The James Beard Foundation Unveils New JBF National Scholars Program as Part of 2016 Scholarship Opportunities

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Call for Applications Open April 1 for James Beard Foundation Educational Scholarships and Professional Grants

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In recognition of the increased interest in all types of careers now available in the culinary arts, the James Beard Foundation (JBF) announced today that it is adding a new program to its existing JBF Scholarship Program. The new JBF National Scholars Program will award scholarships to 10 candidates from across the U.S. who aspire to leadership roles in food science, food studies, and business, as well as the culinary arts and hospitality.

“We’re delighted to unveil the JBF National Scholars Program, which aims to provide significant, life-changing scholarships to students from across the country, supported by donors who want to make a significant difference in the lives of these students.” said Kris Moon, vice president of the James Beard Foundation. "As today’s students explore virtually every educational discipline as viewed through the lens of food, we look forward to identifying the best and brightest applicants.”

On April 1, JBF will begin accepting applications for the expanded scholarship program, which has more than $750,000 in financial aid available for 2016, the largest amount in history for the country's preeminent culinary organization.

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. In the past 25 years, the program has not only grown in visibility and financial scope, but in the array of subjects its recipients have embraced. As of 2016, the Foundation will have awarded over $6.5 million in financial aid to more than 1,800 recipients.

The host of new scholarship and grant offerings for 2016 includes:

  • JBF National Scholars Scholarships: Beginning in 2016, 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*.
  • Boys and Girls Scholarships of the San Francisco Bay Area JBF Scholarship: One scholarship of $50,000 will be offered to a member of one of the Boys and Girls Clubs (located in the area extending from San Francisco, to the East Bay, and to San Jose) for a wide spectrum of food-related studies. Applicants must be recommended by their local club.
  • Chicago James Beard Foundation Eats Week Scholarship: Sponsored by Choose Chicago and the Illinois Restaurant Association, one scholarship of $6,900 will be awarded to a resident of Illinois.

Returning scholarships include :

  • 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.
  • Alain Ducasse Education Scholarship: The renowned and multiple Michelin-starred French chef Alain Ducasse created the Alain Ducasse Education Scholarship to transmit his expertise in culinary, pastry and bakery arts, and wine. Up to three scholarships of $9,075 each will be granted and the amount may be applied to tuition for studies at any of the following: Centre de Formation d’Alain Ducasse at Argenteuil, or the Ecole de Cuisine Alain Ducasse
  • Tony May Scholarship for Italian Culinary Studies at the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners: Up to three scholarships of approximately $5,000 will be granted, combining $2,000 from the James Beard Foundation with tuition waivers and in-kind donations from the sponsors. This program includes full tuition, room, and board for the complete Master Course at the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners, headquartered in the Castle of Costigliole de’Asti, Regione Piemonte, Italy. Participants will have three weeks of intensive study, plus a two-month externship at one of the top restaurants in the Piemonte region.
  • 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.

Returning work/study programs include:

  • 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 Rhone Rangers Professional Study/Travel Grant: Designed for working chefs or sommeliers who wish to learn about American Rhône-varietal wines.

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, 2016.

All scholarship application materials must be submitted by May 15, 2016. Professional grant applications must be submitted by June 15, 2016. Scholarship winners will be notified in August 2016.

  • 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 America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. 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. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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Maggie Beaudouin
The Rosen Group
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