For the first time in its history the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala reception will be held outside of New York City. The prestigious event will take place in what is quickly becoming known as one of the world's top culinary destinations, Chicago. It's fitting that it will be held in the world renowned home of the Lyric Opera, the Civic Opera Theater.
“The James Beard Foundation has enjoyed a special friendship with the city of Chicago for decades. It’s a city that boasts over 40 James Beard Award winners, as well as a special community of chefs and restaurateurs who have always supported the work of our Foundation,” said Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation. “We believe celebrating our 2015 Awards in Chicago is consistent with our mission to honor excellence all across America.”
The awards will be held on May 4, 2015. You can be sure that there will be several themed events leading up to the ceremony as the best chefs in the country converge on the Windy City.
“The opportunity to welcome America’s greatest culinary leaders to Chicago aligns perfectly with our strategies as we work to achieve Mayor Emanuel’s goal of 55 million visitors annually by 2020,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago. “Chicago’s culinary diversity and its rising reputation as a culinary epicenter has become a prominent element for both the business and leisure traveler. Hosting the JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards Gala is a tremendous demand generator that will significantly further our efforts. On behalf of Chicago’s entire visitor industry, we are committed to creating a new and memorable experience for this prestigious annual celebration.”
Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields. 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.