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The James Beard Awards have been postponed due to coronavirus concerns

James Beard medal
The medal given to James Beard award winners.
(James Beard Foundation)

The James Beard Foundation has announced it will postpone its annual restaurant and media awards due to concerns over the novel coronavirus.

The postponement includes the James Beard Media Awards (originally scheduled for Friday, April 24, in New York City), the Leadership Awards (Sunday, May 3, in Chicago), and the Restaurant & Chef Awards (Monday, May 4, in Chicago). The ceremonies will be moved to summer 2020, though exact dates have yet to be determined.

A statement from the foundation said it had “taken the guidance of the CDC, the counsel of our legal advisors, and our Board of Trustees” in making the decision.

“We are also mindful of how this virus is negatively impacting the hospitality industry at large, both from a well-being and economic standpoint,” the statement read.

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“We are hoping to be able to reschedule ceremony, reception and all,” said Mitchell Davis, the foundation’s Chief Strategy Officer. “But at this point we are monitoring the situation, scouting for dates and venues in Chicago in the summer and just trying to referee the inquiries about the announcement.”

As of now, the announcement of finalist nominees — a narrowing of the field announced on Feb. 26 — will be made on March 25 from Philadelphia as scheduled.


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