Coronavirus: James Beard Awards postpone Chicago gala ceremony

The gala awards ceremony, considered the “Oscars of the culinary industry,” was scheduled for May 4.

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The James Beard Awards ceremony in Chicago has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The James Beard Awards ceremony in Chicago has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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The James Beard Foundation on Thursday announced it is postponing its annual awards ceremony held at Chicago’s Lyric Opera House until summer.

The gala awards ceremony, considered the “Oscars of the culinary industry,” was scheduled for May 4. Also postponed is the Leadership Awards ceremony scheduled for May 3 in Chicago, and James Beard Media Awards scheduled for April 24 in New York City.

The list of finalists for the awards is still scheduled to be announced from Philadelphia on March 25.

In its official statement announcing the postponement, JBF said in part:

Of prime concern is the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, committee members, sponsors, nominees, and all attendees. We also recognize the responsibility of every organization and individual to do what they can to contain the spread of the virus. ... We will continue to work with our partners in the coming weeks to identify new dates for all three Awards ceremonies, and 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.”

The annual awards gala brings together thousands of the country’s biggest names in the culinary industry.

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