First it was the International Association of Culinary Professionals--that week-long bacchanalia of symposia, lectures, heavy drinking, food, celebrities, more drinking and awards--that was hosted by the lovely city of Portland, Oregon just a few months ago. And I was fine with that. Really. It was in Denver the year before and I spent several days barely sleeping, eating and drinking way too much, hanging out with weirdos and stalking famous food writers like prey all across the city.
But word just came down yesterday that, in the wake of the IACP 2010 Annual Conference (2011 is gonna be in Austin, which ought to be one hellluva party), it now looks as though the nominations for the 2011 James Beard Awards are also going to be announced from Portland.
"the James Beard Awards, aka 'the Oscars of the food world,' announced yesterday that the 2011 nominations will be revealed from right here in Portland," said Eater, "complete with a celebratory gala featuring past and present JBF Award-winners and nominees."
The choice of Portland isn't a huge surprise--it's the town where James Beard was born, after all. And this will basically be the event where the James Beard Foundation announces their big list of chef and restaurant nominees for the 2011 awards--a way for the JBF to extend the celebration out beyond the traditional 2 or 3 day Manhattan-based party in May when the award winners are announced. The way things look right now, the big party is scheduled for sometime around the third week in March, so if you are seriously into celebrity chef-spotting (or just have some kind of weird James Beard fixation), you might want to start making your plans now.