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.
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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.