This week the intrepid and resourceful folks over at Grub Street
Eater had a Big Coup. They published the long list of the James Beard Award Nominees They published the long list of the James Beard Award Nominees , which is a first in the 18 year history of the awards. Bravo!
The way the process works is last fall there was an open and public call for nominations. This pool of candidates was culled down to about 10-12 nominees in each category. This long list was put onto the JBF website and the 400+ national judges were given a password to go in and vote electronically. The votes on the long list will be tallied to arrive at the final five contenders in each category.
I'd guess the JBF is taking this in a good news/bad news kind of way. Good news is all of the critics and perpetual complainers who grouse that the same people are always nominated, can now see how many chefs and restaurants are actually considered. Indeed the Eater post is getting beaucoup traction online everywhere. The bad news is one of the official judges, while skilled in turning a web-page into a pdf file, is less proficient at keeping a secret.
And what about hacking the long list for the journalism awards? Well there is no long list or on-line voting. The judges for the journalism awards simply have to slog through reading every one of the 700+ entries that were submitted.
For the final list of nominees, there will be a petit déjeuner and announcement on March 23rd at the James Beard House.
4PM UPDATE: The strikeouts above were added when I realized Eater had not in fact published the list. Hacking and breaking news accolades rightfully go to Grub Street. Apologies Josh! My bad. Though I guess now you get to swap spots on the blacklist with Ben and Lock.
UPDATE 3.10.08: The JBF release the list of semi-finialist and awards protocal. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.