Anointed the “Dean of American Cookery” by the New York Times in 1954, James Beard laid the groundwork for the food revolution that has put America at the forefront of global gastronomy. Beard was a pioneer foodie, host of the first food program on the fledgling medium of television in 1946; the first to suspect that classic American culinary traditions might cohere into a national cuisine; and an early champion of local products and markets. He could often be found in his West 12th Street Kitchen, in an apron and one of his signature bow ties.
Founded in 1986, shortly after Beard’s death, the James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, nurturing, and preserving America’s diverse culinary heritage and future. The foundation administers a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, publications, and chef advocacy training, all while maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs.
In September of 2012, the Foundation launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Protocol and helped create the American Chef Corps as a way to champion American chefs abroad, promote American food products, and foster an interest in culinary culture and history through international programs and initiative.
The JBF Siler Anniversary Gala: Celebrating 25 Years of Outstanding Chefs took place in New York City in November 2012. At the event, our BowTie Guy, Dhani Jones, and Chairman John Kessler took to the stage to sell 50 limited edition black JBF BowTies to dinner guests, with all proceeds benefitting the foundation’s culinary scholarship program. The first sequentially numbered BowTie was auctioned for $10,000, with the night’s total amount raised reaching $400,000.
For more information about the James Beard Foundation, please visit www.jamesbeard.org.