the current Awards year. Judges may not enter the category they are judging during the current Awards year.

 

What are the judges looking for?

The judges are looking for creativity, accuracy, high production values, and a fresh perspective on food- and beverage-related topics.

 

How many entries were received for this category this year?

We received more than 230 Broadcast Media Awards entries this year.

 

 

WHO’S WHO OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE IN AMERICA

 

Who or what is eligible to win?

Any food- or beverage-industry professional who has made a significant contribution to the industry is eligible for induction.

 

How are the nominees selected?

The current members of the Who’s Who are invited to submit names for consideration.

 

Who chooses the winners?

The Who’s Who Committee discusses and analyzes the call-for-entry results on order to compile a final ballot. At its discretion, the committee will slate 20 individuals in 5 categories, who must represent a cross-section of food and wine related activities and who, in the committee’s good faith judgment, are in adherence and compliance with the rules delineating criteria and eligibility requirements and are appropriate candidates for an award.

 

What are the voters looking for?

They are looking for individuals who have made unique and long-lasting contributions to the culinary field for at least a decade, with a national impact.

 

How many entries were received for this category this year?

Almost 70 names were submitted for consideration for 2016.

 

 

ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

 

The Awards Committee selects the Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian Award recipients. The Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee chooses the five America’s Classics award winners.

 

For information about the James Beard Foundation’s Leadership Awards for visionaries helping to create a safer, healthier, and more sustainable food world, visit jbfleadershipawards.org.