4th annual award presented at the

Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

(LOS ANGELES, CA, JULY 17, 2018) – Today, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts announces Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger as the recipients of the fourth annual Julia Child Award. Milliken and Feniger, the first-ever team to be honored, will receive the award at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History during the Museum’s gala on November 1, 2018. The Award is accompanied by a $50,000 grant from the Foundation, which will be given to food-related causes chosen by Milliken and Feniger.

“The trustees are delighted the jury selected Mary Sue and Susan for this honor. We created the Julia Child Award as an annual reminder of the qualities Julia embodied. The fruits of Mary Sue and Susan’s more than 35-year partnership are clear evidence of them carrying on this very important culinary torch. Mary Sue and Susan have continued to innovate time and time again, creating extraordinary restaurants while also being prolific writers and television personalities. Their track record of mentorship, bridge building, and giving back to the community further highlights why the jury has recognized this remarkable pair,” said Eric W. Spivey, Chairman of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.

“Having known Julia as a teacher, role model, advisor, and friend, this is an especially thrilling and humbling honor.” said Mary Sue Milliken, “I am here, in part, because of Julia’s strong, independent, female voice in the culinary industry. By emulating her generous spirit and mentoring future generations of culinarians, I hope to pass along some of her magic.”

“We are over the moon to be recognized by this Foundation that bears the name of our generous mentor and steadfast supporter,” says Susan Feniger. “Julia was fearless in the kitchen and in life, and has served as a role model for us throughout our careers. From the moment in 1981 when she barged into the City Café kitchen to meet us, we forged a mentorship, with Julia selflessly sharing advice and expertise.”

The Award will be presented to Milliken and Feniger during the gala, kicking off the Museum’s fourth annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend, November 1-3, 2018. The gala line-up of speakers includes Chef Bobby Flay as MC, Chef Kajsa Alger of Blue Window in Los Angeles, Chef Traci Des Jardins of Jardinière in San Francisco and Barbara Fairchild, food & travel writer and former editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit magazine. It will be held at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. on November 1, 2018, in support of the Museum’s American Food History project. Milliken and Feniger will create the evening’s menu, with dishes inspired by their career, restaurants, and worldwide travels.

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. Previous recipients of the award are Jacques Pépin, Rick Bayless, and Danny Meyer.

This year, the Julia Child Award welcomed two new jurors. Carla Hall, a chef and cookbook writer from Washington, D.C., is best known as a co-host of ABC’s Emmy Award-winning “The Chew,” and as a competitor on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars.” Stephen Pyles of Dallas, Texas, also a chef and cookbook author, is best known as a founding father of Southwestern cuisine, having opened 22 restaurants in five cities, including his newest, Flora Street Café, in Dallas.  Hall and Pyles took the reins from chefs Nancy Silverton and Jasper White, who completed their tenure as jurors at the close of 2017. Darra Goldstein, author, food scholar and the Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian, Emerita at Williams College, and Russ Parsons, food columnist and former Food Editor at the Los Angeles Times, also served as jurors along with Jury Chair Jim Dodge, Director of Specialty Culinary Programs for Bon Appetit Management Company. The Award Director is Tanya Steel, author of the forthcoming Food Fight! A Mouthwatering History of Who Ate What and Why Through the Ages, and the former Editorial Director of Epicurious.

To learn more about the Foundation and its work, please visit: To learn more about the Julia Child Award, including past recipients, please visit: Information about the Smithsonian’s fourth annual Food History Weekend and tickets to the November 1, 2018 gala can be found at:

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:

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 or follow along on Instagram at @BorderGrill and Facebook at

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