James Beard Foundation postpones award ceremonies due to COVID-19

James Beard Foundation postpones award ceremonies due to COVID-19

The James Beard Foundation is postponing its upcoming 2020 awards ceremonies including the May 3 Leadership Awards and the Beard House at the Old Chicago Post Office and the May 4 Awards Gala at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

In a statement from the James Beard Foundation (JBF) they say: “The James Beard Foundation is acutely aware of the health and safety concerns surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic. We are also mindful of how this virus is negatively impacting the hospitality industry at large, 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 to summer 2020.” They continue, “Of prime concern is the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, committee members, sponsors, nominees, and all attendees. We also recognize the responsibility of every organization and individual to do what they can to contain the spread of the virus.”

The postponements include:

The James Beard Media Awards (originally scheduled for Friday, April 24, in New York City),

The Leadership Awards (Sunday, May 3, in Chicago), and the Restaurant & Chef Awards (Monday, May 4, in Chicago).


As of now, the nominee announcement will be made on March 25 from Philadelphia as scheduled.

The foundation will continue to work with their partners in the coming weeks to identify new dates for all three Awards ceremonies, and will work with chefs and others in the industry to navigate the complicated leadership challenges and the economic impact this pandemic may have on their businesses now and in the future.  Check https://www.jamesbeard.org/ for updated information and resources.

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