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Tanya Steel is a well-known food writer and Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning food Web site, Before joining Epicurious, Steel was the New York Editor of Bon Appetit magazine, where[…]

Steel explains what has become an important force in the culinary world.

Tanya Steel: The James Beard Foundation is a group of food professionals who really want to foster the community of cooking, and food, and fine cuisine; and to help young students, more than anything else, get into culinary schools and learn the joys of cooking and hopefully make it a profession.  So that’s kind of what it is at its core.  It’s become a very important group in the food industry because it anoints chefs and restaurants around the country.  And every year it gives awards to the best chefs both regionally and then nationwide, as well as restaurants and wine service.  So it’s always been a very good barometer of rising stars and who are kind of at the top of their game.