James Beard Foundation Announces Award Hosts
The James Beard Foundation announced that TV personality, author, and multiple James Beard Award–winning celebrity chef Alton Brown will return this year to host the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards.
The Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception will take place May 4 at Lyric Opera of Chicago. On April 24, Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s “The Chew,” will host the annual James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
Alton Brown began his culinary career with the desire to reinvent uninspired cooking shows. Upon completing his training at the New England Culinary Institute, Brown created “Good Eats,” a smart and entertaining food show that blended wit with wisdom, history with pop culture, and science with common cooking sense.
Brown wrote, produced, and hosted the Food Network show for 13 years. “Good Eats” was recognized as a Peabody Award winner in April of 2007 for excellence in broadcast news, education, and entertainment and in 2011, Brown received a James Beard Award for Outstanding Television Host.
Brown has lent his talents to a number of Food Network shows and also mounted a traveling road show called the “Edible Inevitable Tour,” which is set to perform on the Lyric Stage during the Awards Ceremony.
In addition to his work on the small screen, Brown has written seven books including I’m Just Here for the Food, which won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Cookbook in the Reference category. Brown also released a massive three volume book companion set to “Good Eats,” each of which made the New York Times best seller list.
Carla Hall, acclaimed host of “The Chew” and former “Top Chef” competitor will host the 2015 Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards. A native of Nashville, Tennesee, Hall’s food journey began at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, after returning from a trip throughout Europe that awakened her passion for food.
Upon completing her culinary training, she went on to work as a sous Chef at the Henley Park Hotel in Washington D.C. and later served as Executive Chef at both The State Plaza Hotel and The Washington Club. Hall’s approach to cooking blends her classic French training and southern upbringing, both of which she has carried through to her artisan cookie company, Carla Hall Petite Cookies, as well as her restaurant, Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen, slated to open in New York City later this year.
“We are thrilled to have two of television’s most influential food personalities host this year’s Awards shows, our 25th Anniversary year,” says Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “Both Carla and Alton have made amazing contributions to the food world through the years, so they seem the perfect fit to play master of ceremonies as we celebrate all of the culinary strides and achievements made not only by our Foundation, but the wonderful community of food and beverage professionals who have made this past quarter-century great.”