Unlike the Oscars or People's "Sexiest Man Alive," nominations for gastronomy's highest honor are open to the public: You can suggest your favorite chef or restaurant for a coveted James Beard Award before midnight on December 15, simply by logging on to the foundation's Website. Of course, if your cook isn't already a big shot, his best chance for a beard is to go for awhile without shaving. (Though here, women are at a clear disadvantage.) Still, you can always tell that special person you nominated them and hope for an extra scoop of caviar — or rice and beans, as the case may be — at your next meal. And more importantly, you can get them on the Foundation's radar, which is the key to future glory.
James Beard Foundation Awards Nomination Form [James Beard Foundation]