James Beard Awards: Nominations Are Open and You Can Vote

Michelle Bernstein won the 2008 Beard Award for Best Chef: South
The nomination process is open for the 2012 James Beard Awards and everyone, including non-members can vote for their favorites.

There are 21 categories, including Best Chef: South (which includes Florida), Outstanding Pastry Chef, Outstanding Bar Program, and Outstanding Wine Program.

Registration is required to nominate a chef or restaurant in all categories. After registration, voters will be asked to choose a category. A list of previous winners for the past five years in each chosen category will pop-up, reminding voters that past winners are ineligible. Other than that -- it's a free-for-all.

Nominations close December 31 at 11:59 p.m. and each voter is only allowed to submit one nomination for the same person or restaurant in each category.

Semifinalists will be announced mid-February and nominees will be announced and notified via e-mail on March 19, 2012. Winners will be announced May 7, 2012. Find the complete rules here.

Let's bring home the Beards for Miami! Register and vote here.

The full list of categories are:

Outstanding Restaurateur
Best Chef: Pacific (CA, HI)
Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT)
Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS)
Best Chef: Southeat (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY State, RI, VT)
Best Chef: (the five boroughs)
Outstanding Pastry Chef
Rising Star Chef of the Year
Outstanding Chef
Outstanding restaurant
Outstanding Service
Outstanding Wine Program
Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional
Best New Restaurant
America's Classics
Outstanding Bar Program

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