RESTAURATEUR DANNY MEYER NAMED 2017 JULIA CHILD AWARD RECIPIENT
BY THE JULIA CHILD FOUNDATION
3rd annual award presented at the
Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
July 18, 2017 (New York, NY) – Today, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts announced that Danny Meyer, CEO and Founder of Union Square Hospitality Group, is the recipient of the third annual Julia Child Award. Meyer, the first recipient who is a restauranteur rather than a chef, will receive the Award at the National Museum of American History during a gala on October 26, 2017. The Award is accompanied by a $50,000 grant from the Foundation to Share Our Strength, a food-related non-profit selected by Meyer.
“The trustees of the Foundation are delighted by the Jury’s selection of Danny Meyer for this prestigious honor. Their choice underscores the spirit and purpose of the Award to recognize those who continue to make significant contributions to American society through food. Danny demonstrates that you do not have to be a chef to make an impact. His innovative approach to dining and hospitality, like that of Julia, has been both ground-breaking and influential in changing the way America eats and drinks,” said Eric W. Spivey, Chairman of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.
Meyer was selected by an independent jury for his accomplished work as a restaurateur, business innovator, author, philanthropist and mentor. Meyer, a longtime supporter of hunger relief initiatives, has chosen Share Our Strength to receive the $50,000 Award grant, where he serves on the board. Founded in 1984 by siblings Bill and Debbie Shore, Share Our Strength is a national non-profit organization that through its No Kid Hungry campaign seeks to end child hunger in America by connecting children to effective nutrition programs. The organization will use the grant to help fulfill this long-term goal.
“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by The Julia Child Foundation as a recipient of this prestigious award. Julia Child was the single greatest culinary icon that my generation looked up to, and it’s hard to imagine an award tied to anyone else’s name that could possibly mean more,” said Meyer. “When I think of Julia, I think of joy – someone who cooked, taught, and consumed food with elation. My hope is that our restaurants convey that same sense and spirit of joy both to those we work with and to those we serve.”
The Award will be presented to Meyer by Financial Times’ restaurant critic and food writer Nick Lander. Additionally, the evening will feature Calvin Trillin as MC along with supporting presentations from Ruth Reichl, Will Guidara and Daniel Humm during the gala, kicking off the third annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend. The gala, held at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. on October 26, 2017, supports the Museum’s American Food History project. Additionally, the menu for the evening will be overseen by Union Square Cafe’s Executive Chef, Carmen Quagliata. Click here to purchase tickets.
Created 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 established the Julia Child Award to continue to foster Julia’s legacy, while also honoring an individual who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats and drinks. (The previous recipients were Jacques Pépin and Rick Bayless.)
To learn more about the Foundation and its work, please visit: juliachildfoundation.org. To learn more about the Julia Child Award, including past recipients, please visit: juliachildaward.com. Information about the Smithsonian’s third annual Food History Weekend and tickets to the October 26, 2017 Gala can be found at: http://s.si.edu/FoodHistoryWknd.
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About 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. Its mission is to honor and further Julia’s legacy, which centers on the importance of understanding where food comes from, what makes for good food, and the value of cooking. 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, 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. For more information, visit: juliachildfoundation.org.
About Danny Meyer
Danny Meyer is the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and the founder of Shake Shack. Union Square Hospitality Group includes Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, The Modern, Maialino, Untitled, North End Grill, Marta, Porchlight, GreenRiver, Daily Provisions and Union Square Events. Danny, his restaurants and chefs have earned an unprecedented 28 James Beard Awards and in 2015, Danny was named to the TIME 100 list of the Most Influential People in the World. Danny’s first business book, Setting the Table (HarperCollins, 2006), a New York Times bestseller, examines the power of hospitality in restaurants, business and life. An active national leader in the fight against hunger, Danny serves on the board of Share Our Strength.
About Food History at the National Museum of American History
Through programs, research, and collections, the Smithsonian Food History project at the National Museum of American History invites communities near and far to come to the table. By learning more about American food history, today’s Museum visitors will understand the role they play in shaping how and what we eat. In addition to its foundational exhibition, FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000, the Museum has developed a diverse menu of programs and demonstrations that bring visitors together for relevant discussions that start with history and expand to the present and future of American food. These activities include weekly free daytime programs for millions of museum visitors each year, regular “After Hours” evenings that mix historical topics with themed food and drinks and the annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend. As the home of Julia Child’s kitchen, the National Museum of American History is committed to examining the impact of food, drink and agriculture on American History. Join us around the table and learn more at http://s.si.edu/FoodHistory.