The James Beard Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center each will receive $25,000 grants from the Julia Child Foundation in conjunction with the annual Award
The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts announced that Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, co-recipients of the 2018 Julia Child Award, have selected James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Programs and the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s new culinary training program, respectively, as their charities of choice to receive $25,000 grants from the Foundation. Each year, recipients of the Julia Child Award are provided $50,000 to grant to a food-related cause of their choice. The duo formally announced their selection during their appearance on The Heritage Radio Network’s Inside Julia’s Kitchen on July 26, hosted by the Foundation’s Executive Director, Todd Schulkin.
The grant money comes at an exciting time for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, where Feniger serves on its Board of Directors. In early 2019, the Center will open its new intergenerational Anita May Rosenstein Campus, which will include affordable housing and space for innovative programs for two of the most vulnerable populations: LGBT seniors and youth. As part of the new campus, the organization recently approved an expanded culinary arts program. Housed in the new campus and complete with a commercial kitchen, the program will offer homeless LGBT youth training in culinary skills and disciplines, in an effort to foster employment opportunities and encourage relationship‐building and self‐sufficiency.
“Julia had an uncanny way of engaging everyone around her and showing a genuine interest in the lives of others. The way she treated those around her was remarkably respectful and kind – a manner worth emulating. In the spirit of Julia, I’m donating my half of the award grant to a cause and organization that I am extremely passionate about, the Los Angeles LGBT Center,” said Susan Feniger “I serve on the board of the Center, which is in the process of a massive expansion including the construction of an incredible new commercial kitchen to feed and train homeless youth and seniors. In giving my grant money to the Los Angeles LGBT Center, I hope to assist in providing LGBT youth and seniors with the skills and tools they need to embark on meaningful careers in the service industry, a community which I have found to be so welcoming and familial. I think Julia would be proud.”
“Susan’s passion for cooking is equal to, if not exceeded by, her commitment to helping others. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have her support to help us launch our new culinary arts program that will enable LGBT youth gain experience and skills that will help them build their future careers,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean.
For the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Programs, the grant money will allow them to expand their mission of improving the gender imbalance in the culinary industry by cultivating, training, and supporting women throughout their professional careers.
“Julia was not only a brilliant cook and teacher, she was also an influential cheerleader for many young woman chefs, including me and Susan. Her generous spirit, encouraging nature, and defiance of typical gender roles in the kitchen are what inspired me to donate my half of the award grant to the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Programs,” said Mary Sue Milliken. “For me, programs that promote women’s education and advancement in the restaurant industry are a perfect fit. Fostering future generations of women in the culinary industry is one way that I can continue to further Julia’s legacy and support a cause which is so near and dear to both our hearts.”
“We are extremely grateful for Mary Sue’s generous donation to our Women’s Leadership Programs, which provide women with the tools to advance and succeed in the culinary industry,” said Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. “We support women at the beginning of their careers with our numerous scholarship and mentorship programs; showcase their talents at Beard House dinners around the country; use our advocacy trainings, industry convenings, and media platforms to amplify their voices; and we help scale their businesses with our Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program. Mary Sue’s support will help us deliver even more impact for women’s leadership in the culinary industry and beyond.”
Milliken and Feniger, the first ever team to be honored, are the fourth annual Julia Child Award recipients, following Jacques Pépin, Rick Bayless, and Danny Meyer. The duo will receive the prestigious Award at a gala on November 1, 2018, kicking off the Food History Weekend at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Established by Julia Child, the Foundation is one of the leading grant-giving private foundations solely dedicated to supporting the field of gastronomy and the culinary arts. In 2015, the Foundation created the Julia Child Award to continue to foster Julia’s legacy, while also honoring an individual (or team) who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats, and drinks. In keeping with Julia’s generosity of knowledge and spirit, the Foundation recently established the Heritage Radio Network’s Inside Julia’s Kitchen as a means to bring the brightest minds in the culinary world to a wider audience, in an open dialogue about their lives, careers and inspirations. For the full episode featuring the 2018 Julia Child Award honorees, please visit: http://heritageradionetwork.org/podcast/meet-mary-sue-milliken-and-susan-feniger/