The female cook nominated for the James Beard Awards are on fire

( CNN) The James Beard Awards are the Oscars of the food world, coveted by American cooks and food professionals every year.

The 2017 rite was hold May 1 in Chicago, and it looks like days are changing.

This year, 27% of the semifinalists were female, compared with 19% in 2009. That includes cooks, pastry chefs, restaurateurs, wine and beverage professionals and producers.

About the Author