James Beard Foundation to announce award nominees, stage benefit at Kingsley House in New Orleans
New Orleans chefs, restaurateurs and writers have been amply decorated over the years by the James Beard Awards, the prestigious program run by the James Beard Foundation in New York City. Next week, the Foundation will be descending upon New Orleans for a fundraiser and to announce the nominees for this year’s Beard Awards, which will honor chefs and restaurants as well as authors, journalists and designers during ceremonies held in Manhattan in May.
Rusty Costanza/The Times-PicayuneChef Michael of Le Meritage is one of over 25 area chefs cooking at a benefit dinner for the James Beard Foundation on March 21.The benefit dinner is Sunday, March 21, at the Kingsley House (1600 Constance Ave.). Chefs providing food for the event have either cooked at the Beard House in Greenwich Village, located in the former home of the famous cookbook writer and chef, or been honored by the awards program. The list of participating chefs is long, and it includes Bayona’s Susan Spicer, Haley Bittermann (Bacco), Tory McPhail (Commander’s Palace), Justin Devillier (La Petite Grocery), Scott Boswell (Stanley, Stella!), Donald Link (Herbaint, Cochon, etc), Richard Hughes (the Pelican Club), Greg and Mary Sonnier (Gabrielle at the Uptowner) and John Besh (Restaurant August, Luke, etc.).
Louisiana purveyors will also be on hand, including P & J Oysters, shrimper Rickey Power, Smith Creamery and Old New Orleans Rum.
The event will include live music as well as an auction to benefit the Beard Foundation and a “general store” where proceeds will go to benefit the Kingsley House. The event runs from 3 to 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $100, $150 for VIP ($75 and $125 respectively for Beard members).
Announcement of Beard Award nominees will take place Monday, March 22, at the Palace Café. New Orleanians were well represented among the semi-finalists, which were announced in February. This is the second year nominees have been announced at a location outside New York. (Full disclosure: I chair the committee that oversee the Restaurant and Chef Awards.)