The James Beard Foundation announced Thursday that it is postponing its annual awards ceremonies to summer 2020. No firm dates have yet been scheduled.
An official statement issued by the Foundation reiterates that it is mindful of how the COVID-19 virus is negatively impacting the hospitality industry, both from a well-being and economic standpoint. “As such, our organization has taken the guidance of the CDC, the counsel of our legal advisors and our Board of Trustees and has worked closely with our partners to make the decision to postpone the annual James Beard Awards.”
The postponement affects the James Beard Media Awards, the Leadership Awards and the Restaurant & Chef Awards. The latter, often referred to as the “Oscars of the food world” were scheduled to take place Monday, May 4, in Chicago. As of now, the nominee announcement will still be made on March 25 from Philadelphia.
The James Beard Awards are considered the most prestigious in the industry, honoring the best chefs, restaurateurs, restaurants, bars, designers, journalists and more across America. The Restaurant & Chef Awards gala, which was scheduled to be held at Chicago’s Lyric Opera House, typically attracts more than 2,000 people in the culinary world, while 500 to 600 attend the Media Awards, held in New York.