The James Beard Awards Are Getting Their Own Documentary
Go behind the scenes at the Oscars of the food world.
Didn’t catch all the best moments from the James Beard Foundation Awards ceremony earlier this year? On June 24, ABC will air a documentary highlighting the most meaningful stories from the awards show and pay tribute to some of the winners, like José Andrés, who earned the title of Humanitarian of the Year for his advocacy on hunger issues.
Along with Andrés, JBFA: Stories from the 2018 James Beard Awards will feature profiles on Rising Star recipient Camille Cogswell, Highlands (this year's Outstanding Restaurant), and Paula Wolfert, who took home the Lifetime Achievement award, to name a few. In between deep-dives into the lives of this year's crop of winners, expect food world heavy-hitters like Carla Hall (who hosted the ceremony), Gail Simmons, Martha Stewart, Marcus Samuelsson, Andrew Zimmern, and Rick Bayless to offer commentary on the culinary landscape and how, exactly, the James Beard Foundation has shaped the industry since its inception in 1986.
A teaser trailer for the documentary shows snippets of the emotional evening, which not only recognized talented chefs, but also those in the industry who are fighting for more diversity, fairer wages, and sustainability in restaurants. Ahead of the awards, which took place on May 7, Carla Hall spoke to Food & Wine about how the show’s theme, Rise, was a reflection of an industry that is now working to shift away from what Anthony Bourdain called an “abusive system.”
In fact, it was a night of firsts: After five nominations, Dominique Crenn became the first woman in 11 years to take home the James Beard Award for Best Chef: West, while Edouardo Jordan became the first African-American chef to win Best New Restaurant. Indeed, the foundation did seem to make good on its promise to push for a more inclusive industry.