Stories / Awards

One Week Away: The 2015 Semifinalist Announcement

Anna Mowry

Anna Mowry

February 11, 2015


The James Beard Awards | 25 Years

It’s a historic year for the James Beard Awards: we’re celebrating the program's 25th anniversary, and, for the first time ever, the Awards gala will be held in the city of Chicago. The Windy City has a rich history with the Foundation, boasting over 40 James Beard Award winners, including four Outstanding Chef medalists. We’re thrilled to honor the best of the culinary industry in this world-class destination. (Our Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner will remain in New York City.)

The first milestone of JBFA season arrives next week. On the morning of Wednesday, February 18, we'll post the complete Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalist list right here on the JBF blog. This list will include our ten regional "Best Chef" awards, as well as national honors like Outstanding Restaurant, Rising Star Chef of the Year, and our brand new Outstanding Baker award.

Where do the semifinalists come from? The process began in October with an open call online; anyone could submit up to two entries per category. After receiving close to 35,000 submissions, our Restaurant and Chef Awards Committee, composed of critics, writers, and editors, went to work and produced the list of semifinalists, culled from the open call, for each award. This list will move on to a voting body of former Beard Award winners; Restaurant and Chef Award Committee members; and other regional panelists. After these judges cast their votes, the five semifinalists with the highest number of votes in each category become the nominees, or "finalists." Those names, along with the nominations for our Book, Journalism, Broadcast Media, and Restaurant Design Awards, will be announced at the Beard House in New York City on Tuesday, March 24. As usual, we'll be live-tweeting this event, so make sure you're following us @beardfoundation.

Read all Awards coverage here.

Anna Mowry is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.