The semi-finalist nominations for the prestigious James Beard Foundation awards were recently released. If you’re not familiar with the awards, here’s a description from their website.
Deemed “the Oscars of the food world,” by Time magazine, The James Beard Foundation Awards are the country’s most coveted honor for chefs; food and beverage professionals; broadcast media, journalists, and authors working on food; and restaurant architects and designers.
In the misnamed category “Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional,” four luminaries from the world of beer made the cut. Those semi-finalists are Larry Bell (Bell’s Brewery), Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery), Jim Koch (Boston Beer Co.) and Garrett Oliver (Brooklyn Brewery), any one of which deserves to win, or at least move on to the final round. Of the 20 semifinalists in each category, five final nominees will be announced March 22, and the awards themselves will be presented May 3.
At the risk of losing my own media nomination (that’s a joke BTW) isn’t it time to lose the wine and spirits bias? With 20% of the semi-finalists from the world of craft beer, wouldn’t something like “Outstanding Beverage Professional” be more appropriate and less insulting?
Ed Chainey says
I vote for Beer, Wine and Spirits Professional. But of course, I’m biased.
Matt Pushinsky says
Yes, it’s insulting. But what about Outstanding Adult Beverage Professional or yes, a more generic Beverage Pro. We wouldn’t want to exclude barristas and tea-sans would we?