Hari Pulapaka of Cress welcomes AJ+ host Yara Elmjouie to his DeLand restaurant in a scene from the Beard-nominated video.
Looking for some normalcy, some of the same ol’ same ol’? Just look to the finalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards. They’re as lopsided and irrational as always, which you may find alternately comforting and infuriating.
In a normal years, the winners of the annual awards would have been announced in a gala ceremony in Chicago on Monday – the black-tie festivities have always been scheduled for the Monday closest to the birthday of James Beard.
But the New York-based foundation had put off the announcement of the finalists, which had been scheduled for late March, because of the uncertainty surrounding the stay at home directives.
Recognizing that an in-person awards ceremony is not likely for 2020, JBF decided to use May 4, the date that would have been the thirtieth anniversary of the awards ceremony, to name the finalists and to announce that the restaurant and chef awards will be presented during a live broadcast Friday, Sept. 25, on the Beard Foundation’s Twitter feed. Media awards – cookbooks, television shows, critic reviews – will be announced Wed., May 27.
But back to that normalcy. Central Florida’s chefs were once again snubbed and left off the list of finalists. We had only chance for recognition this year: Henry Moso of Kabooki Sushi was a seminfinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year, a category for notable chefs under the age of 30. Maybe next year, chef. Oops, Moso is 29, so...