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The nonprofit will distribute over half a million dollars in scholarships, tuition waivers, and grants — funding the education of future restaurant industry leaders


NEW YORK (February 5, 2024) – The James Beard Foundation® (JBF) announced today that applications for its 2024 Scholarship Program are now open. The Scholarship Programan annual initiative aimed at supporting aspiring culinary students, future restaurateurs, beverage professionals, and more—will offer more than $500,000 to recipients this year.   


With the independent restaurant industry at its most stable since before the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a renewed interest and excitement in the culinary arts among young professionals, resulting in nearly a 10% increase in enrollment in 2-year culinary programs between 2022 and 2023. The JBF Scholarship Program supports the life cycle of a culinary career, providing financial assistance to both emerging and established culinary talent looking to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school, hospitality institution, college, or university. As of 2024, JBF will have awarded nearly $10 million in financial aid to over 2,000 recipients, thanks in part to a new offering from HexClad and existing partnerships.  


“The mission of the James Beard Foundation is to celebrate and support the people behind America’s food culture, while creating a future where all have the opportunity to thrive,” said Dr. Anne E. McBride, Vice President of Programs, James Beard Foundation. “As the country’s leading culinary nonprofit supporting independent restaurants, we are proud that our Scholarship Program offers this foundational support for aspiring culinary professionals at the very start of their careers.”  


Scholarship award amounts range from $5,000 to $20,000, and eligibility requirements vary by opportunity. Applicants, generally, must be enrolled or planning to enroll in a program at a licensed or accredited culinary school, hospitality institution, college, or university in Fall 2024. International students may also qualify for many of the scholarships and are encouraged to apply. Previous recipients are also eligible to apply again, and interested applicants are eligible to apply for more than one scholarship. There is no application fee required.   


This year, JBF will offer three basic types of scholarship awards in the categories of Culinary and Pastry Arts, Wine Studies, and Food Systems. The types of awards are:  

  • Scholarships: Cash grants applied to tuition and, on a case-by-case basis, other school-related expenses  

  • Tuition Waivers: Tuition waivers granted by educational institutions, which are renewable in some cases  

  • Work Study Grants: Grants for working culinary professionals that cover expenses from programs offering experiential learning at farms, fisheries, wineries, and other venues of food production, under the auspices of the Jean-Louis Palladin Professional Work/Study Grant  


Below is a selection of the scholarships JBF will be offering for the 2024 year:  

  • The Debbie Lewis Women in Wine Scholarship: The Debbie Lewis Women in Wine  

Scholarship honors the life of vintner Debbie Lewis. Debbie had a lifelong passion for mastering  

the business of wine and set an inspiring example of dedication and hard work to all those around her. Students who are women over the age of 21 who reside in the U.S. and are planning to enroll or are currently enrolled in a beverage, wine studies, hospitality management, master sommelier, or culinary program at an accredited culinary school, hospitality institution, college, or university will qualify. Up to one [1] scholarship of $5,000 will be granted.  

  • HexClad Culinary Scholarship: The HexClad Culinary Scholarship is open to women and BIPOC individuals who reside in the United States and are accepted into or enrolled in an accredited Culinary program. Up to 2 scholarship(s) of $12,500 each will be granted. Please note that there are promotional opportunities associated with this scholarship.  

  • The JBF Visit San Antonio Culinaria Scholarship Fund: The JBF Visit San Antonio Culinaria Scholarship Fund, funded by the Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival, is open to women and BIPOC individuals who reside in the state of Texas and are pursuing a degree at an accredited institution in culinary, pastry, restaurant management, or wine studies. Up to six [6] scholarships of $10,000 will be granted.  

  • The JBF National Scholars Scholarship: The JBF National Scholars Program, which launched in 2016, provides ten [10] high-impact scholarships of $20,000 each to food-focused candidates of exceptional talent. Candidates for the 10 National Scholarships are selected according to academic merit, personal and professional recommendations, and demonstration of the potential for leadership roles in culinary arts, food studies, agriculture, hospitality management, and related fields. To ensure regional diversity of this national program, one [1] awardee will be selected from each of the 10 geographic regions defined by the JBF Awards.   


The Scholarship Program is administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS), an independent company that specializes in managing sponsored educational assistance programs. ISTS hosts the online application process, vets the initial candidates for eligibility, and disburses awards to recipients on the Foundation’s behalf. The JBF Scholarship Selection Committee reviews the semifinalists and approximately 40 recipients are selected. The deadline to apply is April 5, 2024.  


For more information about the program and to apply, visit jamesbeard.org/scholarships.   


About the James Beard Foundation  

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that celebrates and supports the people behind America’s food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry to create a future where all have the opportunity to thrive. Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry that honors its diverse communities. By amplifying new voices, celebrating those leading the way, and supporting those on the path to do so, the Foundation is working to create a more equitable and sustainable future—what we call Good Food for Good®. JBF brings its mission to life through the annual Awards, industry and community-focused programs, advocacy, partnerships, and events across the country. Coming soon, for the first time in the Foundation’s history, exceptional culinary talent, industry leaders, and visitors from NYC and beyond can experience unforgettable dining and educational programming at Pier 57—inspiring food and beverage devotees for decades to come. Learn more at jamesbeard.org, sign up for our newsletter, and follow @beardfoundation on social media.  


About James Beard Foundation Programs  

The James Beard Foundation’s Programs help the independent restaurant industry reach new standards around equity, sustainability, and workplace practices to ensure that all involved in its supply chain can thrive. We look to turn independent restaurant jobs into long and healthy independent restaurant careers; to expand who has access to leadership, visibility, financial stability, and capital; and to use the power of chefs for climate change mitigation and other issues that touch our food system. Our mission comes to life through training programs, policy advocacy, and harnessing the agency of chefs for change.


MMGY Wagstaff