James Beard was one of the 20th century's great cooks, along with Julia Child, who elevated American home cooking.
When he died in 1985, his colleagues went to work to preserve his legacy and soon after established the James Beard House and the James Beard Foundation.
Every year, the foundation gives out awards to chefs and restaurants, cookbook authors and TV shows. The annual event is like the Oscars of the food world.
Naturally, a dinner at New York City's historic James Beard House is part of the occasion as well.