The James Beard Awards will stay in Chicago through at least 2017, the James Beard Foundation announced today in a press release in partnership with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. On May 4, the award ceremony will be conducted outside New York City for the first time in its history, at the Lyric Opera House of Chicago.
“The entire city of Chicago has proven to be a generous and creative partner in planning this year’s awards,” said the foundation’s president, Susan Ungaro. “Returning for two more years is not only exciting, but offers continuity for even more opportunities for our foundation’s most important event of the year.”
Part of the decision to remain in Chicago is connected to Mayor Emanuel’s goal of attracting 55 million annual visitors to the city by 2020.
“Ever since we announced last year that Chicago would host the JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards Gala for its 25th anniversary, our great city has been electric with excitement and anticipation,” Mayor Emanuel said in a statement. “Chicago has a rich history with the Foundation, delivering restaurant and chef winners 23 out of 24 years with more than 40 James Beard Award winners to date. We are so proud to be welcoming this most prestigious of events for two more years.”