James Beard Foundation pulls out the red carpet for Chicago awards gala

James Beard Foundation pulls out the red carpet for Chicago awards gala
The Awards Ceremony.

The James Beard Foundation, the culinary industry’s most prestigious recognition program.

Tonight's the night. The the James Beard Foundation Awards, often referred to as Oscars of the Food World, will hold its Awards Gals in Chicago at the Lyric Opera House.

The black-tie event honors America’s restaurant industry in red carpet fashion with prestigious food-industry awards. Big names in the industry the likes of Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and Rick Bayless have received the coveted medal along with up-and-coming stars of the future.

Nominees in nearly 60 categories have received their awards in smaller ceremonies leading up to tonight's event  honoring the chef and restaurant nominees. 

A complete list of nominees can be found here. 

Carla Hall, of ABC’s The Chew, will be hosting tonight's ceremony.

Carla Hall will host this year's ceremony

Carla Hall will host this year's ceremony

The 2018 James Beard Awards theme is "Rise," which could be taken in many ways but according to the foundation it celebrates a more inclusive community pivoting away from the past domination of white men nominated in most categories.

“Rise” celebrates the way in which the culinary community rises to the occasion—whether to feed those in need, to stand up for what they believe in, to support their local communities, or to express their personal stories through their cooking.

This year, 40 percent of the James Beard Award nominees are women, and there’s a much larger range of geographic diversity among the nominees as well, with restaurants in Aurora, Colorado and Mobile, Alabama receiving nods.

Rick Bayless proudly wears his medal

Rick Bayless proudly wears his medal

The event, which is open to the public at $500 a pop, kicks off tonight at 6:00pm. followed by a gala reception featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country. 

A birds-eye view of last year's reception.

A birds-eye view of last year's reception.

For the first time ever, the ceremony will be streamed live exclusively on Twitter at live.twitter.com/jbfa.

About the James Beard Awards

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and furthers 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. Each award category has an individual committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program. All JBF Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. There are no cash prizes.

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Filed under: Awards, James Beard

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