OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION REGARDING THE 2020 AWARDS AND COVID-19
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 an 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.
The postponement includes 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.
Of prime concern are 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.
We will continue to work with our 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. Please continue to check https://www.jamesbeard.
Please refer to the CDC website for information on COVID-19 related travel, event queries, and virus prevention.
James Beard House
Due to health and safety concerns and considerations regarding limiting the travel of the chef teams who come to cook at the James Beard House and the communities they return to, we have decided to postpone all scheduled Beard House dinners through April.
The well-being of our chef community, members, and guests is our highest priority, and we are working with the chefs on rescheduling the dinners for later in the year. If you had tickets for a dinner or event during this period, the Foundation will be in touch directly regarding the postponement of events.
Taste America and National Events
We are postponing all Taste America and other James Beard Foundation national events and dinners through April. We will be working with the chefs and local planners to reschedule these events.
Membership Inquiries and Benefits
The James Beard Foundation office is currently closed and staff is working remotely. Therefore, there may be a delay in processing your memberships, responding to general inquiries, and fulfilling gift certificate orders. While we are currently unable to distribute physical member cards and gift certificates, you can request a digital version in the meantime by email.
We have postponed all in-person industry programming through April, including next week’s Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, and next month’s Owning It in Los Angeles. We are in touch with participants about online versions of these programs. In April and May, we will be offering a series of free online educational experiences to continue the progress we’ve made in these programs with regards to effective advocacy, leadership, and business growth.
We recognize the responsibility of every organization and individual to do what they can to contain the spread of the virus, and are mindful of how this virus is negatively impacting the hospitality industry at large, both from a well-being and economic standpoint. We are in contact with industry leaders as well as our partners and we are committed to working 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.
Please continue to check jamesbeard.org for updated information and resources.