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James Beard Foundation Postpones Awards Due to Coronavirus Concerns

The chef and media awards will be rescheduled for sometime this summer

The James Beard award medal, cast in bronze, with the likeness of James Beard surrounded with the words “James Beard Foundation Award for Excellence” against a black background. Getty/Victor Spinelli/WireImage
Monica Burton is the deputy editor of

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced that it will postpone the 2020 James Beard Awards due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic. The chef and restaurant awards were scheduled to take place in Chicago on May 4, while the media awards were scheduled for an April 24th ceremony in New York City. All of the awards, including the Leadership Awards originally set for May 3, will be rescheduled to summer 2020.

A statement from the James Beard Foundation reads:

The James Beard Foundation is acutely aware of the health and safety concerns surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic. We are also mindful of how this virus is negatively impacting the hospitality industry at large, both from a well-being and economic standpoint.

As such, our organization has taken the guidance of the CDC, the counsel of our legal advisors and our Board of Trustees, and has worked closely with our partners to make the decision to postpone the annual James Beard Awards to summer 2020.

The March 25 finalists announcement from the Barnes Foundation museum in Philadelphia will go on as planned.

The postponement comes amid widespread cancellations and closures in response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The Foundation plans to identify new dates for the awards in the coming weeks and, according to the statement, “will work with chefs and others in the industry to navigate the complicated leadership challenges and the economic impact this pandemic may have on their businesses now and in the future.”

James Beard Foundation [Official]