Foundation History

Since 1986, the James Beard Foundation has been at the forefront of America's culinary revolution. The Foundation was established that year in honor of James Beard, the late cooking teacher, journalist, and food consultant who is widely considered the father of American gastronomy. The Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, preserve, and nurture America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence.

Almost every day, chefs from America’s finest restaurants and hotels cook in the kitchen of James Beard’s legendary Greenwich Village home, presenting their culinary art to Beard Foundation members, friends, and press in much the same way musicians perform in Carnegie Hall. For chefs, an evening at the James Beard House has all the excitement of an opening night.

In addition to showcasing culinary artists, the Foundation offers tastings, lectures, workshops, food-related art exhibits, and educational opportunities for children. A scholarship program enables students to pursue careers in the culinary arts. The James Beard House also serves as a meeting place for other culinary organizations. The James Beard Foundation Awards, held each spring, honor professionals in the food and beverage industry for their achievements. The Awards are the culinary industry’s most prestigious recognition program, generating attention throughout the nation.