March 21st, 2011
07:45 PM ET
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March 21st, 2011
03:45 PM ET
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Twitter star, Ruth Reichl / Anthony Bourdain mash-up and former 5@5 subject Ruth Bourdain responds to the nomination as a finalist for the inaugural James Beard Journalism Award for Humor Writing telling Eatocracy exclusively:

"I'm incredibly flattered. James Beard and I smoked a sh*tload of tarragon back in the day, so this means a great deal to me. What a great day for journalism."

Previously – 5@5: 5 Favorite Food Films: Ruth Bourdain

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Filed under: Awards • James Beard • News • Twitter

2011 James Beard Awards: Chefs and restaurants finalists
March 21st, 2011
02:50 PM ET
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If you noticed a palpable anxiety in restaurants earlier this week, it might have been because the nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards, popularly-dubbed the "Oscars of the food world," were imminent.

Each October, the James Beard Foundation holds an online open call on its Web site for submissions - this year, a record number of entries, more than 28,000, were received.

From there, an independent accounting firm tabulates the entrants for the Restaurant and Chef Committee. The Committee then creates a ballot of semifinalists to be sent to a judges' panel of more than 550 food professionals and past James Beard Foundation Award winners.

The panel votes to determine the final five nominees in each of the 19 categories, and will ultimately vote on those finalists to determine the winner.

The nominations for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards were live-tweeted (@BeardFoundation) Monday morning from the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland. The winners will be announced on May 9 at the Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception by previous James Beard Award-winning hosts Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and Traci Des Jardins.

And without further ado, the nominees are:

James Beard Awards: 2011 journalism, multimedia and cookbook finalists
March 21st, 2011
02:45 PM ET
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See all restaurant and chefs nominees

Full disclosure: I've been on the committee that oversees the Journalism Awards for the James Beard Foundation for three years now, and this year, we went and blew the whole thing up.

For the first time in the history of the awards - established in 1992 and often called the "Oscars of the food world" - categories were be determined by content, rather than medium. Gone are the days of "Newspaper Food Section with Circulation of 300,000 and Above" (and corollary "Under 300,000"), "Magazine Writing with Recipes" and catch-all categories like "Internet Writing on Food, Nutrition, Travel, Restaurant and Beverage" that existed in years past. Enter, "Food Section of a General Interest Publication," "Environment, Food Politics, and Policy" and "Humor" - with newspaper, magazine and online submissions allowed for all.

Here are the finalists, announced Monday at the Oregon Culinary Institute.

March 21st, 2011
01:15 PM ET
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Photographs from iReporter felixlace show Tokyo store shelves with dwindling food resources.

As Japan struggles to find footing after an earthquake and tsunami devastated much of the country, a nuclear threat now looms over the land as reactors suffer physical damage, allowing the release of radiation into the atmosphere.

Today, World Health Organization spokesman Peter Cordingley claimed that short-term exposure to food contaminated by radiation from Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant poses no immediate health risk. This echoes Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano's stated belief that the levels of radiation in food - while above the legal standards - do not pose any immediate health risk, and that they are mostly dangerous only if consumed repeatedly over one's lifetime.

While Dr. James Cox, an oncology professor at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, tells CNN's Thom Patterson that he believes the radiation levels measured in milk and spinach that tested positive for radioactive cesium-137 and iodine-131 isotopes pose a "nonexistent" immediate risk to humans, and "very low" long-term risk, he concedes that "radiation doses ingested through food is really very poorly understood."

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