2024 JBF Awards Entry Period Opens

The James Beard Foundation® announced today that the entry and recommendation period for the 2024 James Beard Awards® is officially open until November 30, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. For more than 30 years, the annual James Beard Awards have awarded exceptional talent in the culinary arts, hospitality, food media, and the broader food system. The Awards also recognize a demonstrated commitment to racial and gender equity, community, sustainability, and creating a culture where all can thrive. 

The 2024 Awards ceremonies will be held in Chicago on the following dates: 

  • Media Awards: Saturday, June 8, 2024 

  • Leadership Awards: Sunday, June 9, 2024 

  • Restaurant and Chef Awards: Monday, June 10, 2024

“We were thrilled to celebrate excellent talent from so many corners of the country in 2023; it's hard to believe that the 2024 awards are already upon us. The Foundation welcomes authors, journalists, content creators, chefs, restaurateurs, others in the hospitality industry, and leaders in the broader food system to submit their entries for the 2024 awards,” says Dawn Padmore, Vice President of Awards, James Beard Foundation. “We also extend an open invitation to the general public to put forward their recommendations for the Restaurant and Chef and Leadership Awards.”

The James Beard Awards consist of four separate recognition programs and three achievement awards: 

  • Recognition programs: 

    • Media Awards (Book)

    • Media Awards (Broadcast Media)

    • Media Awards (Journalism)

    • Restaurant and Chef Awards 

  • Achievement Awards:

    • Leadership Awards

    • Lifetime Achievement

    • Humanitarian of the Year Award

"We are excited to continue awarding excellence and leadership throughout the hospitality industry, food media, and broader food system," says Tanya Holland, Chair of the James Beard Awards Committee and James Beard Foundation Board of Trustee. “In 2024, we look forward to celebrating our colleagues that represent the full breadth of the industries we honor.”

The following outlines the Awards submission process: 


The deadline for submitting entries (Media Awards) and recommendations (Restaurant and Chef Awards and Leadership Awards) is Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Physical book copies for Book Awards entries must arrive at the warehouse for review by Wednesday, December 6, 2023. 

Recommendation and Entry Overview


  • Submitting a recommendation for the Leadership or Restaurant and Chef Awards is free. 

  • The Media Awards (Book, Broadcast Media, and Journalism) conduct Open Call for Entries that require an entry fee of $85 per entry. The James Beard Foundation is committed to making the application process accessible for all. Fee waivers can be requested if the $85 entry fee presents hardship. Applications will not be penalized if this option is selected.

As part of all Awards submissions, the Foundation requires a short statement, written (150-300 words) or recorded (audio or video, 1-2 minutes) by the entrant or recommender. The statement offers a chance to tell the committees and judges a little more about the candidate and their work, and how their work expresses aspects of the mission and the Foundation’s values: equity, transparency, respect, integrity, and community. The statement is reviewed for content and not for language fluency, video quality, or production value.

Highlights of Category Changes or Updates

Every year, the James Beard Awards subcommittees and the Foundation may make changes or additions to categories in order to reflect and capture current trends in the industry and to align with the overall priorities of the organization. Highlights of changes to the 2024 James Beard Awards categories are as follows: 

  •  Journalism:

    • The Personal Essay without Recipes title has been changed to Personal Essay; the category description and requirements have not changed.

      • Recognizes excellence in an essay on any food and/or drink-related topic without recipes. An entry consists of one piece that demonstrates a distinctive voice, point of view, and style.

    • The Innovative Storytelling title has been changed to Innovative Visual Storytelling to highlight that this is a multi-media (writing and visual) category.

      • Recognizes excellence in food- and/or drink-related content that emphasizes photography, virtual reality, interactive design, or other forms of visual enhancement to tell a story. An entry consists of one piece or presentation. The entry may be an individual submission or a team collaboration. Up to four names can be submitted.

    • The Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award is now titled the Craig Claiborne Distinguished Criticism Award to better reflect the landscape of restaurant and food culture reviews and criticism.

      • New Description: Recognizes discerning criticism or commentary that contributes to the larger discourse on food, drink, and related topics. An entry consists of three pieces that can include restaurant reviews, cultural critiques, or analyses that demonstrate thought-provoking opinion and compelling style. 

  • Book Awards

    • The Cookbook Hall of Fame definition has been updated for better clarity.

      • New Description: This award is given to either a cookbook that has significantly influenced the way we think about food, honoring authors who possess an exceptional ability to communicate their gastronomic vision via the printed page, or an author whose cookbooks and other culinary books and work, taken together, make a difference in the world of food and cooking. The Book Committee selects the honoree for this category. No entries will be accepted for this category. 

  • Broadcast Media 

    • The Audio Reporting category description has been updated for clarity.

      • New Description: This award recognizes excellence in reporting and narratives about food and/or food issues in radio or podcasts. This work is issue or deadline-driven, topical, or timely in nature.

    • The Documentary/Docuseries Visual Media category has been split into two: 

      • Documentary Visual Media: This award recognizes excellence in a food-related documentary production (15 minutes or greater in length). The production must have been made available to the public via broadcast, stream (SVOD), download (TVOD), YouTube/Vimeo (AVOD or free view), and/or exhibition at a North American film festival. 

      • Docuseries Visual Media: This award recognizes excellence in a food-related docuseries production (at least 3 episodes each of which is longer than 10 minutes). All episodes of the production must have been made available to the public via broadcast, stream (SVOD), download (TVOD), YouTube/Vimeo (AVOD or free view), and/or exhibition at a North American film festival.

    • The Instructional Visual Media category description has been updated to include educational content. 

      • New Description: This award recognizes excellence in a food-related video production with instruction and/or education as its primary intent, whether broadcast, streamed, accessed online or through an app.

    • The Unscripted Visual Media category replaces the Reality or Competition Visual Media category.

      • New Description: This award recognizes excellence in an unscripted food-related video production whether broadcast, streamed, accessed online or through an app.

  •  Leadership

    • Open Call for Recommendations change: Leadership Awards recommendations now require two (2) references as part of the Open Call for Recommendations process.

    • 2024 Categories Update: 

      • The 2024 Leadership Awards categories were created by the James Beard Foundation, with input from the Leadership Committee, as a reflection of the Foundation's policy agenda and impact priorities for 2023-2024. The categories may vary annually.

      • The impact of Leadership candidates’ work is at the national, regional, as well as local level.

        • Sustainability: Leaders who are advancing environmental sustainability in support of a better supply chain for restaurants. Their efforts may focus on healthy soil, clean oceans, sustainable fisheries, reducing food waste, or regenerative agriculture.

        • Policy Advocacy: Policymakers or advocates who are advancing a Farm Bill and/or federal legislation or regulations that prioritize climate change mitigation, racial and gender equity, or industry practices that foster a more sustainable and equitable restaurant industry.

        • Industry Culture and Practices: Leaders who have made a significant impact and are acknowledged and recognized as setting industry standards, commitment to transforming the industry into one that is sustainable and equitable. These leaders have put in place systems and policies that prioritize the physical and mental health of their employees and themselves and have proven to make for a sound financial model for staff and owners alike that foster longevity in the restaurant industry. They are modeling how to make independent restaurants more equitable both within and beyond one’s own businesses.

        • Food Security and Access: Leaders who have advanced nutrition security, an issue that has directly impacted many independent chefs and restaurants, most notably through SNAP and SNAP expansion, community engagement, and beyond.

As announced last year, as of the 2023 Awards, the eligibility time frame for the Restaurant and Chef Awards program is from October to October (instead of a calendar year). For the June 2024 Restaurant and Chef Awards, the eligibility time frame will be October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023. Businesses opening after September 30, 2023 will be under the eligibility time frame for the June 2025 Restaurant and Chef Awards. 

  • For all awards that require years in service, one year is counted October 1 through September 30. For categories where restaurants or chefs have to be open or in the region for a minimum number of years, the years will be counted back from September 30, not including any time closed during the pandemic. 

  • For example, to be eligible for the Outstanding Restaurateur category for the 2024 Awards, restaurateurs will need to have been in the business since at least September 30, 2018 (five years in business). 

For more information and to view the full list of 2024 Awards programs, criteria, and deadlines,  visit the James Beard Awards page. Entries for all categories can be submitted via the online portal through November 30. For information on the policies and procedures of each program, please visit the Policies and Procedures page. For information on the Awards vetting and ethics process, and Code of Ethics, please visit the Code of Ethics page. For general Awards questions, please visit our Awards FAQs page.