The James Beard Foundation announced October 1 that the entry and recommendation period for the 2020 Awards is officially open. Deadlines for submissions are as follows:
- Leadership Awards: recommendation period closes Sunday, December 1, 2019
- Book Awards: entry period closes Sunday, December 1, 2019 (*Physical book copies must arrive at the warehouse for review by Monday, December 9, 2019)
- Restaurant and Chef Awards: recommendation period closes Monday, December 2, 2019
- Broadcast Media Awards: entry period closes Monday, December 9, 2019
- Journalism Awards: entry period closes Monday, December 16, 2019
- Restaurant Design Awards: entry period closes Monday, January 20, 2020
The James Beard Foundation will again make the first two weeks of entry—October 1, 2019 through October 14, 2019—free for the Book, Broadcast Media, and Design Awards in order to remove any financial barrier to entry. For work published or released after the window closes, (i.e. between October 15, 2019 and December 31, 2019), the Foundation will allow individuals to write in for exception before the free entry period ends. The committees will review these exception requests on a case-by-case basis. Entrants and publishers may submit up to five books during the free period, but can submit additional titles for consideration after the 14th at the normal entry rate. To ensure the Journalism awards attract new voices, the entry fee for first-time entrants will be waived for the entire entry period (October 1, 2019, through December 16, 2019). Individual journalists who have never submitted work and who have never had their work submitted on their behalf by a media company are eligible for free entry.
Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and further the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. The James Beard Awards are governed by the volunteer Awards Committee. Each Awards program (Restaurants and Chefs, Books, Journalism, Design, Broadcast Media, and Leadership) has its own subcommittee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards programs. All James Beard Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia.
The Foundation recently announced changes to regional restaurant and chef awards for 2020. The regional Best Chef awards, which previously consisted of 10 distinct geographic areas, will expand to 12, and certain states will be reconfigured into new regions to recognize changing population data, restaurant demographics, and culinary trends. These changes are now in effect for the current recommendation period for the 2020 Awards.
The Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists will be announced on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. Nominees for all award categories will be revealed on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
The 2020 James Beard Awards presented by Capital One, the official credit card and banking partner of the Foundation, will mark the 30th anniversary of the Awards; the first medallions were handed out in 1991. The celebrations will begin in New York City on Friday, April 24, 2020 at the James Beard Foundation Media Awards, an exclusive event honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists that will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers.
The events then move to Chicago with the Leadership Awards Dinner taking place on Sunday, May 3, 2020, where honorees will be recognized for their work in creating a more healthful, sustainable, and just food world. The James Beard Awards Gala will take place on Monday, May 4, 2020 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. 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 Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, and America’s Classics. A gala reception will immediately follow, featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country. Capital One cardholders will have special access to the 2020 James Beard Awards; details to be announced next year.
For more information and to view the full list of 2020 Awards programs, criteria, and deadlines, please visit jamesbeard.org/awards. Entries for all categories can be submitted via the online portal here.