Winning a James Beard Award is, in many ways, the highlight of a chef or restaurateur's career. It's validation of a life's work by a large group of his or her peers.
Winning a Beard can also mean financial success in many ways. From an uptick in reservations to a much-needed bank loan easier to get, a Beard can mean a chef is on the road to a bright future. A Beard-winning restaurant can also help a city by placing it on the country's radar as a culinary destination.
Over the past several years, Miami's dining scene has gotten more exciting, yet the Beard has been elusive.
Last year, former Miamian Nina Compton ousted Alter's Brad Kilgore in the Best Chef: South category and the Miami Herald's Carlos Frias won a journalism Beard in the Local Impact category in a separate ceremony held in New York City. José Andrés, who owns the Bazaar by José Andrés and Bazaar Mar, was the recipient of the 2018 Humanitarian of the Year Award.
Though Kilgore's gotten close for the past three years, he hasn't had his moment in the sun. Kilgore, along with a cadre of other Miami chefs, restaurateurs, and bar professionals are deserving of a Beard. Some chefs doing Beard-level work include Niven Patel (Ghee), Jeremy Ford (Stubborn Seed), and Bar Lab's Gabriel Orta and Elad Zvi for their cocktail program at Broken Shaker.
Miamians have experienced the passion and creativity of these professionals first hand. Now, it's time to let the world know. The first step is in your hands.
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Each year, the Beard Foundation announces an open call for entries for its annual awards and receives thousands of entries from across the U.S. The nomination process is easy. Certain categories have different nomination deadlines, with the restaurant and chef awards submissions deadline December 31. There is no fee to recommend candidates for the restaurant and chef awards.
From there, foundation representatives total the entries and judging begins. Different judging committees meet after the deadlines close to review the entries, confirm eligibility, and make the first cuts.
Semifinalists for the restaurant and chef awards are announced February 2019. All award nominees are announced March 2019, and the winners are announced at the media awards dinner on April 26, 2019, at Pier 60 in New York City. The James Beard Awards are announced at the annual awards gala on May 6, 2019, in Chicago.
To nominate your favorite Miami chefs, bar professionals, and restaurateurs visit jamesbeard.org/awards now through December 31. It's free, it's easy, and it's about time we give our talented culinary community the national recognition its due.