SOURCE: The James Beard Foundation Awards

March 16, 2006 19:10 ET

2006 James Beard Foundation Award Nominees Announced

Industry's Most Prestigious Evening to Celebrate Culinary Legacy of New Orleans

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 16, 2006 -- The James Beard Foundation has announced nominees and special honorees for the 2006 James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation's top honors for culinary professionals. This year there are a total of 62 Award categories for restaurants and chefs, cookbooks, broadcasting, print journalism, and restaurant design.

Highlights of the announcement include:

The recipient of the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award is Judith Jones, Senior Editor and Vice President of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House publishers. In her nearly 50-year career as a cookbook editor, Jones has worked with a long list of esteemed food writers, including Julia Child (Judith published Julia's first book and was her editor ever after), James Beard, Nancy Verde Barr, Lidia Bastianich, Marion Cunningham, Rosie Daley, Marcella Hazan, Ken Hom, Madhur Jaffrey, Irene Kuo, Edna Lewis, Scott Peacock, Joan Nathan, Jacques Pépin, Claudia Roden, Nina Simonds, and Anna Thomas, among many others.

The 2006 James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, presented by Contessa Premium Foods, are: Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, Co-Founders, Cowgirl Creamery, Point Reyes Station, CA; Jean Joho, Chef and Proprietor, Everest, Chicago; Gray Kunz, Founding Chef, Café Gray, NYC; Kermit Lynch, Founder and Owner, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Berkeley, CA; and Ari Weinzweig, Co-Founder, Zingerman's Deli, Ann Arbor, MI. The Who's Who of Food and Beverage is presented to culinary professionals who have made significant and lasting achievements and contributions to the food and beverage industry for ten or more years.

A new category -- Webcasts on Food -- was added to the James Beard Foundation Broadcast Media Awards, presented by Viking Range Corporation, to recognize the growing number of food-related webcasts. Entries were original programs produced for the Internet. The 2006 nominees in this category include "All You Can Eat" (www.pacificpalate.com), "Hear and Now" (www.here-now.org) and "Spatulatta.com" (www.spatulatta.com), the Awards' first-ever nominated show with co-hosts under the age of 11. The broadcast media Awards are for television shows, radio shows, and webcasts on food and beverage aired in 2005.

Highlights of the 2006 Awards Ceremony and Reception, to be held on May 8 in New York City:

As part of its mission to celebrate, preserve, and nurture America's culinary heritage and diversity, the James Beard Foundation will celebrate the culinary legacy of New Orleans. New Orleans native Cokie Roberts, political commentator, ABC News, and senior news analyst, National Public Radio, will serve as master of ceremonies. Guest presenters from New Orleans will include Scott Boswell, chef of Restaurant Stella, Ella Brennan, Lalli Brennan, and Ti Adelaide Martin of Commander's Palace, Willie Mae Seaton of Willie Mae's Scotch House, and quarterback Eli Manning of the New York Giants (a native of New Orleans). The ceremony will be followed by a reception featuring a menu by 20 chefs from New Orleans and its vicinity.

Reservations for the Awards can be made by calling 212-367-9490 or toll free at 1-866-362-6442. Admission is $375 ($325 for James Beard Foundation members/$120 for students). A portion of the admission price to the Awards will be donated to a charitable fund established to support the rebuilding of New Orleans' restaurant community. The American Express® Card is the Official Card of the James Beard Foundation Awards.

Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognize cookbook authors, restaurants, chefs, food and beverage journalists, broadcasters, and restaurant and graphic designers. To select the nominees and winners, independent volunteer panels of more than 600 food and beverage professionals from around the country vote on specific Award categories. The accounting firm Lutz & Carr tabulates ballots. Winners' identities remain confidential until the Awards ceremonies. Winners receive a bronze medallion engraved with the image of James Beard. Membership in, service to, and fundraising for the James Beard Foundation are neither requirements for nor in any way relevant to Awards consideration or nomination. The trustees and staff of the James Beard Foundation do not vote.

The James Beard Foundation presents its annual Awards with generous support from the following: All-Clad Metalcrafters; American Express Company; Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association; Chefwear; Contessa Premium Foods; Continental Airlines; Ecolab; Gallo Family Vineyards; illy caffè North America; KitchenAid Home Appliances; McIlhenny Company, maker of TABASCO® Brand Products; the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau; S.Pellegrino; Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.; Viking Range Corporation; and Waterford Wedgwood. The Journalism Awards are underwritten solely by the James Beard Foundation.

The James Beard Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to preserving, nurturing, and celebrating America's culinary heritage. The Foundation provides scholarships and educational opportunities to culinary students, serves as a resource center for those in the food industry, offers members and the public the opportunity to enjoy the talents of emerging and established chefs, winemakers, cookbook authors, and dedicated purveyors, and honors professionals in the food and beverage industry for their achievements with the annual James Beard Foundation Awards. For membership information, call 212.675.4984 or 800.36.BEARD, or see our website at www.jamesbeard.org.

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