The James Beard Foundation, the nation's most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries, announced today the nominees for the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards. Susan Ungaro, James Beard Foundation president, hosted an invitation-only breakfast at the acclaimed Frontera Grill restaurant in Chicago, by JBF Award-winning chef Rick Bayless and JBF Trustee Deann Bayless. The nominees in 52 categories were announced in the foundation's various awards programs – Restaurant and Chef, Book, Journalism, Design and Graphics, and Broadcast Media. Honorees in a number of special achievement awards, including Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America, Lifetime Achievement, Humanitarian of the Year, and America's Classics, were announced as well.

Winners of the Restaurant and Chef, Book, Design and Graphics, and special achievement awards will be celebrated at the annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception May 4 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. All award winners will receive a certificate and a bronze medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. This year's theme is "Celebrating Women in Food"; the event will be catered by 25 outstanding women chefs, with beverage pairings from women sommeliers and mixologists.

For the full list of nominees and the Best Chef in America nominees by region and the rest of the restaurant and chef nominees list, or for more general information, visit
Whether it's in a five-star restaurant or at a rest stop, in a high-rise office or convenience store, Cintas Corp. is seeking nominations from the public for America's Best Restroom (ABR) through March 31.

Cintas created the ABR Award in 2002 to honor businesses that combine good hygiene with functionality and style in their public restrooms. The contest is open to any non-residential restroom that is free of charge and open to employees, visitors or the general public.

In June Cintas will announce the top ten finalists, and the public will vote online for the ABR Award winner, to be announced in August. The top five restrooms will secure a place in the 2009 ABR Hall of Fame. The 2008 winner was the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. (photo below).