Applications for James Beard Foundation’s 2017 Scholarship Program Open Tomorrow, April 1

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Applications for James Beard Foundation’s 2017 Scholarship Program Opens on April 1


~ 94 Educational Scholarships and Professional Grants Available in 2017 ~


New York, NY (March 31, 2017) – Beginning April 1, the James Beard Foundation (JBF), the country's preeminent culinary organization, will accept applications for its 2017 scholarship program. This year, close to $680,000 in scholarships and grants will be available. Established in 1991, the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program assists aspiring and established culinary professionals who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school or hospitality institution, college, or university. As of 2017, the Foundation will have awarded over $7 million in financial aid to nearly 2,000 recipients.


“For almost three decades now, our Foundation has nurtured and educated the next generation of great chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, and beverage experts through our prestigious scholarship program,” said Diane Harris Brown, director of educational and community programming for the James Beard Foundation. “It has been my great pleasure to witness the many success stories who have come out of our program.”


Among the notable graduates of the program are Tomer Zilkha, who studied at New York City College of Technology, and is now the proprietor of two pastry shops and a restaurant in New Jersey and NYC; Erlene Cruz, a 2016 JBF National Scholar who is a graduate student in New York University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Studies and the creator of; and Jhonel Faelnar, graduate of the International Culinary Center and now working as a sommelier at the NoMad Hotel in NYC.


“Erlene Cruz was a recipient of one of the inaugural JBF National Scholars Program scholarships, which launched in 2016. It’s been wonderful to see what one of our first recipients has already achieved in both her studies and her business,” said Kris Moon, vice president of the James Beard Foundation. “The JBF National Scholars Program was created for candidates who aspire to leadership roles in any aspect of the food industry from food science, food studies, and business, to culinary arts and hospitality, and we look forward to supporting another 10 ambitious and talented students again this year.”


After a successful first year in which there were exceptional awardees, the JBF National Scholars Program is back for its second year:


  • JBF National Scholars Scholarships: Up to 10 annual scholarships in the amount of $20,000 each will be granted to food-focused candidates of exceptional talent who demonstrate leadership, community involvement, and academic excellence, and who aspire to leadership roles in the culinary arts, food studies, agriculture, hospitality management, and related fields. To ensure regional diversity, one awardee will be selected from each of the 10 geographic regions defined by the James Beard Foundation Awards*.


New scholarships for 2017 include:


  • Barbara Daniels Memorial Scholarship: In memory of Barbara Daniels, mother of Chicago author, journalist and television personality Amy Tara Koch, up to one scholarship of $5,000 to a Chicago resident or student.


  • Tony May Scholarship for Italian Culinary Studies at the Culinary Institute of America: Up to two scholarships of $3,000 each will be granted to students in their final year of culinary studies focusing on Italian cuisine at the Culinary Institute of America.  


Other returning scholarships include:


  • JBF Culinary Scholarship of the Peninsula: A scholarship of $53,500 will be granted to a resident or high school senior/graduate of one of the following California counties: San Francisco, San Mateo, or Santa Clara.


  • Charlie Trotter Memorial Scholarship: In memory of the late Charlie Trotter, American chef, restaurateur, and beloved friend to the James Beard Foundation; up to four scholarships of $15,000 each will be granted to culinary professionals who plan to further their education by attending an accredited culinary school.


  • Andrew Zimmern’s Second Chances Scholarship: A scholarship of $10,000 will offer a student faced with extreme challenges a second chance to overcome their hardships.


  • Miljenko “Mike” Grgich’s American Dream Scholarship: A scholarship of $5,000, sponsored by Grgich Hills Estate, offers a professional wine studies program.


  • Chicago James Beard Foundation Eats Week Scholarship: Sponsored by Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association in partnership with Chicago’s restaurant community, one scholarship of $11,600 will be awarded to a resident of Illinois.


Returning work/study program:


  • The Jean-Louis Palladin Professional Work/Study Grant: In memory of one of the great culinary geniuses of the 20th century, this opportunity will enable a qualified professional to work with food producers at their source and to study varied specialized skills.


The James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program is administered by the Scholarship Management Services division of Scholarship America, a nonprofit organization that has helped award scholarships to over one million students. Applications for scholarships are received and evaluated by Scholarship America. The applications of the finalists are then submitted to the James Beard Foundation’s Scholarship Selection Committee for final review.


Application forms will be available digitally at beginning on April 1, 2017All scholarship application materials must be submitted by May 15, 2017. Professional grant applications must be submitted by June 15, 2017. Scholarship winners will be notified in August 2017. 


* Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New York City, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast, Southwest, and West


About the James Beard Foundation (JBF)

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit Get food news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation’s blog, or subscribe to the free digital newsletter Beard Bites. Follow @beardfoundation on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest, and Snapchat. Watch the James Beard House Kitchen Cam, James Beard Awards, and more on the Foundation’s Livestream channel. Find more JBF-related video on the Foundation’s YouTube channels.



Contact: Diane Stefani or Maggie Beaudouin


Twitter: @beardfoundation