The Foundation made the decision to forgo its traditional Awards presentation in 2020 and 2021, including the Restaurant and Chef Awards, Media Awards (Book, Broadcast Media and Journalism Awards), and Restaurant Design Awards, in order to take time for self-reflection around who and where we are as an organization. The 2020 Media and Leadership Awards were recognized and presented in virtual events. 

In the last year, the Foundation conducted an audit of the policies and procedures of the Awards. The objectives: to continue the work to remove any systemic bias; increase the diversity of the voting body; ensure that communities far and wide know about the Awards and how eligible candidates may apply; increase transparency in how the Awards function; and align the Awards more outwardly with the Foundation’s mission and values.

Read more about the changes to the James Beard Awards audit here.
 

The following are policies and procedures for the 2022 James Beard Awards. This page will receive additional updates in advance of the open call for entries and recommendations in October 2021. For FAQs, please click here.

Sign up for the Awards newsletter for future updates.

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.

Governance, Structure, and Operations
All members of the Awards Committee, Awards subcommittees and judging bodies commit to upholding the James Beard Foundation’s Awards mission and values, ensuring that it is carried through in its Awards policies and procedures. Subcommittee members and Judges also commit to actively bring in new voices to the Awards voting body so that it remains relevant, equitable, and sustainable.

The Awards Committee of the James Beard Foundation oversees the administration of the James Beard Awards, determining policies and procedures for the efficient operation of the program. The volunteer committee consists of the chairperson from each individual Awards program (Leadership, Book, Broadcast, Journalism, and Restaurant and Chef), members of the Foundation's Board of Trustees, and at-large members from the food and beverage industry.

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

The Foundation, in consultation with the Restaurant Design committee, made the difficult decision after the 2020 Awards to discontinue the Restaurant Design Awards. Starting with the 2022 Awards, we will no longer be accepting Restaurant Design entries. We recognize that restaurant design is not only a key aspect of a diner’s experience but is also extremely important in how the restaurant and its workers function, so we hope to continue highlighting the significance of design in future programming.

Each Awards program is administered by an independent volunteer subcommittee, whose members serve staggered two two-year terms. Each subcommittee chairperson reports to the Awards Committee.

All Awards Committee and subcommittee members agree to and sign a code of conduct, conflict of interest, and a non-disclosure form. All committee members and judges are also required to complete an annual DEI training at the beginning of the Awards year.

Subcommittee members are ineligible to enter or to be considered for the Awards program for which they serve, though they may enter the competition of another awards program. Awards Committee members are ineligible to enter or to be considered for any of the Awards programs.

Process
  • The Media Awards (Book, Broadcast Media, and Journalism) conduct an Open Call for Entries that require an entry fee of $75.00 per entry. Limited grants will be available to cover the entry fee for those who state a financial need. More details will be provided during the Call for Entries.
  • The Restaurant and Chef and Leadership Awards conduct an Open Call for Recommendations, in addition to recommendations provided by the Awards program’s voting body. Recommendations from the public are reviewed and considered by the Subcommittee. There are no entry fees for these programs.
  • There is no open call for entries for the Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year Awards. Prospective candidates are researched and recommended by Awards Committee members, subcommittee members, and judges from all Awards programs. 
Timing  

The James Beard Awards will begin receiving entries for the Awards October 1 through November.   

Open Call for Entries information will be available on our Awards homepage in October. Please visit us again. 
 

Alignment Statement


Entries and recommendations for Awards programs will now require a short write-up or audio/visual recording that demonstrates how they and/or their work aligns with one or more of Awards mission and the Foundation’s values. Entrants may choose to highlight one or more of the demonstrated commitments of the Awards mission, and are encouraged to write or speak in their own authentic words. The statement will be reviewed for content and alignment and not for grammar, video quality, or production value.   
 

  • 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 when committees and judges are voting on all other Awards category criteria.  

Committees meet after deadlines close to review the entries and recommendations, confirm eligibility, and in some cases, make the first cut.

The voting body, including judges chosen for their expertise per program, review and vote on the entries to determine the nominees and winners, as applicable to each program.

2022 Awards Announcements

Late winter announcements: Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists.

Early spring announcements: Nominees (finalists) for Media and Restaurant and Chef Awards; Honorees for Leadership, Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year Awards.

In June, winners are announced and recognized at the Media Awards, Leadership Awards and Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremonies, including the America’s Classics honorees, respectively. Leadership Awards recipients are recognized at a separate ceremony.

Each Award winner and honoree receives a certificate and a silver medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. The specific program’s eligibility and criteria will be available soon for more details. They will be available in advance of the open call for entries and recommendations.

The Humanitarian of the Year honoree also receives a $20,000 prize to further the honoree’s work, kindly funded by the Michael Phillips Humanitarian Fund.


2022 Awards Committee

The 2022 committee lists will be updated this Fall.


Achievement Awards

All subcommittee members recommend and vote on candidates for the Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year Awards. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America. The Humanitarian of the Year Award is given to an individual or organization working in the realm of food who has given selflessly and worked tirelessly to better the lives of others and society at large.

Click here for information on the voting process for achievement awards.

 

JAMES BEARD AWARDS PROGRAMS

The Media Awards comprise three separate programs: Book, Broadcast Media, and Journalism Awards.

 

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.

2022 Book Awards Committee

The 2022 committee lists will be updated this Fall.


Eligibility

Cookbooks and other non-fiction food- or beverage-related books that were published in English in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021 are eligible to enter the 2022 James Beard Book Awards. Books from foreign publishers must bear a 2020 or 2021 U.S. copyright date. Publishers, editors, and authors submit their books for consideration in one of the Book Award categories. The categories may change slightly each year to reflect trends in publishing.

The eligibility criteria and list of categories will be available on this page in advance of the open call for entries.

The Book Subcommittee reviews all entries for eligibility and may disqualify entries, reassign entries to different categories and remove certain categories if they see fit.

Judges and Judging

The Book Awards subcommittee members and its judges are editors, authors, journalists, and culinary educators who have not contributed to a culinary book in the category they are judging during the current Awards year.

Judges are recommended by Awards Committee and subcommittee members and are asked to apply annually. Applications are reviewed, and judges for that year are then selected by the Book subcommittee and are assigned to a category with which they have no conflicts of interest. There are six judges per category. Committee members do not vote.

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.

Committee-Chosen Awards

The Book Awards Committee selects the Emerging Voice and Cookbook Hall of Fame winner each year if they determine there is a worthy honoree. Entries will not be accepted for these two categories.

Announcements

The nominees are announced in Spring. The winners are announced during the Media Awards ceremony in June. The author(s) or designer(s) of the book receive(s) the Award.

 

Broadcast Media Awards

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

2022 Broadcast Media Awards Committee

The 2022 committee lists will be updated this Fall.
 
Eligibility

The  Broadcast Media Awards are open to all works in English from digital and terrestrial media — social media, radio, television broadcasts, podcasts, documentaries, online sites — covering food and beverage topics appearing widely for the first time in the United States in 2020 and 2021. Content in another language may be submitted as long as an English translation or English subtitles are also provided. Producers, reporters, writers, hosts, and other people involved in the production submit their work for consideration.

The eligibility criteria and list of categories will be available on this page in advance of the open call for entries recommendations.

The Broadcast Media Subcommittee reviews all entries for eligibility and may disqualify entries, reassign entries to different categories and remove certain categories if they see fit.

Judges and Judging

The Broadcast Media Awards subcommittee members and its judges are producers, educators, editors, and print journalists.

Judges are recommended by the Awards committee and subcommittee members and are asked to apply annually. Applications are reviewed and judges for that year are then selected by the Broadcast Media subcommittee and are assigned to a category with which they have no conflicts of interest.

There are six judges per category. Committee members do not vote.

Judges are looking for content, originality, high production values, and a fresh perspective on food and beverage-related topics.

Committee-Chosen Awards

The Broadcast Media Awards Committee selects the Emerging Voice Award winner each year if they determine there is a worthy candidate. Entries will not be accepted for these two categories.

Announcements

The nominees are announced in Spring. The winners are announced during the Media Awards ceremony in June. The host(s), reporter(s), or show receive(s) the Award.

 

Journalism Awards

The Journalism Awards were established by the James Beard Foundation in 1992.
 
2022 Journalism Awards Committee

The 2022 committee lists will be updated this Fall.

Eligibility

Work published – or self-published – in 2020 and 2021 in any medium are eligible for entry. Entries must be in English and cover food- or drink-related topics. Entries in other languages may be submitted if an English translation is also provided. Writers, journalists, and editors may submit their articles for consideration.

The eligibility criteria and list of categories will be available on this page in advance of the open call for entries recommendations.

The Journalism Subcommittee reviews all entries for eligibility and may disqualify entries, reassign entries to different categories and remove certain categories if they see fit.

Judges and Judging

The Journalism Awards subcommittee members and judges are working editors, journalists, retired food and beverage editors and writers, and deans and professors of leading journalism colleges. 

There are six judges per category. Committee members do not vote.

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

The Journalism Awards Committee selects the Emerging Voice Award honoree each year if they determine there is a worthy candidate. Entries will not be accepted for these two categories.

Announcements

The nominees are announced in Spring. The winners are announced during the Media Awards ceremony in June. The writer(s) or reporter(s),  receive(s) the Award.

Click here for information on the voting process for Media awards.

 

Restaurant and Chef Awards

The Restaurant and Chef awards were established in 1990 by the James Beard Foundation.
 
2022 Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee

The 2022 committee lists will be updated this Fall.
 
Call for Recommendations

Each year, the Restaurant and Chef Awards program offers a Call For Recommendations starting in October.

Subcommittee members and judges, referred to as regional panelists, research and submit recommendations for all categories. In addition, industry members and the public are invited to submit a recommendation for a chef or restaurant who exemplifies excellence in their craft, and represents the vast diversity of cuisines, foodways, beverages and styles that make up the culinary landscape of America. Recommendations will be reviewed by the committee for consideration when creating the ballot of semifinalists. The entries are not official nominations. There is no entry fee.

The eligibility criteria and list of categories will be available in advance of the open call for entries recommendations.

Judges and Judging

The Restaurant and Chef Awards voting body comprises members who have the ability to independently evaluate chefs and restaurants and are divided evenly among the Award regions. Members include food and beverage writers, critics, editors, book authors, media producers, food studies scholars, and culinary instructors. Others who could also qualify include: food studies scholars, former chefs, restaurateurs, and diners from other professional backgrounds with knowledge of the restaurant scene in their region.

In addition to the subcommittee, the Restaurant and Chef voting body consists of two categories of judges: Scouts, who are responsible for surfacing chefs and restaurants far and wide for consideration, and Tasting Panelists, responsible for tasting and scoring all Nominees based on a number of criteria, ultimately determining the winners. As of 2022, previous winners of the Restaurant and Chef Awards do not automatically have the ability to vote. Previous winners from the last three (3) years can be selected by the subcommittee to serve as judges.

The subcommittee produces a ballot with approximately 20 semifinalists in each category. These semi-finalists are announced in late winter. This ballot is distributed online to the voting body - committee members and judges (including Scouts and Tasting Panelists). All votes count equally and are tabulated by an independent accounting firm. The five semifinalists with the highest number of votes become the nominees.

The nominees in each category are announced in Spring.

A judging form with nominees is distributed to all Restaurant and Chef Subcommittee members and Tasting Panelists who visit restaurants in their regions and score their experiences on a number of criteria. Winners are announced at the Awards ceremony in June.

Click here for information on the voting process for Restaurant and Chef Awards.

 

Criteria for Restaurant and Chef Awards

The James Beard Foundation’s Restaurant and Chef Awards honor members of the American food, beverage, and hospitality industries who demonstrate excellence in their respective fields. Winners show exceptional talent and creativity in their craft and commendable leadership among their colleagues and peers. The James Beard Foundation is dedicated to promoting a strong, safe, inclusive, ethical food community, and these Awards reflect those values.

To remain current with the constantly evolving restaurant demographics across the country, every few years the James Beard Foundation takes a deeper look at how its Awards regions are distributed. Regions were recently redistributed in September 2019 after an in-depth analysis performed with the help of outside data consultants. These regions will remain the same for the 2022 Awards.

As the pandemic continues to have a lasting effect on the industry throughout the country, the Foundation will continue to evaluate its Awards regions. 

Committee-Chosen Awards

Each year, the Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee submits recommendations for, discusses, votes on, and selects the America’s Classics honorees. Six of the 12 regions are included within each Awards cycle and rotated to the next cycle so that each region is included every other year. The public may submit recommendations for this category and committee members make the ultimate decision.

 

Leadership Awards

The James Beard Foundation’s Leadership Awards spotlight the important and complex realms of sustainability, food justice, and public health. They raise awareness of these timely issues by celebrating the visionaries responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more equitable, and sustainable food system.

2022 Leadership Awards Committee

The 2022 committee lists will be updated this Fall. 

Eligibility

Anyone may enter their recommendation for the Leadership Awards. Additional recommendations are solicited from previous Leadership Award honorees and current Leadership committee members.

The eligibility criteria will be available in advance of the open call for recommendations.

Judges and Judging

The committee reviews and scores recommendations to create a ballot of top candidates. Previous Leadership Award honorees and judges selected by the committee vote. The Leadership Awards recognize specific outstanding initiatives, as well as bodies of work and lifetime achievement. Excellence of work, innovation in approach, and scale of impact within a community or the nation are among the criteria used to select the recipients. A separate Leadership Awards ceremony and dinner is held in Chicago during the James Beard Awards weekend in June.

Click here for information on the voting process for Leadership Awards.