Vote early and often.Image courtesy of the James Beard Foundation.
It’s that time of year again — time for chefs to nominate themselves for the James Beard Awards! The process by which anyone and everyone can go online and get their favorite cooks and restaurants on the ballot is a recipe for self-promotion and voter fraud beyond Karl Rove’s juiciest fantasies. Just ask Jason Neroni, the “desperate chef” whose ingenuous plea to his friends and family propelled him to laughingstock status. The Beard Awards are actually decided by an august committee, but starting on Monday, anyone who wants to make the judges aware of a chef or restaurant (even if they aren’t that chef themselves) can do so by going to the Beard Website. By all means though, don’t write anything along the lines of “hey everybody, I need your help!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE vote for me for rising star chef!” Because, you know, someone could get a hold of it and publish it on a Website, and then where would you be?