James Beard Awards to Stay in Chicago Until 2027

Chicago is the first city outside of New York City to host annual event for the James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Awards are staying in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Monday.

The awards ceremony, known as the "Oscars of the Food Industry," was scheduled to finish its latest run in Chicago in 2021, but will now be staying in the Windy City until 2027, officials said.

Chicago is the first city outside of New York City to host annual event for the James Beard Foundation. 

"The opportunity to host the James Beard Awards for an additional six years is testament to the city of Chicago’s reputation as a culinary capital and cultural destination," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "Chicago’s world-class culinary scene is an important part of the city’s economy, supporting tourism, jobs and economic opportunities in neighborhoods across the city. We are proud to continue hosting this prestigious event and look forward to showing even more visitors what our city has to offer."

The awards, which first came to Chicago in 2015, honor the nation's best chefs and restaurants, or those follow in the footsteps of James Beard, considered the dean of American cooking when he died in 1985. 

Several cities had sought to host the awards, but the foundation said Chicago's offer of marketing and sponsorship support was too good to turn down.

"Our decision to move the James Beard Awards to Chicago in 2015 has been validated by the extraordinary success of the Awards program over the past several years," Fred Seegal, James Beard Foundation board chair said in a statement. "We are happy to be extending this dynamic partnership."

The 2019 James Beard Awards celebrations will begin in New York City on April 26 with the James Beard Media Awards, a celebratory event honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists that will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers.

The events then move to Chicago, beginning with the Leadership Awards Dinner on May 5 and the James Beard Awards Gala on May 6 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

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