James Beard Foundation Recognizes Texas As Its Own Culinary Region



In previous years, Texas has been part of the Southwest Region, which since 2012 has included Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. However, after examining national demographic, culinary and cultural trends, the Foundation has decided to expand the number of regions from 10 to 12. As a result, Texas will join California and New York State as three new statewide regions (previously New York City was its own region but it will now become part of new region that includes the entire state).

'Bout damned time.


Can you help me understand why this is a big deal? I’ve always thought the regions were arbitrary and more a function of staffing limits within James Beard than representing any sort of important culinary distinctions . . . . . but maybe I’m missing something or not considering something . . . .

It’s not really. Truth to tell, we really couldn’t care less what y’all think.

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In a press release, the foundation said that it works with “outside demographic consultants” every few years “to analyze census data and the shifting restaurant landscape to strive for balance in regional representation at the Awards.” It used that information and restaurant data to make the regions “as evenly distributed and culturally distinct as possible.”

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Well I’m glad that they rethink regions every few years but I find the logic suspect given that they are now combining NYC with the entire state of NY - census data and restaurant landscapes wouldn’t support that decision.

Hey - if it means more chefs/industry folk are getting the recognition they deserve I’m all for it. I still think it is more of a staffing decision than anything else but good things can come from strange decisions. Let’s see what Texas has to offer that wasn’t being recognized before (edit: that is not meant to sound sarcastic but I can’t think of a better wording right now).

I dunno, I surmised that NYC’s culinary influence is not as far reaching and infallible as it has been in the past.

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