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James Beard Foundation Announces 2019 Nominees

The James Beard Foundation is proud to announce the nominees for the 2019 James Beard Awards. The nominees were announced today during a press conference and breakfast at Hugo’s by Hugo Ortega in Houston, co-hosted by Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation, and David Mincberg, chairman of Houston First.

Mincberg represented Houston at the event, speaking on behalf of the city and welcoming the Foundation and its CEO Clare Reichenbach, who made opening remarks and highlighted this year’s theme, “Good Food For GoodTM”. David Whitaker, president and CEO of Choose Chicago, the Awards’ host city, made key remarks and announced Regional Chef Nominees together with Reichenbach. Additionally, James Beard Foundation chief strategy officer Mitchell Davis and James Beard Award winner and chair of the Restaurant and Chef committee Anne Quatrano announced several categories of nominees. The event was streamed live online on the James Beard Foundation website and Twitter feed. James Beard Award winner Hugo Ortega, owner and executive chef of Hugo’s, prepared a breakfast for guests including pork, chicken, and vegetable tamales; zucchini, corn, and poblano quesadillas; pan dulce; red and green chilaquiles; gorditas; and breakfast tacos.

Nominees were announced in nearly 60 categories of the Foundation’s various awards programs, including Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design, and Media. A complete list of nominees can be found at the end of this release, as well as atjamesbeard.org/awards.

The 2019 James Beard Awards celebrations begin in New York City on Friday, April 26, 2019, with the James Beard Media Awards. The exclusive event honors the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists and will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers.

The events then move to Chicago, beginning with the Leadership Awards dinner on Sunday, May 5, 2019. The dinner, presented in association with Deloitte and hosted by Gail Simmons, will recognize honorees for their work in creating a more healthful, sustainable, and just food world. The James Beard Awards Gala will take place on Monday, May 6, 2019, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson. During the event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, and America’s Classics. A gala reception will immediately follow, featuring chefs and beverage professionals from across the country, including past JBF Award winners and many who are involved in the Foundation’s Impact Programs, from Smart Catch Seafood to Women’s Leadership programs and the James Beard Chefs Bootcamp for Policy and Change. The VIP Dinner chefs, those who cook a multi-course dinner and create an experience in the mezzanine boxes during the Awards show, will be chefs from the esteemed Union Square Hospitality Group.

This year’s theme, “Good Food For GoodTM” is synonymous with the James Beard Foundation’s mission. It is the simple summation of what the organization stands for, from unique and delicious dining experiences at the James Beard House and around the country, to scholarships, mentorships, and a variety of industry programs that educate and empower leaders in the food community. The Foundation has built a platform for chefs and asserted the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food. With this theme, the annual Awards aim to bring attention not only to its deserving winners but to the Foundation’s overall mission as well.

Tickets to the May 6 Awards Gala and April 26 Media Awards dinner are on sale now at jamesbeard.org/awards/tickets. General public tickets are $500; James Beard Foundation member tickets are $425; VIP dinner options available upon request to the box office at 914-231-6180 or boxoffice@jamesbeard.org. Individual tickets for the Media Awards are $350; table for 10, $3,500. Both ceremonies will be broadcast live via the James Beard Foundation’s Twitter @beardfoundation and at jamesbeard.org/awards.

The 2019 James Beard Awards are proudly hosted by Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association and presented in association with Chicago O’Hare and Midway International Airports and Magellan Corporation as well as the following partners: Premier Sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters, American Airlines, HMSHost, Lavazza, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water ; Supporting Sponsors: Hyatt, National Restaurant Association™, Robert Mondavi Winery, Skuna Bay Salmon, TABASCO® Sauce, Valrhona, White Claw® Hard Seltzer, Windstar Cruises; Gala Reception Sponsors: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Ecolab, Front of the House®, Kendall College, with additional support from Chefwear, Loacker and VerTerra Dinnerware. Intersport is the Official Broadcast Partner of the 2019 James Beard Awards.

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