The James Beard Awards are returning to usher in the next generation of leading culinary writers, businesses and talent into the spotlight. After a two-year hiatus, the awards are slated to return in 2022, with a full roster of nominees, honorees and revised policies. The Foundation announced a call for entries Tuesday.
The awards, which consist of five separate recognition programs and two special achievement awards, Media Awards (Book, Broadcast Media, and Journalism); Restaurant and Chef Awards; Leadership Awards; Lifetime Achievement; and Humanitarian of the Year Awards, have upgraded since its last in-person ceremony in 2019.
"We are thrilled to announce the call for entry for the 2022 James Beard Awards, with a strengthened commitment toward celebrating the rich diversity of our industry,” Vice President of Awards Dawn Padmore said in a statement. “In light of all the challenges faced since the pandemic, we look forward to returning to the stage, recognizing excellence, and championing an industry where everyone has the opportunity to reach their highest potential.”
In August 2020, an announcement was made by the Foundation that it would cancel in-person awards in 2020 and 2021, due to a large-scale audit of the Awards’ procedures and policies. The pandemic, coupled with mounting concerns for lack of diversity, caused the reevaluation of the Awards’ standards. According to a report by The New York Times, among the 23 categories, there were no Black winners. Additionally, the unveiling of abusive treatment from and towards nominees within the hospitality industry led to a concern with the year’s selections.
Though The James Beard Awards’ mission is to highlight prodigious talent in the hospitality industry, this year, the Foundation has adjusted the criteria going forward to promote a more equity-focused process. Among a list of changes, entries and recommendations will be required to submit an alignment statement demonstrating how their work coincides with the Awards’ mission and values.
The deadline for submitting entries (Media Awards) and recommendations (Restaurant and Chef Awards and Leadership Awards) is Tuesday, November 30, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. ET.
For more information, visit The James Beard Awards website.