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.
MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award: Recognizes a single article of exceptional literary merit pertaining to food and/or drink published in any medium.
Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award: Recognizes discerning criticism of enduring value which contributes to the larger discourse on cuisine or restaurants.
Food Section of a General Interest Publication: Recognizes excellence in food writing, reporting, and packaging of a regularly-published food section in a non food-focused publication.
San Francisco Chronicle
The Washington Post
Food-related Feature: Recognizes excellence in a single food- or drink- related article published in any medium that demonstrates enterprise, curiosity, and rigor.
Personal Essay: Recognizes excellence in a first-person essay on any food or drink-related topic, published in any medium. An entry consists of one eloquent essay that demonstrates a unique voice, perceptiveness and style.
Humor: Recognizes a single piece of written and/or visual food- or drink-related satire, parody, or other form of humor, published in any medium.
Cooking, Recipes, or Instruction: Recognizes excellence and innovation in food service journalism. It honors originality and seeks fresh approaches—both written and visual—to make cooking methods, ingredient knowledge, and recipes accessible to a wide audience.
Profile: Recognizes a dramatic presentation that brings to life the world of a chef, restaurateur, grower, producer, or other figure or group of significance to food or drink, published in any medium.
Food Culture and Travel: Recognizes the importance of place, culture, and history in food journalism. An entry consists of a single piece, or series of related pieces or posts, published in any medium, that makes the connection of food to a community or location.
Rick Bragg, Francine Maroukian, and Robb Walsh
Environment, Food Politics, and Policy: Recognizes excellence in investigative reporting, analysis, or other public service journalism on environmental, political, or policy-related issues regarding food or drink, published in any medium.
Health and Nutrition: Recognizes enlightening journalism on food- or drink-related health or nutrition topics published in any medium.
Rachael Moeller Gorman
Food-related Columns and Commentary: Recognizes the work of an individual that demonstrates thought-provoking opinion and a compelling style.
Wine and Spirits: Recognizes distinctive style and innovative approach. An entry consists of a single article on wine, spirits, or other alcohol beverages, published in any medium.
Multimedia Food Feature: Recognizes excellence and innovation in storytelling or communication. Entries consist of an integrated package of one piece, or a series of up to three pieces, on food-or-drink-related topic which integrates multiple tools (such as video, audio, narrative, links, social media), published in any medium which allows for these tools.
Individual Food Blog: Recognizes individual enterprise and excellence in a single food-or drink-related blog that is the product of one primary voice, or a small group of regular contributors.
Politics of the Plate
Poor Man’s Feast
Group Food Blog: Recognizes individual enterprise and excellence in a single food-or drink-related blog that is the product of a group of regular contributors.
City of Ate
Grub Street New York
Publication of the Year: Recognizes excellence in one magazine, newspaper, or website. It is awarded by the Journalism Committee of the James Beard Foundation and is based on nominations presented to them by the full roster of Journalism judges and by former James Beard Journalism Award winners.
To be unveiled at the awards dinner on May 6th.
Broadcast Media Awards
Television Program, In Studio OR Fixed Location
Alex’s Day Off
Top Chef: Season 7
Television Program, On Location
Ace of Cakes
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
60 Minutes: “Chef José Andrés”
CBS News Sunday Morning: “Recipe for Success,” “Fields of Green,” and “Striking a Gourd”
CBS News Sunday Morning: “Worth a Shot”
Emeril Green: Emeril’s Culinary Adventure: Vermont
The Four Coursemen
TV Food Personality
Radio Show/Audio Webcast
CBC Ideas: “Pasta: The Long and Short of It”
The Canadian Table
Martha Stewart Living Radio: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert: Turn and Burn
The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual
Pig: King of the Southern Table
Baking and Dessert
My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats
Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours
Reading Between the Wines
Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think and Drink Like the World’s Top Wine Professionals
Cooking from a Professional Point of View
The Modern Café
Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine
Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys
Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease
Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well
The Simple Art of EatingWell Cookbook
The Very Best Recipes for Health: 250 Recipes and More from the Popular Feature on NYTimes.com
Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy
Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories
Reference and Scholarship
Encyclopedia of Jewish Food
Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes
What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets
Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat
Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter
Meat: A Kitchen Education
Writing and Literature
Empires of Food: Feast, Famine, and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations
Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food
Peace Meals: Candy-Wrapped Kalashnikovs and Other War Stories
Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine
Visit the James Beard Awards site for entry guidelines.
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