Chef Chris Williams and Dawn Burrell.

Image: Jenn Duncan

 After a one-year hiatus, the James Beard Awards are back… sort of.

On September 27, the 2021 James Beard Awards will take place, streaming on Twitter Live from Chicago.

In years past, the awards is broken into five categories: Chef & Restaurant, Book, Broadcast Media, Journalism, and Leadership in the culinary field. This year, however, the coveted ceremony will look a bit different. 

The 2021 celebration, appropriately titled James Beard Awards: Stories of Resilience and Leadership will serve as a "salute to the independent restaurant community, showcasing some of the organizations, leaders, and businesses that have made a significant impact in the industry and their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic," according to a press release. 

The virtual awards ceremony will replace the James Beard Awards traditional, in-person ceremony, which makes its highly anticipated return next year. 

Compared to past events, the Foundation will not be taking submissions and recommendations for nominees, but working with the Awards Committee and Subcommittee to completely change the policies and procedures in order to align with their goals of equity and inclusion. “Those being featured are representative of so many in the industry who played and continue to play a part in supporting their communities and the industry,” a statement from the organization reads.

This year, the foundation plans to host 300-400 guests atop the Harris Theater in Chicago, while also hosting intimate satellite events in four cities: Philadelphia, Washington D.C., the San Francisco Bay Area, and Houston.

In Houston, the event will be hosted at Lucille’s, with Chris Williams, Dawn Burrell, and the Houston First CorporationNot only will Williams and Burrell host the evening in Houston, but the duo will also be preparing the meal. The two are no strangers and have great chemistry in the kitchen as they also teamed up to open Late August, an Afro-Asian concept that is coming to Houston this fall. 

Invites to this year's rendition of the James Beard Awards are invite-only. The live broadcast can be viewed via Twitter on September 27 at 7 P.M. CT. For more information, visit here

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