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
(LOS ANGELES, CA, JULY 31, 2018) – 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/
For all press-related inquiries, please contact:
Julia Child Foundation – Sunshine Sachs
About the Los Angeles LGBT Center
Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s more than 600 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. We are an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people can be healthy, equal and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org.
About the James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. For more than 30 years the Foundation has accomplished this mission through programs that highlight food’s central role in our lives. In addition to hosting guest-chef dinners throughout the year at the historic James Beard House in New York City, the Foundation administers the James Beard Awards; grants scholarships for culinary students; produces national events that include Taste America; and creates educational programs for the culinary community and food lovers. The Foundation addresses the growing challenges facing our food system through its Impact Programs, which include the Leadership Awards; Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change; Issue Summits; and Culinary Labs. Industry issues, such as gender imbalance and diversity in culinary leadership, are addressed through our Industry Programs. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org and follow @beardfoundation on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
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, food writing and media as well as professional development and food literacy programs. Over the last decade, the Foundation has made more than $1.75 million in grants to other non-profits. For more information, visit: juliachildfoundation.org.
About Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger
Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are award-winning chefs, cookbook authors, television personalities, entrepreneurs, and pioneers of world cuisine. They teamed up more than 35 years ago to open City Café and CITY Restaurant in Los Angeles. Widely recognized as ambassadors of modern Mexican cuisine, the duo are co-chefs and co-owners of Border Grill restaurants, trucks, and catering in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. In June 2018, they debuted a grab-and-go Mexican BBQ eatery at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, and later this year they’ll return to Santa Monica with a new all-day Mexican restaurant.
This year, they were named the recipients of the Los Angeles Times’ annual Gold Award. Between the two of them, they have co-authored six cookbooks and together starred in nearly 400 episodes of the Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales” television series. Both competed in different seasons of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” each winning money for their selected charities. Active members of the community, the duo joined a handful of progressive colleagues to start Chefs Collaborative with a mission to inspire, educate, and celebrate chefs and food professionals building a better food system, and Mary Sue co-founded Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, an organization promoting women’s education and advancement in the restaurant industry. Mary Sue serves as a board member of both Share Our Strength and the James Beard Foundation. Susan serves on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation, L.A. LGBT Center, and L.A. Tourism & Convention Board. In addition, they are passionate about the environment and lead the culinary industry with eco-friendly policies at their restaurants and trucks.
For more information on the chefs and their restaurants, food trucks, and catering services, please visit www.bordergrill.com or follow along on Instagram at @BorderGrill and Facebook at Facebook.com/BorderGrill.ModernMexican.