Just in: Co-host of ABC's The Chew Carla Hall will host the James Beard Awards in Chicago this upcoming May. Last year's host for the main event was the fantastically quirky Alton Brown. Meanwhile, television personality, restaurateur, chef, and James Beard Award Winner Ming Tsai will host this year's book, broadcast, and journalism James Beard Awards in NYC. This is the second year in a row the awards gala will be held in Chicago instead of NYC.
As a press release notes, the so-called "Oscars" of the food world (the chef and restaurant awards) will take place Monday, May 2, at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Prior to this, on Tuesday, April 26, Ming Tsai will host the Foundation's Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
This year represents the Foundation's 30th anniversary. Susan Ungaro, president of The James Beard Foundation said in a release: "We're delighted that Carla Hall and Ming Tsai will bring both their culinary and media talents to shine a light on how television has informed and entertained our world of food."
Carla Hall has become a mainstay in the food media world since appearing on Top Chef (seasons 5 and 8). The former model and accountant now appears regularly on The Chew alongside Mario Batali, Michael Symon, entertaining expert Clinton Kelly, and wellness enthusiast Daphne Oz. Hall owns a catering business in Maryland and wrote her first book, Cooking with Love: Comfort Food that Hugs You, in 2013. She's currently at work on a new restaurant in Brooklyn called Carla's Southern Kitchen, set to open later this year.