By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — One of the country’s most important food events is coming to Philadelphia.

Mitchell Davis, executive vice president of the James Beard Foundation, says the organization will hold its nominations announcement breakfast on March 14 in Philadelphia.

“We chose Philadelphia because it’s a great food town, it’s a great city in general, but a tremendous food town,” Davis said. “And also it just so happens that last year, three winners of very important awards were from Philadelphia, including Chef of the Year Michael Solomoniv and Restaurateur of the Year Stephen Starr.”

What does it mean to announce the James Beard award nominees in this city?

“I think we’re acknowledging the significance of the restaurant and chef community, not just to those who love food, but also to the city at large,” Davis said. “Food and restaurants have become a destination decision maker, so before you know where you’re going to go, you know what restaurants you want to try.”

Davis says there’s a lot of anticipation as to who will win the big awards.

“We like there to be local nominees in the cities where we do the announcements, because that’s more fun for everybody and certainly less awkward for us,” he explained. “It doesn’t always happen, but that’s just, I think, a sign of the integrity of the awards.”

Davis says the important message isn’t just that they’re coming to Philadelphia.

“But it’s also that Philadelphia wants us to be there,” he said.

Winners will be announced in Chicago on May 7.

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