In an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, we’re already starting to see large events become suspended or canceled (the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade, for one, the Dallas Art Fair, for another, and a whole lot of others). Everyone’s erring on the side of caution and that goes for local chefs, too.
Anastacia “AQ” Quiñones-Pittman, executive chef at José, was ready to take her team to New York City this week where they’d cook at the James Beard House. She and her culinary crew were set to present their six-course meal exploring regional Mexican cuisines and represent Dallas at the prestigious organization. Alas, AQ got word from José higher-ups, like CEO Brady Wood, that the trip will be canceled.
“We have been monitoring really closely last week,” says AQ. “In the back of my mind, I knew that this was going to be a possibility.” They got the call from Wood 12 hours before they were scheduled to fly out of Dallas. “Yeah, it’s disappointing but the most important thing is my staff.”
She says they’re working with the James Beard Foundation to reschedule the event for another time. No official word yet from JBF on when that might be. The foundation did release a statement that they were “monitoring developments of the COVID-19 situation with the guidance of the Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and federal and local governments, and are taking all the recommended precautions, including providing products for proper hygiene. Unless you have been specifically notified otherwise, all James Beard events are proceeding as planned.”
But just this afternoon on March 12, the James Beard Foundation announced that it’d be postponing the James Beard Awards until the summer. The awards typically take place in Chicago in May. (It’s the first year Texas is its own category. Read up on this year’s semifinalists here.)
Were excited for the reschedule as soon as it makes sense,” says AQ, but for now, “We’re at our home kitchen at José and tightening up our ship.”
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I’m super sad to announce that our trip to NY and dinner at Beard House is being postponed. There are way smarter people than me making these decisions so I have trust in them. It looks like I will be in Dallas for the rest of the week so please come see me then give me an elbow bump because #coronavirus #washyourhands #bcineedahug #andadrink
Stayed tuned to our coronavirus coverage at D Magazine and on SideDish for restaurants news pertaining to the coronavirus.