The James Beard Foundation Awards

The James Beard Foundation Awards shine a
spotlight on the best and brightest talent in the food
and beverage industry.

“The Oscars of the food world.”
—Time Magazine

Covering all aspects of the industry—from chefs and restaurateurs to cookbook authors and food journalists to restaurant designers and architects and more—the James Beard Foundation Awards are the highest honors for food and beverage professionals working in America. The awards are presented each spring at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. Nominees and winners are fêted at a weekend of gala events in New York City that has become the social and gastronomic highlight of the year.

A steadfast champion of American cuisine, James Beard often commented on its influences and roots. In the introduction to his comprehensive American Cookery, Beard acknowledged the unique character of American food that resulted from the diverse backgrounds of American citizens. “The inspiration for incalculable numbers of our dishes came with immigrants from Europe and the Orient,” he wrote in 1972. Add South America, Africa, the Middle East, and other cultures to the stew and you have the exciting taste of the American culinary melting pot we are celebrating at this year’s Gala Awards Reception.

To cook, we’ve invited both chefs who have emigrated from various places to America, and chefs who were born in America but who were inspired by the cuisines of other lands. The menu will be a combination of “fine traditional cookery” and “mingled cuisines,” to use Beard’s words, that will certainly present the exciting flavors of the great American melting pot.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards are a program of the James Beard Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and preserve America’s diverse culinary heritage and future. For more information, to join as a member, to learn more about James Beard or to sign up to receive Beard Bites, our free electronic newsletter, visit jamesbeard.org.