The James Beard Foundation has announced that the call for entries for the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards is officially open. The JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards, the culinary industry’s most prestigious recognition program, will add a new Outstanding Baker category. The Outstanding Pastry Chef category remains in place.

“The Outstanding Baker award grew from our desire to honor those professionals working beyond the restaurant dessert realm,” said Restaurant and Chef Awards committee chair Phil Vettel. “Along with Outstanding Pastry Chef, this award acknowledges the vitality of the pastry and baking professions, in restaurants and in bakeries of many kinds, and the importance of bread and dessert to the dining experience.”

To submit an entry or to view the full list of 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards programs and deadlines, please visit Please note that one may submit up to two entries per subcategory of the Restaurant and Chef awards.

Deadlines for submissions are as follows: December 15, 2014 for Book Awards; December 31, 2014 for Restaurant and Chef Awards; January 9, 2015 for Broadcast and New Media Awards; January 9, 2015 for Journalism Awards; and January 31, 2015 for Restaurant Design Awards. The Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists will be announced February 18, 2015. Finalists for every award category will be revealed on March 24, 2015.

The James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on May 4, 2015. During the JBF Awards event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, and America’s Classics.

A gala reception will immediately follow, featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields. Each award category has an individual committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective awards program. All JBF Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. There are no cash prizes. The JBF Awards are open to any industry professional who meets the criteria.

James Beard Foundation membership is not required for participation in the nomination process or to win an award. Ballot tabulation is handled by Lutz and Carr, an independent accounting firm.

For more information about the James Beard Foundation Awards, please contact Yvon Ros at 212.627.2090 or email