The James Beard Foundation announced today that TV personality and general curmudgeon Alton Brown will host the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards, which is to be held on May 7, 2012, at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York. Brown himself won a Beard Award last year for TV Food Personality/Host.
This year's theme is "25 Years of Food at its Best," a celebration of the Foundation's silver anniversary. As such, a press release explains that "the Foundation has invited chefs who had the privilege of knowing James Beard personally, as well as those who have been influenced by his legacy, to prepare dishes inspired by recipes from his more than 20 cookbooks to prepare at the Awards Gala Reception." They're also releasing a book profiling the 21 winners of the Outstanding Chef Award titled The James Beard Foundation’s Best of the Best: A 25th Anniversary Celebration of America’s Outstanding Chefs. That book is due for release as soon as next week.
As usual, the the annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner will be held a few days prior on May 4, co-hosted by another Food Network star, Michael Symon, and Martha Teichner of CBS News Sunday Morning. Here's a press release with full details, including the chefs confirmed to cook at the Gala Reception following the awards.
JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION CELEBRATES “25 YEARS OF FOOD AT ITS BEST”
ALTON BROWN TO HOST 2012 JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION AWARDS ON MAY 7, 2012
MICHAEL SYMON AND MARTHA TEICHNER TO HOST 2012 JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION
BOOK, BROADCAST & JOURNALISM AWARDS ON MAY 4, 2012
New York, NY (March 1, 2012) – The James Beard Foundation announced today that the multiple James Beard Award–winning celebrity chef, television personality, and author, Alton Brown, will host the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation’s most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries. The highly anticipated Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will take place on Monday, May 7, 2012 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. A few days prior, on Friday, May 4, 2012, James Beard Award–winning chef and Food Network Iron Chef, Michael Symon, and four-time James Beard Award–winning correspondent for her food-related segments on CBS News Sunday Morning, Martha Teichner, will co-host the annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner at Gotham Hall in New York City.
This year’s theme, “25 Years of Food at its Best,” celebrates the Foundation’s silver anniversary and mission that honors James Beard’s legacy by celebrating, nurturing, and preserving America’s diverse culinary heritage and future. In recognition of James Beard’s influence on our culinary world, the Foundation has invited chefs who had the privilege of knowing James Beard personally, as well as those who have been influenced by his legacy, to prepare dishes inspired by recipes from his more than 20 cookbooks to prepare at the Awards Gala Reception after the Awards Ceremony at Lincoln
To further recognize the Foundation’s anniversary, the James Beard Foundation has published a collectable book, “The James Beard Foundation’s Best of the Best: A 25th Anniversary Celebration of America’s Outstanding Chefs,” (Chronicle Books; $60.00) to be released March 7, 2012. The book features profiles of the 21 recipients who have received the Foundation’s prestigious Outstanding Chef Award, alongside sumptuous recipes and stunning photography. Author Kit Wohl spent more than two years working with the chefs, including the first JBF Award–winning chef Wolfgang Puck, Thomas
Keller, Mario Batali, and Tom Colicchio, to develop this historic first edition hardcover filled with more than 40 recipes.
This year’s hosts are all celebrated James Beard Award winners. Alton Brown was awarded the respected Best TV Food Personality Award in 2011 for the Food Network show Good Eats. Prior to that, in 2003, he was awarded the Book Award in the Reference category for his first book, “I’m Just Here for the Food” (2002). Michael Symon was first nominated in 2006 for Best Chef: Great Lakes, eventually winning the category in 2009. Martha Teichner, a renowned reporter and correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning, won three James Beard Media Awards in 2007 for her food-related stories including the annual competition for the picture-perfect turkey photograph to grace the cover of Gourmet Magazine's Thanksgiving issue, the history and importance of honeybees, and a London chef famous for "nose to tail" eating. In 2009, Teichner won the James Beard TV Food Segment Award for the CBS News Sunday Morning segment, “In a Pinch.”
“As we celebrate our 25th Anniversary, we are thrilled to have an incredible group of hosts and presenters who have been awarded for their commitment to cultivating our industry,” said Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation. “We are also delighted to celebrate the Foundation’s major milestone with the ‘best of the best’ chefs from around the country paying tribute to both James Beard and this year’s award winners through the historic recipes from James Beard’s many cookbooks.”
This year’s Gala Co-Chair Chefs, who had a special relationship with James Beard, are leading an exemplary group of Gala Chefs; they will all share their cuisine with nearly 2,000 guests at Avery Fisher Hall. The 2012 Gala Co-Chairs include:
JBF Award Winner Larry Forgione
An American Place
JBF Award Winner Joyce Goldstein
Chef, Author, and Culinary Consultant
Chefs confirmed to cook at the Gala Reception following the Awards Ceremony on Monday, May 7, 2012 include:
JBF Award Winner Sean Brock
JBF Award Winner Sanford D’Amato
JBF Award Winner Gary Danko
JBF Award Winner Paul Kahan
JBF Award Winner Bob Kinkead
JBF Award Winning Pastry Chef Sarabeth Levine
Porter House New York
JBF Award Winner Keith Luce
Luce & Hawkins
JBF Award Winning Pastry Chef Emily Luchetti
JBF Award Winner Barbara Lynch
JBF Award Winner Nancy Oakes
JBF Award Winner Bradley Ogden
Lark Creek Restaurant Group
JBF Award Winner Vitaly Paley
Paley’s Place Bistro & Bar
JBF Award Winner and Pastry Chef Angela Pinkerton
Eleven Madison Park
JBF Award Winner Andrea Reusing
Chapel Hill, NC
JBF Award Winner Jimmy Schmidt
Morgan’s in the desert
La Quinta, CA
JBF Award Winner Susan Spicer
JBF Award Winner Frank Stitt
Highlands Bar & Grill
JBF Award Winner Norman Van Aken
JBF Award Winner Jonathan Waxman
JBF Award Winner Alan Wong
Chefs confirmed to cook at the Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards Dinner on Friday, May 4, 2012 include:
Alchemy by Carla Hall
JBF Award Winner Martin Yan
Yan Can Cook
On Monday, March 19, 2012, the James Beard Foundation will announce the final nominees for all award categories during an invitation-only brunch at the Azure Pool at The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas. Nominations will also be announced live via the Foundation’s Twitter page at twitter.com/beardfoundation and streamed live for the first time on Eater.com at 11 a.m. PST/2 p.m. EST. The James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner, an exclusive event honoring the nation’s top cookbooks, culinary broadcast programs, and food journalists, will take place on Friday, May 4, 2012 at Gotham Hall in New York City. The following Monday, May 7, 2012, the James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will take place at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, during which the Restaurant and Chef and the Restaurant Design and Graphics awards will be handed out, along with a number of special achievement awards, including Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, and Who’s Who honorees, as well as the five America’s Classics inductees. This year the ceremony will once again be streamed online at jamesbeard.org for those unable to attend the live program in New York City, allowing them to participate in this moment of culinary history. The Award winners will also be posted in real time on the James Beard Foundation’s Twitter page at twitter.com/beardfoundation.
The annual James Beard Foundation Awards honor the best and the brightest talents in the food and beverage industries, celebrating outstanding achievement in each of the following categories: Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design and Graphics, Books, Broadcast and New Media, and Journalism, as well as several special achievement awards. Each category has an individual Awards Committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program. All award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. There are no cash prizes.
The 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards are presented with support by the following partners: Premier Sponsors: AllClad Metalcrafters, Green & Black’s® Organic Chocolate, Lenox Tableware and Gifts, Mercedes-Benz; Supporting Sponsors: Campari, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Jade Range LLC, Lavazza, Southern Wine & Spirits of New York, Stella Artois; Gala Reception Sponsors: Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water, Ecolab, Pernod Ricard USA, Rums of Puerto Rico, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water; and with additional support from Chefwear, St Giles Hotel New
York, and Visa Signature.