The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts
The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts was created by Julia in 1995 and became operational in 2004. Headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, the Foundation is a non-profit which makes grants to support research in culinary history, scholarships for professional culinary training and internships in food writing, as well as professional development and food literacy programs. Over the last decade, the Foundation has made more than $1.5 million in grants to other non-profits. In 2015, the Foundation created the Julia Child Award, presented in association with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The annual Award honors an individual who has made a profound and significant difference in the way Americans cook, eat and drink, and is accompanied by a $50,000 grant from the Foundation to a food-related non-profit selected by the recipient.
The Foundation identifies and selects its grant recipients; however, we are open to learning about new opportunities. Click here to inform us about your project or organization. (Please note that the Foundation can only support organizations designated as non-profit by the Internal Revenue Service; we do not make grants to individuals.)
Current Grant Recipients
Julia was instrumental in the formation of and highly supportive of BU’s groundbreaking Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) in Gastronomy. The interdisciplinary program teaches students to view food through different lenses – from disciplines as diverse as anthropology, history, public policy and business – and features experiential learning through culinary arts laboratories and wine studies. BU’s full-time Culinary Arts program, co-founded by Julia and Jacques Pépin in 1989, features intensive, hands-on cooking and baking courses taught by experienced working chefs and food industry experts. Merging traditional culinary arts study with hands-on instruction in a laboratory kitchen, the program provides deep insight into the food industry and prepares students for a wide variety of jobs. The Foundation supports merit awards presented to students in BU’s Gastronomy Program, as well as Teaching Assistant positions awarded to outstanding students in the Culinary Arts Program.
Julia encouraged young people interested in cooking professionally to get solid training and gain work experience in good kitchens. C-CAP is a multifaceted school-to-career program that prepares underserved high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry, including internships and employment in top restaurants and corporate dining facilities. The Foundation helps support C-CAP’s Summer Job Training Program, which provides high school students with work skills and on-the-job experience. The students gain valuable experience to prepare them for entry-level jobs in restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals and other major foodservice venues. Furthermore, the program equips young people with job skills that are applicable to all professions, such as communication, time management, interpersonal relations, problem solving and work ethics.
A passionate academic, Julia was committed to enhancing her knowledge of the culinary arts, including its history. The Culinary Historians of Chicago (CHC) is an educational organization committed to the study of the history of food and drink in human cultures. CHC’s members are from a wide range of competencies – the common denominator being that all are food enthusiasts. The Foundation supports The Culinary Historians of Chicago Scholars’ Grants (in collaboration with the Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance) to encourage the study of Midwestern foods and food-related institutions. The awards are intended to help underwrite the research of academics and other investigators who intend to publish their findings in books, articles, videos or other media.
A strong believer in culinary education, Julia frequently recommended this prestigious college to aspiring professionals. She addressed several graduations, conducted cooking demonstrations, and engaged students in question-and-answer forums. Julia was named a Fellow of the college and was the first woman inducted into its Hall of Fame; she was awarded the CIA’s Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree and its first Lifetime Achievement Award. The Foundation supports two awards: The Julia Child Foundation Scholarship for Culinary Writing and the Julia Child Foundation Scholarship for Culinary Educators; awarded to students planning to pursue careers in food media/journalism and in teaching the culinary arts respectively. Additionally, the Foundation supports the launch of an upcoming internship program.
Julia was passionate about developing innovative educational opportunities in the culinary arts. In its 10th year as a public culinary arts high school in New York City, Food and Finance High School (FFHS) offers a full range of academic courses in addition to a sequence of cooking and baking classes and paid internships in the culinary field. Annually the school sends 85-90% of its graduates on to higher education, many to culinary colleges. FFHS runs a cooperative extension program with Cornell University and provides opportunities for students to cater events, compete in culinary competitions and garner a variety of experiences in the culinary arts. The Foundation provided a grant to FFHS to professionally produce two videos that highlight how the school is innovatively teaching tomorrow’s chefs and how the school serves as a model for Career and Technical Education (CTE). The videos will be used in a variety of ways, including as a vehicle to promote the school as a model of CTE, as well as in philanthropic efforts.
As a cookbook author, Julia was enthusiastic about writing, researching and publishing. In 2014 the Foundation supported The Roger Smith Cookbook Conference, an annual 3-day conference at the Roger Smith Hotel in New York City. It’s an eclectic and intimate gathering of those who publish, write, edit, agent, research or simply buy and use cookbooks. While cookbooks were an integral part of the conference, other topics connected to the world of cookbook publishing were discussed. The 2014 conference was specifically focused on food technology and the Foundation supported scholarships to individuals who reside outside of New York City and could not otherwise afford to pay for costs associated with travel and conference fees. In April 2015 the conference, now entitled, “Gotham on a Plate,” will take place in a larger venue at NYC’s The New School and the focus will be on New York City’s culinary life, including its history, restaurants, hunger programs and policies.
Julia visited Johnson & Wales University several times during her lifetime and was awarded a Doctor of Culinary Arts from the university. Today, nearly 7,000 students are enrolled in two or four-year Culinary Arts degree programs across its four campuses (Providence, RI, Denver, CO, Charlotte, NC, and North Miami, FL). The majors in this program include Baking & Pastry Arts, Culinary Arts, Culinary Nutrition, Culinary Arts and Food Service Management, Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management, and Food Service Entrepreneurship. The Foundation provides scholarships to support students pursuing their A.S. and/or B.S. degrees in JWU’s Baking and Pastry Arts programs across the different campuses.
LDEI is a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverages, and hospitality, and composed of 28 individual chapters across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. During her lifetime, Julia received the honorary title of Grande Dame, given in recognition of extraordinary and unusual contributions to the fields of food, wine, other fine beverages, nutrition, and the arts of the table. The Foundation supports LDEI’s Legacy Awards in which veteran members mentor other women in the food, fine beverage and hospitality industries.
Julia was passionate about writing and felt strongly about opening doors for other food writers to advance in the field. In an effort to increase the number of opportunities for aspiring food writers to get on the job experience in the professional food writing world, the Foundation launched The Julia Child Foundation Food Writing Fellowships in partnership with NYU’s Food Studies Program. The program, available exclusively to NYU students, provides students with paid internships in editorial departments at both traditional print publications and cutting-edge food related websites. Students receive substantive opportunities and participate in a diverse range of activities from story research and fact checking to editorial meetings with senior staff. The Julia Child Foundation Food Writing Fellows have completed fellowships at the following publications: Food & Wine, Edible New York and Edible Manhattan, Epicurious, Food52, The Daily Meal, Heritage Radio Network, Serious Eats, Lucky Peach, Food Arts and Wine Enthusiast. The Foundation funds up to nine internships a year.
Robert Mondavi, a dear friend of Julia’s, established the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis. The Institute now houses the departments of Food Science and Technology and Viticulture and Enology, with nutrition and other disciplines linked to quality of life in a state-of-the-art research and teaching complex. RMI seeks to promote the scientific, technological, and cultural understanding of food, wine, and beer through outreach, education, and research. The Foundation supports RMI’s lecture series, which presents a variety of educational programs available to both students and the public.
Julia greatly valued and admired the Schlesinger Library and all it does to collect and preserve materials relating to the culinary arts. Originally developed because cookery has been such a significant part of so many women’s lives, the Library’s renowned culinary collection of more than 15,000 books and numerous periodicals, pamphlets, and manuscripts now spans four centuries and includes rare and classic titles from around the globe. The Foundation supports the Schlesinger’s Culinary Collection and the preservation of and public access to the personal papers Julia Child donated, as well as the cataloging of Julia’s books and memorabilia and the cataloging and digitizing of Paul Child’s photos, which include pictures taken from the Childs’ years in France and during the filming of The French Chef. The Foundation also made a grant to the Schlesinger Library to conduct a women’s oral history project about the life and work of Judith Jones, Julia’s longtime editor at The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
In November 2001, when Julia left her Massachusetts home of 42 years to return to her native California, she donated her kitchen to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History (NMAH). The kitchen was deconstructed, transported, and reconstructed in the Museum to become “Bon Appetit! Julia Child’s Kitchen” at the Smithsonian, which opened in 2002, and has been one of the museum’s most popular exhibits. In conjunction with Julia’s centenary in 2012, NMAH opened a new exhibit: FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000, which included the re-installation of a new and improved Julia’s Kitchen as its entrance. The Foundation continues to support the ongoing conservation of the exhibit and its contents, as well as supporting educational programs at NMAH, which focus on culinary history and education, such as the American Food History Project, its “Kitchen Cabinet” steering committee and its recent Food in the Garden summer series.
Julia was a passionate advocate for sharing the joys of cooking and the pleasures of the table with family and friends. The Dinner Party Project is an eight-week, family-focused educational program for 5th graders. The curriculum includes seasonal meal planning, nutrition, food safety, table setting, etiquette, and cooking, all culminating in a dinner party to which students invite their families. The experience deepens students’ understanding of the value of community, family, and teamwork, as they build self-esteem and simply have fun. The Foundation helps support the Dinner Party Project at PS 132 Juan Duarte School in Washington Heights, NY. The Foundation also supports Take a Taste with Spoons, a 3-session food and nutrition literacy program for third graders across 20 classrooms in New York City, serving roughly 500 students. Each lesson focuses on different themes – elements of taste, healthy beverages and nutritious snacks – providing opportunities for students to eat, cook and share food with their classmates and families. The Foundation has also contributed to the Spoons’ program evaluation project.
Julia had a keen taste for street food and was known to crave a good hot dog every now and then. Among other foods, Chicago is certainly known for its Chicago-style hot dogs. Located at the center of America’s agriculture heartland and bordering the nation’s great waterways, Chicago is known as one of the world’s great and, until the last decade or so, greatly underrated food cities. As the commodity shipping and production center of the United States, Chicago stands at the heart of America’s food industry and boasts an enormous diversity of ethnic neighborhoods and cuisines. In 2016, The University of Illinois Press will publish The Encyclopedia of Chicago Food and Food Cultures, a trade paperback exploring how food and beverages have shaped Chicago’s rich gastronomical scene and cataloging its extensive culinary history. The Foundation gave a grant to The University of Illinois Press to support contributions from writers, scientists, researchers and chefs to the project.
Julia had great affection and respect for public television and, in particular, WGBH, where The French Chef series debuted nationally in 1963 and ran for 10 years. Subsequent WGBH cooking shows – which included Julia Child & Company, Julia Child & More Company and Dinner at Julia’s – have been aired and repeated ever since. WGBH continues to develop and support fine gastronomy and culinary arts programming. The Foundation recognizes the long-standing relationship between Julia and WGBH and its high-quality culinary programming. The Foundation most recently supported a project to digitize and preserve rediscovered footage primarily from The French Chef.
Past Grant Recipients
The AIWF Foundation was created by the board of the American Institute of Wine & Food, a national membership organization founded by Julia Child, Robert Mondavi, and Richard Graff. The mission of the AIWF Foundation is to improve the quality of food and drink for all people and to initiate, support, and foster its study, including the history and aesthetics of gastronomy. The AIWF Foundation currently administers scholarships in the culinary field, including for writers specializing in food and recipe writing to attend the esteemed Symposium for Professional Food Writers, which Julia herself attended for many of the conference’s 20 plus years.
An avid reader and strong supporter of public radio, in 1997 Julia recorded introductions and commentary for a set of radio specials on food in fiction. In “HUNGRY: The Literary Julia Child,” never aired until recently, Julia introduces classics “about eating, some cooking, and most of all about people.” The series features the authors or actors reading stories, from Dickens and Steinbeck to Edna O’Brien to M.F.K. Fisher in a rare recording of her reading her own work; sometimes chefs step in with recipe commentary. The Foundation supported the completion of seven radio specials on food in fiction, presented by Public Radio Exchange.
In 1984, Julia became one of the first Trustees of the Cooking Advancement Research and Education Foundation (CAREF), formed under the auspices of the International Association of Culinary Professionals as its philanthropic arm. Later renamed The Culinary Trust, the organization solicits, manages, and distributes funds for educational and charitable programs related to the culinary industry, including scholarships for students and career professionals, library research, travel grants for food writers, cookbook preservation and restoration, and the alleviation of hunger. The Foundation helped fund a scholarship for independent study in France.
Julia attended the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery – an annual, weekend-long conference on food, its culture, and its history held at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, England. Since 1981, the Symposium brings together an interdisciplinary mix of international scholars, food writers, journalists, chefs, scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, and amateurs for serious and spirited discussions about the theme at hand. Symposium themes include: “Food and Material Culture;” “Wrapped and Stuffed Foods;” the “Theme of Celebrations;” and “Food and Cookery: The Impact of Science in the Kitchen.” The Foundation supported a project to record and podcast sessions of the Symposium, with some live streaming, to help the Symposium reach a wider audience and create a permanent archive.
Julia was one of the first visitors to The French Culinary Institute when it opened in Manhattan in 1984. FCI has continually expanded its programs and its reach, including its International Culinary Center, which opened in 2006 to accommodate additional culinary programs. Advanced studies such as the Craft of Food Writing course, developed for aspiring and active journalists, chefs and culinary professionals, are offered there. The Foundation most recently supported a scholarship for students attending the Intensive Sommelier Training Program at FCI’s newly opened International Culinary Center of California.
The school’s Julia Child Library served as a resource for students and faculty on the Institute’s Essex campus. While in existence, the Library housed the majority of the NECI Library collection of culinary books, magazines, audio books, and DVDs and was an important part of students’ educational experience. The Foundation helped support the acquisition of new materials and tools for the library.