The James Beard Foundation recently announced the nominees for the 2020 James Beard Awards presented by Capital One. The nominees were announced May 4 on what would have been the 30th Anniversary James Beard Awards in Chicago. Over the past few months, COVID-19 has upended the restaurant community in every facet. During this time, the Foundation has turned its attention to supporting the relief and rebuild efforts, postponing awards activities to instead focus on the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund, which to date has disbursed more than $4 million to independent, locally-owned restaurants around the country. After consultation with the chefs and restaurateurs across the country, the Foundation decided to announce the 2020 nominees and honorees, and set the dates for this year’s remaining awards events, which recognize the work done in 2019.
Nominees were announced in nearly 60 categories of the Foundation’s various awards programs, including Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design, and Media. A complete list of nominees can be found at jamesbeard.org/awards.
John T. Edge, of Oxford, is among the nominees for the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award for his piece entitled “My Mother’s Catfish Stew,” publish in the Fall 2019 issue of the Oxford American. Edge is director of the Southern Foodways Alliance
Additionally, the Foundation announced that they will forego hosting a physical ceremony for the 2020 Media Awards and instead will issue a press release on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 announcing the winners. Finally, Restaurant & Chef Award winners are now slated to be announced on Friday, September 25, 2020, from Chicago and they will be broadcast live via the James Beard Foundation’s Twitter feed. Additional details on the September announcement, including format and location, are forthcoming. "Some of the restaurants announced today are temporarily closed, some are operating in another form, such as take-out or meal relief efforts, whilst others have already announced that they will permanently close,” said Foundation CEO Clare Reichenbach during the May 4 announcement. “Today, we acknowledge the accomplishments of all the people behind these restaurants, and the need for everyone to fight for this industry that employs 16 million people and is a vital part of American culture.