Over 100 educational scholarships and professional grants available.

Beginning April 1, the James Beard Foundation (JBF), the country’s preeminent culinary organization, will accept applications for over 100 scholarships, tuition waivers, and grant opportunities in 2018. This year, more than $690,000 will be available for both new and returning scholarships, including for the JBF National Scholars Program.


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 2018, the Foundation will have awarded close to $8 million in financial aid to 2,000 recipients.

“Since the inception of our scholarship program in 1991, the range of food-related disciplines and educational opportunities has expanded greatly,” said Clare Reichenbach, chief executive officer of the James Beard Foundation. “With over 100 scholarships, tuition waivers, and grants available this year, we are proud to support the ever-increasing interests of the next generation of culinary leaders.”

Notable JBF scholarship recipients to date include Allison Contillo, a student at Johnson & Wales University pursuing a degree in nutrition, with plans towards opening a wellness center; Holland Dougherty, a doctoral degree candidate in agriculture at the University of California, Davis, working in sustainable livestock production; and Christina Ha, a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, and owner of Macaron Parlour and Meow Parlour in New York City.


“Our JBF National Scholars Program, which launched in 2016, is an important part of the Foundation’s commitment to supporting talented and deserving students,” said Kris Moon, vice president of the James Beard Foundation. “The JBF National Scholars Program was created for candidates who are studying all disciplines related to food, from food writing to food science, nutrition, baking and pastry. We look forward to supporting another ten future food leaders again this year.”

The JBF National Scholars Program is back for its third 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 2018 include:

  • The James Beard Legacy Scholarship: Up to 10 scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be granted to food-focused candidates in honor of Mr. Beard’s legacy of valuing the pursuit of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food.
  • Barb Stuckey “Taste” Scholarship: A scholarship of $10,000 will support a student studying at the San Francisco Cooking School who demonstrates a passion for appreciating the sensory experience of food.
  • Friends of the San Francisco Cooking School: In support of the Bay Area food community, the Friends of the San Francisco Cooking School will grant up to one scholarship of $10,000 to a deserving candidate to attend the San Francisco Cooking School.
  • The Robert Mondavi Winery Memorial Scholarship: In memory of the great winemaker, Robert Mondavi, up to one scholarship of $10,000 will be granted to a deserving candidate pursuing beverage or wine studies.

Other 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 two scholarships of $12,000 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: Up to two scholarships of $10,000 will offer students 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.
  • Barbara Daniels Memorial Scholarship: In memory of Barbara Daniels, mother of Chicago author, journalist, and television personality Amy Tara Koch, one scholarship of $5,000 to a Chicago resident or student.

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 up to two qualified professionals 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 scholarsapply.org/jamesbeard beginning on April 1, 2018All scholarship application materials must be submitted by May 15, 2018. Scholarship winners will be notified in August 2018.

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

About the James Beard Foundation

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 jamesbeard.org. 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.