You came, you ate, and now it’s time to vote! General Mills’ Tablespoon.com is honoring 20 categories of the most delicious food experiences America has to offer – from the most iconic burger, to the best local farmers market, to the best chef – by calling on the public to award the most deserving with the first ever
The Munchies: People’s Choice Food Awards
. Online voting launches today at
, running through April 30
“The Munchies will give food lovers a voice in celebrating the restaurants, chefs, media and food that deliver the most inspiring and satisfying culinary experiences. Plus, we'll be making a donation to Feeding America on behalf of all of the voters and panelists, so everyone who participates is also supporting a great cause,” said Heather Reid, Food Content Marketing at General Mills. “Every day, passionate food lovers visit Tablespoon.com to discover and share the freshest, most amazing ideas from the world of food and drink, so it’s the perfect place to host The Munchies. We are excited to highlight the culinary tastemakers who are shaping America’s food culture.”
How do you even begin to distill the big, juicy world of food experiences down to a handful of nominees per category? You enlist a pro with his own cred in the kitchen – and that’s just what General Mills did by bringing on James Beard award-winning television personality and chef Andrew Zimmern to head up a wide-ranging panel of celebrity chowhounds to develop the short list of nominees.
“Food is such a passion point for so many of us in this country, and I love being involved in anything that really gets people talking about the best of what’s out there,” said The Munchies lead panelist
. “The Munchies are an opportunity to spark a national conversation about food and give the public a chance to vote on their favorites.”
In addition to Zimmern, the panel includes:
- Angie Dudley, Bakerella & Author of ‘Cake Pops’
- B. Smith, Founder & Chief Creative Officer, B. Smith Enterprises
- Chrissy Teigen, Sports Illustrated supermodel and author of the food blog So Delushious!
- Colman Andrews, Editorial Director, TheDailyMeal.com
- Elissa Altman, Journalist and Author of PoorMansFeast.com
- Frank DeCaro, Author of ‘ The Dead Celebrity Cookbook’
- Kristen Olson, Food Editor, Betty Crocker
- Mark Kurlansky, Author
- Michael Ian Black, comedian, actor, and co-host of ‘Mike and Tom Eat Snacks!’ Podcast
- Pat Sharpe, Food Editor of Texas Monthly
- Ruth Bourdain, Twitter Food Personality Mashup
- Tom Cavanagh, actor and co-host of ‘Mike and Tom Eat Snacks!’ Podcast
These gastronomy gurus shared their culinary perspectives to determine The Munchies nominees across three groups of categories:
- Terrific Tastemakers gives props to the media and personalities that make the food world sizzle, from the Favorite Food TV Personality to the Favorite Food Blog.
- Best Bites honors the most delectable interpretations of our favorite foods, like Most Iconic Burger and Best Cookie.
- Delicious Destinations pays homage to the establishments that keep us coming back for more; think Coolest Coffee Shop or Most Intriguing Cocktail Bar.
Food enthusiasts can satisfy their cravings to vote once per day at
during the voting period (April 2-30). The 2012 winners of The Munchies awards will be based on popular vote and announced on Tablespoon.com in early May.
The full list of nominees is: