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 $2 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.) The following is a representative but not comprehensive list of current and past grantees.
Alaska’s leading art, culture, history and science museum for residents and visitors alike, the Anchorage Museum opened its doors in 1968, and welcomes more than 200,000 annual visitors. With a particular focus on the North, the museum curates and produces its own exhibitions as well as welcoming national touring exhibitions. The Foundation supported Whale & Cupcakes: Food Culture in Alaska, an exhibition and series of public programs examining the area’s unique food culture, along with an accompanying cookbook and essay collection.
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.
Founded in 2003 in Chicago, Common Threads was created to bring health and wellness to children, families and communities through cooking and nutrition education. By integrating preventative health programs into school districts and community organizations, Common Threads not only helps combat the rising number of diet-related diseases, but also cultivates a culture that embraces a healthier lifestyle and celebrates diversity through food. The organization envisions a community of learners that embraces healthy cooking, eating and living as both a life choice and a human right. The Foundation supports Common Threads’ cooking and nutrition education in Los Angeles county schools and community organizations.
Julia was a committed student and passionate about enhancing her knowledge of the culinary arts, including its history. Culinary Historians of New York (CHNY) was founded in 1985 to support research, share knowledge of how food has affected individuals since earliest times, and raise awareness about the field of culinary history. Members of CHNY include chefs, cooking teachers, historians, anthropologists, food writers, food editors, food stylists, researchers, librarians, caterers, collectors, nutritionists, and food enthusiasts – intellectual curiosity is the common denominator. The Foundation supports The Culinary Historians of New York Scholars’ Grants, which are designed to promote research and scholarship in the field of culinary history.
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 scholarships in culinary writing, food media, and culinary education for students planning to pursue careers in food media/journalism and in teaching the culinary arts respectively.
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 supports a professional development grant that accompanies the IACP Julia Child First Book Award and is administered by The Culinary Trust.
Julia was committed to making the culinary arts and gastronomy accessible to a wide audience. Heritage Radio Network.org (HRN) is a member-supported, web-based radio station focused on creating a more equitable, sustainable and delicious world by expanding the way eaters think about food. Comprised of more than 35 weekly shows broadcasting around the world, HRN is a 501(c)(3) non-profit now celebrating its 10th anniversary. Operating out of two converted shipping containers in Bushwick, Brooklyn, HRN welcomes the best and brightest thought leaders in the food world as guests, and regularly hosts events and panels on a variety of culinary topics. Their archive holds more than 12,000 episodes available to stream or download free of charge. The Foundation supports programs and initiatives to help HRN expand its overall programming capability and in turn its audience reach.
LDEI is a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverages, and hospitality, and composed of 42 individual chapters across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and France. 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.
Founded in 1992, Oxford American magazine is published by its parent company, the Oxford American Literary Project, a non-profit arts organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas. Committed to telling the complex, vital story of the American South, Oxford American publishes fiction, nonfiction and poetry in four annual issues, and has received multiple National Magazine Awards, including the 2016 National Magazine Award in General Excellence. The Foundation supports a series of online documentary videos to accompany John T. Edge’s Local Fare column, as well as a six-part web series written by Osayi Endolyn.
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 “Seeds” and “Food and Cookery: The Impact of Science in the Kitchen.” The Foundation supports a scholarship program that helps students attend the symposium, which in turn helps further the Oxford Symposium’s strategic focus on engaging the next generation of food scholars.
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. Spoons Across America is dedicated to educating children, teachers and families about the benefits of healthy eating. Through a series of hands-on cooking and nutrition programs tailored to different grade levels, Spoons Across America aims to give New York City children a healthy start in life, as well as the tools required for a lifetime of healthy, delicious eating. Over the years, the Foundation has supported numerous Spoons initiatives, including The Dinner Party Project, an eight-week, family-focused educational program for 5th graders that 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 Foundation has also supported Take-a-Taste with Spoons, an exploration-based program for 3rd graders, and Farm to Book, a food and literacy program for 2nd graders.
The Department of History at the University of North Texas hosts one of the largest and best collections of food history scholars in North America, with nearly a third of its 26 tenure-line faculty members teaching and conducting research on the historical dimensions of food. Beginning in the fall of 2018, UNT launched a unique food history Ph.D. concentration to meet the growing student demand for graduate level training in food studies and thus establishing the only major center for food studies research in the South/Southwest region and one of only a few in the United States and around the world. The Foundation supports a two-year fellowship for a graduate student who will earn a Ph.D. with a concentration in food history, providing access to high-quality education in the field of food studies, while also fostering the study of food history at large.
Past Grant Recipients
Julia appreciated the academic side of the culinary arts, including its history. The Culinary Historians of Southern California (CHSC) was founded in 1995 as an affiliate of the Los Angeles Public Library. Its membership of 250 comprises culinary professionals, academics and interested amateurs from various fields. The group presents monthly forums at the Los Angeles Public Library and CHSC members contribute to the library’s culinary collection that includes over 18,000 cookbooks. CHSC curates talks at libraries and cultural institutions and they periodically run events investigating the culinary culture of different ethnic and historical neighborhoods in greater Los Angeles. The Foundation sponsored a lecture series on food history in libraries and museums throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) was founded in 1911 and is dedicated to engaging visitors in the exploration and understanding of the history, character and development of the Puget Sound. Now housed in the landmark Naval Reserve Armory in Lake Union Park, MOHAI welcomes 150,000 annual visitors, including more than 35,000 K-12 students. The Foundation supported MOHAI’s Edible City: A Delicious Journey, a 5,000 square foot exhibition dedicated to the history of Seattle’s urban palate, and featuring the Museum’s award-winning interactive approach to exhibit curation.
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, provided students with paid internships in editorial departments at both traditional print publications and cutting-edge food related websites. Students received substantive opportunities and participated 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, Roads & Kingdoms and Wine Enthusiast.