The James Beard Foundation needs you. Well, your opinion anyway.
Winners of the foundation's annual restaurant and chef awards won't be announced until the evening of May 6, 2013, from the stage of Avery Fisher Hall in New York City's Lincoln Center. But now's the time to tell the foundation which restaurants and chefs should be up for consideration in 21 categories, including Outstanding Bar Program, Best New Restaurant, Rising Star Chef of the Year, Outstanding Pastry Chef and Best Chef: Midwest.
Go here and share your opinions. Registration is easy, requiring a name, ZIP code and email address. It's fast, and it's free. Deadline is Dec. 31st.
When the foundation's annual book awards winners are announced in New York City on May 3rd, e-books will be included in the same categories as print books, a first. "The James Beard Book Awards are designed to recognize excellence, and we'll be looking for it regardless of whether it comes on paper or on a screen," said book committee head Matt Sartwell.
In addition, the foundation's Restaurant Design award will now recognize two categories of entries: Restaurants of 75 seats and over, and restaurants of 75 seats and under. And for the first time, restaurants and chefs in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will be eligible for consideration in the foundation's restaurant and chef awards.
Nominees in all book, journalism, design, broadcast media and restaurant and chef categories will be announced on March 18, 2013.