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.
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF
OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE
OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL
RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR
BEST CHEF: GREAT LAKES
BEST CHEF: MID-ATLANTIC
BEST CHEF: MIDWEST
BEST CHEF: NORTHEAST
BEST CHEF: NORTHWEST
BEST CHEF: PACIFIC
BEST CHEF: SOUTH
BEST CHEF: SOUTHEAST
BEST CHEF: SOUTHWEST
Editor's note: Eatocracy's managing editor, Kat Kinsman, is the vice chair of the James Beard Journalism Committee, the group that oversees the journalism category's awards. An independent accounting firm oversees the process.