Yes! The James Beard Awards nomination process has opened. I’ve already casted my votes!
One notable change in this year’s categories: they’ve bifurcated the “Midwest” states (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI) and the “Great Lakes” states (IL, IN, MI, OH) categories. No offense, Illinois, but you know, you all were hogging the awards for the middle of the country. The way Chicago’s been performing, lately, I wouldn’t be surprised if you all got your own category next year! Now, maybe some local Kansas City chefs can close in on an award! Our humble town has only had one recipient, to my knowledge – Michael Smith and Debbie Gold won Best Chefs Midwest in 1999 when they were at The American Restaurant.
Best of luck to all of the candidates!! I’ll see you in New York next year!!
… oh yeah, and don’t forget to vote in your local, state and national elections either! *wink*