Phil Rosenthal Calls James Beard TV Awards “The Oscars Of Food” Ahead Of Ceremony

Phil Rosenthal Calls James Beard TV Awards “The Oscars Of Food” Ahead Of Ceremony

Somebody Feed Phil star Phil Rosenthal is salivating at the prospect of winning another award that he has dubbed the “Oscars of food”.

The Everybody Loves Raymond creator is one of a number of nominees for the James Beard Media Awards, which takes place this evening.

He is up against SOMM TV’s The Whole Animal, a documentary that explores the culture and cuisine of the greatest meat dishes, and Vice’s Mafia Land, part of Vice News’ coverage that investigated how the Mafia has infiltrated Italy’s food industry.

The trio are competing in the Long Form Visual Media category at the event, which is best known in the food world for crowning the top chefs and restaurants in the country.

Other titles vying for awards include Bravo’s Top Chef as well as numerous online series from the likes of Bon Appétit and a number of feature docs (full nominations below).

Somebody Feed Phil premiered on Netflix in 2018 and earlier this year was renewed for a seventh season. It follows Rosenthal as he tour the cuisine is a specific city and spotlights charities and non-profits that operate in the region.

It follows his previous food show, PBS’ I’ll Have What Phil’s Having, which previously won a James Beard Award.

“This is quite an honor for me to have won one already and then to find out I was nominated again was such a thrill,” he told Deadline. “I just feel lucky to be included. I have no talent as a chef but I am very talented as an eater.” 

“There is no higher honor in the food world. Maybe a Michelin three star if you are a restaurant. To win in this category is quite an honor for this little TV show of ours. Regardless of their field, everybody enjoys being appreciated by other people in that field,” he added.

Last year, winners on the TV side included Gather, which follows Native American efforts for food sovereignty, in the documentary category, Top Chef spinoff Top Chef Family Style, which won in reality and competition and Hulu’s Padma Lakshmi-fronted Taste The Nation in longform.

Jason Wise, Chief Creative Officer at SOMM TV, a streaming service dedicated to the worlds of win, food, travel and hospitality, said the James Beard Awards are the “highest honor in the culinary world”

“To be recognized with a nomination means more than just that, it means being in the conversation for your craft and artistry and that nominees have considered sustainability, equity, and a legacy in the food space that represents the real passion of why we do this with our lives,” he told Deadline.

SOMM TV airs around 4,000 hours of original content from The Oyster Farmer and The Delicacy as well as its eponymous series.

Wise said that the awards matter “tremendously” to media. “It matters more and more every year. Film and television creators have a great responsibility to be held to making honest and entertaining pieces that represent a constantly changing space and the James Beard Award is the absolute pinnacle in an industry that almost all people touch on a daily basis – everyone eats.  These awards not only change everything for creators with a win, they validate that our films and content should set a standard for things we make and talk about over dinner moving forward,” he added.

The awards are streamed live on Saturday June 3 at 6pm ET/3pm PT.

James Beard Media Awards Nominations:

Visual Media — Long Form
The Whole Animal (SOMM TV)
Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix)
Mafia Land (Vice) 

Documentary/Docuseries Visual Media
Coldwater Kitchen (Detroit Free Press)
James Hemings: Ghost in America’s Kitchen; (BondIt Media Capital / Buffalo 8)
Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter (Greenwich Entertainment)

Reality or Competition Visual Media
Restaurant Takeover ft. Matta  (YouTube)
Top Chef (Bravo)
We Put 11 Cameras In NYC’s Busiest Brunch Restaurant | Bon Appétit (YouTube)

Instructional Visual Media
Big Sky Kitchen With Eduardo Garcia (Magnolia Network)
Techniquely with Lan Lam (YouTube)
What’s Eating Dan? (YouTube)