Cast your nominations for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards

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It's that time of year again, when chefs from all over the country send out e-mails begging their loyal customers to nominate them for a James Beard Foundation Award, otherwise known as the "Oscars of the food universe."

The 2011 nominations, which include various restaurant and chef categories -- Best Southwest Chef, Outstanding Restaurateur, Outstanding Pastry Chef, Rising Star Chef of the Year, Outstanding Restaurant and more -- will be announced in Portland, Oregon, on March 21, and the finalists will be revealed on May 9 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.

Nominations for the Restaurant and Chef Awards are now open, but in order to vote, you'll need to register (it's free) at www.jamesbeard.org/awards; you've got until December 31 to cast your submissions, which should obviously show love for Colorado-based cookers, sugar spinners, wine service professionals, restaurateurs and restaurants.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.