Could the Beard Awards move to Chicago? The city's tourism bureau, Choose Chicago, is trying to convince the James Beard Foundation to consider the possibility of moving their marquee event. JBF president Susan Ungaro told the Chicago Tribune, that there was "no financial offer, just (expressed) strong interest to do what it takes." Which is, presumably, make a major financial offer.
The James Beard Foundation has always held its awards ceremony in New York City, and in recent years at Lincoln Center. The Books, Broadcast & Journalism Awards dinner, which the Tribune calls "akin to the Golden Globes," is held elsewhere in New York City.
This year, the Foundation will announce its finalists list in Chicago on March 18, which is the second time they have done so in the past six years. This announcement is apparently why Choose Chicago felt emboldened enough to approach Ungaro about moving the Awards. The semifinalists list will be announced on February 19 in Orlando, Florida.
This year's Beard Awards ceremony is already scheduled to take place in New York City, so even if Choose Chicago can "do what it takes" to lure the Awards westward, an actual venue change is likely a few years out.
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· All James Beard Awards Coverage on Eater [-E-]