MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesotans nominated for James Beard Awards, along with those nominated from around the country, will never know if they won this year.

The group behind the food industry’s most prestigious award announced today, they’re not going to present winners this year. Four Twin Cities chefs and one restaurant were named finalists this year.

The James Beard Foundation says it believes assigning awards will do little to help the industry in its current uphill battle amid COVID-19.

“We did not come to this decision lightly,” James Beard Foundation CEO Clare Reichenbach said. “The uncertainty of this time for our industry is already a hard reality and considering anyone to have won or lost within the current tumultuous hospitality ecosystem does not in fact feel like the right thing to do.”

The foundation is also canceling its 2021 awards, and plans to overhaul its procedures to remove any systemic bias, and increase the diversity of the pool of candidates.

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