NEW YORK, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The James Beard Foundation has announced nominees and special honorees for the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards, the nation's top honors for culinary professionals. This year, there are a total of 62 Award categories for restaurants, chefs, broadcasting, print journalism, books, and restaurant design. Highlights of the announcements, held at a reception at the historic James Beard House in Greenwich Village, included: Barbara Kafka, Lifetime Achievement Award; Art Smith, Humanitarian Award; and Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen; Cookbook Hall of Fame. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Foundation, an esteemed group of past Rising Star Chef Award winners and nominees will be guest chefs at the May 7 Awards Gala Reception, a walk-around tasting. The criteria for a Rising Star Chef is a chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come. Todd English of Olives, the first Rising Star Chef Award Winner in 1981, will serve as Executive Chef, along with past recipients such as Grant Achatz, Alinea; Jose Ramon Andres, Jaleo; Andrew Carmellini, A Voce; Traci Des Jardins, Jardiniere; Corey Lee, The French Laundry; Douglas Rodriguez, Ola Miami; and Marcus Samuelsson, Aquavit. Daniel Johnnes, the 2006 Wine and Spirits Professional of The Year, will serve as the Awards reception Executive Wine Director. The Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will be held at Lincoln Center's legendary Avery Fisher Hall, New York City on Monday, May 7, 2007. The James Beard Foundation Media Awards will be presented at a separate event at the Hudson Theatre in New York City on Sunday, May 6, 2007. All Award winners will receive a bronze medallion etched with the image of the late James Beard, the esteemed chef, cookbook author and food journalist. There are no cash awards. Established in 1990, The James Beard Foundation Awards recognizes outstanding achievement within the fine food and beverage industry. The Awards honor professionals including book authors, chefs, restaurateurs, winemakers, journalists, broadcasters and restaurant and graphic designers in the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.jamesbeard.org or call 212-675-4984.
SOURCE James Beard Foundation