What is the James Beard Foundation?
We are a nonprofit culinary arts organization based in James Beard’s former Greenwich Village townhouse.
What is the James Beard Foundation’s mission?
Our mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.
What does the Foundation do?
Our diverse programs include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. Learn more about the James Beard Foundation's events and programming.
Who was James Beard?
James Beard was a prolific food writer, teacher, and cookbook author, who was also known as the “Dean of American Cookery.” These days we like to think of him as America’s first celebrity chef. Learn more about James Beard.
Do you give out grants like other foundations?
Although we do have a very robust scholarship program for culinary students, we are not a grant-giving organization in the way that some other foundations with large endowments are. The James Beard Foundation was founded posthumously by a group of Beard’s friends and colleagues without an endowment but with the desire to maintain Beard’s house as the important culinary gathering place it was during his lifetime and to further his legacy of supporting chefs and educating people about food.
Where does the money you raise go?
The James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and accordingly the money we raise at our various events is used to fund our mission-driven programs and cover the cost of overhead. View our audited financial statements here.
Does the James Beard Foundation offer internship opportunities?
Absolutely. We generally have student interns working in a number of our departments including special events, media, awards, and more. If you are interested in applying, please email us a cover letter and your resume.
If you do not see your questions answered here or elsewhere on the website, please send us an email.
- Participating in Beard House Events
- Out-of House Events
What kind of scholarships does the James Beard Foundation offer?
Established in 1991, the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program assists aspiring and established culinary professionals who plan to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school or hospitality institution, college, or university. As of 2018, the Foundation will have awarded close to $8 million in financial aid to 2,000 recipients. Learn more about the James Beard Foundation scholarship program.
How can I find out which scholarships will be offered this year?
Each April the list of scholarships being offered will be available on our website. The application form and full directions for completing the application are accessible at that time as well.
What determines which scholarships are offered each year?
The scholarships offered depend on the funds raised, tuition waivers donated, and on criteria specified by donors.
Who selects the recipients of James Beard Foundation Scholarships?
Completed application forms are received and processed by Scholarship America, a respected independent non-profit group that specializes in scholarship administration. The James Beard Foundation’s scholarship selection committee reviews the semifinalists and selects the recipients.
How can I prepare to apply?
In preparation for applying for a James Beard Foundation scholarship, it helps to gather and organize the following information even before the applications for this year are posted:
- Personal contact information
- Educational history (high school or college transcripts)
- History of other scholarships or grants received
- Work/apprenticeship history
- Brief statement of culinary goals
- Financial statement and copy of most recent federal income tax return
- A professional or educational source who will provide a brief evaluation/recommendation
What is the deadline for application submissions?
Scholarship applications must be submitted online, as instructed on the application form.
Are previous recipients of James Beard Foundation scholarships eligible to apply again?
Can I apply for more than one scholarship?
Yes. The scholarship application acts as a universal application, putting you in the running for all the scholarships we offer that you qualify for.
Is there a fee required with the application form?
When will the winners be notified?
Scholarship winners will be notified in August of the application year. The scholarship awards will be administered for the fall semester on behalf of the James Beard Foundation by the independent non-profit organization Scholarship America.
Can I endow a scholarship or make a contribution to the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program?
Yes. There is almost nothing more rewarding than helping a passionate, talented student realize his or her dreams. Scholarships are core to our mission, and we can work with you to determine the specific structure and criteria for the type of scholarship you would like to support. To endow a scholarship or donate to the Foundation’s scholarship program, please contact Keith Butler, JBF’s director of development at 212-627-1111 x566 or via email.
Does the James Beard Foundation offer volunteer opportunities?
The Beard Foundation offers volunteer opportunities for current culinary and pastry students who would like to assist our guest chefs in the kitchen of the James Beard House. Our guest chefs come from all over the country and the world and cannot always bring their staff with them to New York City to help create the food they are known for in their restaurants. Culinary student volunteers work side by side with these chefs and their staff to prepare and plate a meal specifically designed to highlight the chef's talents. Volunteering is a fun, educational, and rewarding experience.
How do I start the process of volunteering for the James Beard Foundation?
Begin by reviewing the policies and procedures and completing the application found here. Within two weeks of receipt, you will be contacted by our student programs manager to discuss the schedule and your availability.
How do I learn about the different events open to volunteers?
Upcoming events at the Beard House are posted online one month in advance. Members at the Fellow level and above will have access to Previews, a digital newsletter which lists three months of upcoming events.
How do I sign up to volunteer at an event?
Scheduling for the upcoming month begins on the first day of the prior month. For example, bookings for all of April’s events begin on the first of March, and bookings for all of May begin on the first of April. If you are interested in getting on the calendar, please call the student programs manager to discuss dates and times that work best with your schedule. After this conversation, you are considered "penciled in" for the dates discussed, and we ask that you please keep those dates open until you have been contacted again to confirm the schedule. Three weeks to 10 days prior to the event, you will be contacted via phone to confirm your date and time slot, or to let you know that there is no availability for that date and time, with other possible options offered. It is very important to return all calls in a timely manner.
Why would there not be availability?
The need for volunteers depends on the chef. Some require more than others, some require none. We cannot guarantee the number of slots until the chef tells us exactly how much help and at what times he or she will need during their Beard House experience.
How long does it take to get on the schedule?
Due to the popularity of this program, it can take up to six weeks from receipt of your completed application to secure a confirmed spot on the calendar. Once you are on the calendar, bookings will not take that long.
Why can’t I find the volunteer schedule online?
The volunteer schedule changes several times each day; therefore, it is only available via the student program manager’s office. To learn about event openings, please call the student programs manager.
Will I get an email reminder for when I am booked?
No, once you have been confirmed, you are responsible keeping your own calendar and for showing up at the scheduled date and time. The chefs will be counting on your commitment.
What happens if I cannot keep my scheduled appointment due to illness or if my plans change?
Please contact the student programs manager as soon as you find out that you are not going to be available so that another student can fill your slot.
What are the hours for volunteers?
There are two standard shifts for volunteers: 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. The lunches end by 3:00 P.M. and dinners end no later between 10:00 P.M. and 11:00 P.M. Guest chefs determine the call time required for their event. You will be asked to arrive at the earliest slot that you are available for. Depending upon the chef’s needs and your availability, you may either do a full-day shift or the morning or afternoon shift, and this will be determined when you speak with the student programs manager.
Where do I go?
All volunteers should show up for their shifts at the James Beard House, 167 West 12th Street. Please note that the student program manager’s office is at a different location on West 18th Street. Please do not confuse the addresses.
What do I need to bring?
Each student in the kitchen is responsible for bringing his or her own knives and a clean uniform.
What will I be doing when I volunteer?
If you are volunteering in the morning of a scheduled lunch, you will be assisting with last minute prep and plate-out. If you are volunteering in the morning of a scheduled dinner, you will be assisting the chef with prepping the ingredients for service later on. If you are scheduled for the afternoon of a scheduled dinner, you will be assisting with last minute prep and service plate-out. Please remember that all students must act and present themselves in a professional manner at all times.
I just started school; what if I can't do what the chef asks?
Please inform the chef that you are new in school and want to do your best; the chef will take extra care to see that you are able to do whatever it is that he or she needs. If your skills are not up to the chef’s needs, he or she will try to find another task for you. If you find you are unable to perform most of the tasks asked of you, it is best that you observe for the rest of the evening and wait to volunteer again when your skills have improved.
Can I volunteer at events that take place outside the James Beard House?
Several of the Foundation’s larger New York City–area events, such as Chefs & Champagne, the JBF Gala, Sunday Supper at Chelsea Market, and many of the Greens events require student volunteers. The student programs manager will mention these to you as the dates for each approach. In addition, volunteer information for these events will be sent to your school’s student advisor in a timely fashion and will be posted accordingly. Confirmation for these events only will be via email.
I do not live in the New York City area, how can I volunteer with the James Beard Foundation?
We are currently creating relationships with culinary schools outside of New York City and soon hope to incorporate our volunteer program with our events that take place nationwide. To learn what events are taking place in your city, check out our James Beard Foundation events calendar. Contact the student programs manager to learn more about this opportunity.
I am not a culinary student. Can I still volunteer for the Foundation?
While our official volunteer program is aimed towards current culinary students, we also offer up office internships working on wither JBF House events, or one of the out of house events listed above. These internships typically last three months. To learn more, send us an email.
How can I contact the student programs manager?
Please send us an email.
Why should I join the James Beard Foundation?
The James Beard Foundation is about good food for good™. Together with fellow food lovers, celebrate the chefs and leaders making our food system more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.
We have a membership level for every food-loving diner and professional—many include significant discounts on dinners at the historic James Beard House in New York City.
What levels of memberships are available?
The James Beard Foundation offers a number of different levels of membership for individuals, culinary professionals and students, as well as corporate memberships. Check out the James Beard Foundation's various membership options and benefits.
Which level is right for me?
The enrollment process will walk you through a few options based on how often you expect to be attending James Beard Foundation events, if at all, and/or what level of support you are willing to commit to our mission. Start the process of becoming a member of the James Beard Foundation.
How do I become a member of the James Beard Foundation?
Follow the simple enrollment process online or call membership services at 212.675.4984.
How long will I be a member once I join?
Memberships expire one year (12 months) from the month of purchase.
Is my membership tax deductible?
Memberships are tax deductible above and beyond the value of the benefits you receive. This calculation is different for each level of membership we offer. For more information, please contact membership services at 212.675.4984.
Once I join, how do I know what events are happening at the James Beard Foundation?
Most of our events are open to the public. We make the details known in many ways. We have a complete calendar on our website. Every two weeks we also send out Beard Bites, an electronic newsletter that contains event highlights and other Foundation news. Certain events have special printed or electronic invitations. Becoming a member is the best way to ensure you don’t miss any of the exciting things going on at the Foundation. What’s more, members receive advance notice and discounts for most events.
How does the member dining discount work?
For most James Beard Foundation events you will see a price for members and a price for the general public. Starting with Associate-level members and moving up the membership ladder, you are entitled to purchase a certain number of reservations per event at the member price. Any additional reservations for that event can be made at the general public price. For example, Associate members can purchase one reservation per event at members price and as many reservations as they want at the general public price. Fellow-level members can purchase two reservations per event at members price and additional tickets at the general public price. You can review the benefits associated with different James Beard Foundation membership levels.
Can I receive event invitations and other information if I’m not a member?
Sure. Sign up to receive Beard Bites, our biweekly digital newsletter which features information about upcoming events, recipes and photos from the Beard House, scholarship details, restaurant news from around the country, and the latest on other Foundation happenings. Sign up for the James Beard Foundation's digital newsletter here.
Can I give someone a gift certificate or gift membership?
Yes. Anyone can purchase gift certificates for any value and gift memberships over the phone with any major credit card by calling membership services at 212.675.4984. You do not have to be a member to purchase gifts.
How can I cancel my membership?
You can cancel your membership by contacting membership services at 212.675.4984.
Are there other ways besides membership to support the James Beard Foundation?
What are the James Beard Foundation Awards?
The James Beard Foundation Awards, a.k.a. the Beard Awards, are the food industry’s highest honor. Awards are given in many categories, including chefs and restaurants, books, journalism, broadcast media, and restaurant design and graphics, as well as for special achievements. Time magazine called them “the Oscars of the food world.” Find out more about the James Beard Foundation Awards.
Who are the judges?
The judges for the awards are selected by the governing committee for each awards category. For example, the book awards committee selects the judges for the book awards. The judges choose the winners by reviewing the entries and voting with secret ballots. The judges are all experts in their fields who may not enter their awards category during the year they are judging. (Judges may, however, enter awards categories they are not judging.) The judging process is overseen by an independent accounting firm.
Fortunately, the reputation of the Beard Awards means that we get thousands of entries from across the country. Anyone can enter. Each awards category, such as journalism or books, is administered in a slightly different way consistent with other awards in the field. This means that the entry process, requirements, and deadlines vary from one category to the next. But the process for each category begins on our website, where entry details and forms are posted in mid October for the following year’s awards. Learn more about entry details for the James Beard Foundation Awards.
How are the Awards financed?
The Awards are a program of the James Beard Foundation, which means the trustees of the Foundation have overall fiduciary responsibility for them. Sponsorship, entry fees, and ticket and advertising sales are intended to cover the cost of the Awards program, which includes fees for the independent auditors, administrative costs for the judging, the costs for the production of the ceremony, and the costs associated with the reception.
Can you win a James Beard Foundation Award if you haven’t participated in a James Beard Foundation event?
Absolutely. Every step is taken to assure that the Awards are open to all eligible candidates and administered fairly. James Beard Foundation staff members are not allowed to vote on the Awards, nor are trustees. And although we are extremely grateful to everyone who participates in our events, those events are in no way related to the awards process. Also, you do not need to be a James Beard Foundation member to receive a nomination or win an award. In fact, some of our highest honors have been received by chefs who have never joined the Foundation or participated in a Foundation event.
Is there anything an entrant can do to increase his or her chances of winning?
Besides performing to the best of his or her abilities, there’s nothing anyone can do to affect the outcome of an award. We hear stories of people campaigning for various awards but our procedures are overseen by an independent accounting firm and are not susceptible to outside influence.
Are James Beard Foundation trustees eligible for an award?
No, James Beard Foundation trustees are not eligible to win a James Beard Foundation Award. (Nor can they influence the voting in any way.) Trustees must sign a statement of conflict of interest that states that they or their relatives will not be eligible for an award.
What about staff?
No. As with the trustees, all management and staff sign a conflict of interest statement that states that they or their relatives will not be eligible for an award.
Can sponsors affect the outcome?
No, sponsors do not take part in judging.
What do James Beard Foundation Award winners receive?
Bragging rights, a handsome medal, an impressive certificate, a lot of publicity, and the satisfaction of having been recognized by your peers. There are no cash awards.
What types of events does the Beard House host? How often?
Beard House events include dinners, lunches, brunches, workshops, readings, and education events. Each year we have more than 250 events, which break down to four to six dinners each week; occasional lunches, brunches, and cocktail parties; and one or two daytime readings each month as part of our Beard on Books and Enlightened Eaters series. Other events are sometimes scheduled around this core calendar. See what’s happening at the James Beard House this month.
Why is the summer schedule different?
Many people leave New York City on the weekends, so we're closed on those days during the summer months.
What happens at a typical Beard House event?
A typical event at the Beard House includes a reception featuring passed hors d’oeuvre and wine or cocktail pairings, followed by a seated meal which includes five courses (four for lunches/brunches) and wine pairings for each course. You also have the unique opportunity to meet the chefs and ask questions about the dishes you’ve eaten. Our occasional cocktail parties are walk-around events that highlight popular chefs and exciting themes.
Is there a menu? Can I choose what I eat?
The menu for each Beard House event is set by the chef months in advance and publicized along with the event. Occasionally, due to the seasonal availability of ingredients, the menu is slightly different on the night of the event. There is one set menu for the evening and the event is served in courses to all guests. There is no special ordering.
What if I’m a vegetarian or have special dietary needs?
Because the Beard House receives a different guest chef every night and does not operate like a typical restaurant, it is very difficult for chefs to accommodate special needs. There is no pantry of ingredients to draw on and deviating from the set, published menu is difficult. If a special request is made at the time of booking a reservation, it can be conveyed to the chef, who may or may not be able to accommodate it. Special requests made on the night of the event will certainly be entertained but there is no guarantee they can be fulfilled
When can I make reservations?
That depends on your membership level. Fellow-level members and the levels above them are given three months advance notice of upcoming events. Other members receive notification up to 60 days prior. The complete calendar is posted on our website for all to see one month in advance, and offers online booking through OpenTable. You can also call our reservations department directly at 212.627.2308.
Can I just show up at the door?
No, all events must be booked and paid for in advance. The exceptions are general admission events, like our reading series Beard on Books and Enlightened Eaters, for which a donation is suggested.
Do I get to choose my seat? My dining companions?
Not exactly. The configuration of tables at the Beard House is pretty much fixed so we can’t really manipulate the seating. Part of the fun of the experience of dining at the Beard House is getting to meet interesting people who share a passion for food. That said, we always try to honor special requests for parties to sit together or to have a large group occupy a specific table. Such requests should be made at the time the reservation has been made. Seating changes are very difficult to accommodate on the day of the event.
How are the prices for events determined?
For the most part our prices are set depending on the type of the event: lunch, dinner, or cocktail party. As most of our events serve two functions—programming and fundraising—we are always trying to find the perfect balance between making them accessible to as many people as possible and raising money to cover costs and contribute to our operating budget for our other programs.
Do I have to tip? Is there tax?
Tipping at the Beard Foundation is not allowed. Unlike for-profit restaurants, our waitstaff are paid as regular employees and are entitled to benefits. There is no tax on James Beard Foundation events.
Are the event charges tax deductible?
That depends. The law states that anything above the fair market value of an event for a charitable nonprofit is tax deductible. Because most of our Beard House events are priced at or below their fair market value—were you to go to a restaurant in Manhattan and order a similar amount of great food and wine you would pay a lot more money for it—the event charges are generally not tax deductible. Occasionally, when we plan fundraisers or special high-ticket events, a portion of the price may be tax deductible. In these cases we make the amounts that are tax deductible known and will issue letters for all tax-deductible amounts over $250 upon request as required by law.
PARTICIPATING IN BEARD HOUSE EVENTTop
How does someone get invited to participate in a Beard House event?
The programming department receives inquiries and recommendations from various sources: working chefs and restaurateurs, winemakers, cookbook authors, publicists, members of the Foundation, staff members, JBF trustees, and members of the volunteer-staffed programming committee. In addition, the director of house programming actively seeks noteworthy talent as evidenced by press reviews and positive word of mouth.
What is the programming committee? Who is on it?
The programming committee and its chairman meet monthly to recommend chefs and events to the director of house programming. The committee is made up of a group of food and wine professionals and gastronomic enthusiasts who volunteer their time to the Foundation. Their participation broadens the field of qualifying chefs, provides perspective from outside of the Foundation, and brings various areas of expertise and knowledge to the chef selection process. The director of house programming retains the final decision in extending invitations and scheduling events.
Are events at the Beard House related to the James Beard Foundation Awards?
No. Events at the James Beard House are independent of the Beard Awards, though we are honored to welcome award winners to perform at the house from time to time for various events.
Do chefs get press coverage for participating in a Beard House event?
The James Beard Foundation welcomes the media at our events, but the responsibility of inviting the press and purchasing seats for them is solely the responsibility of the participating chef/restaurant.
Do chefs and restaurants have to be members of the James Beard Foundation to be invited to cook at the Beard House?
No. Chefs and restaurants are considered based on their merit, their menu, and their ability to execute a banquet dinner for up to 80 guests. Once a chef, winemaker, or guest speaker is invited to participate in a Beard House event he/she will receive a complimentary Food and Beverage Professional-level membership to the James Beard Foundation for one year.
How far in advance are events scheduled?
Typically, six months to a year in advance.
If I'm not currently employed in a restaurant or food-related business, can I still participate in an event at the Beard House?
Participating in an event at the Beard House is costly for both the chef and the James Beard Foundation. Generally, chefs need the physical and financial support of a restaurant and its staff to help with the preparation and execution of their event, but we are happy to consider unique situations when they arise.
What are the costs associated with presenting a meal at the Beard House?
Chefs and other participants cover the cost of travel to New York City, accommodations, as well as food and beverage costs associated with the event. The James Beard Foundation covers the cost of staffing (waiters, stewards, and kitchen managers), linen, rentals, and marketing the event directly to its membership and the general public through electronic and printed publications. The Foundation also provides participating chefs with a portion of the event’s proceeds to help offset food costs.
Can a Beard House event be sponsored?
Yes, events can be sponsored at the Foundation’s discretion and for a negotiated sponsorship fee. For more information, please email the director of house programming. Chefs and restaurants are encouraged to seek sponsorship directly to help offset the costs of their event, but the notice of that sponsorship will be limited to the event itself. No logos or other company information will appear in our publications or on our website.
Can more than one chef or restaurant participate in a Beard House event?
Yes. Group events create a unique experience and help to spread the cost of doing the event across the participants. Smaller restaurants often team up with others to offset the costs of coming to the Beard House.
If the chefs and other participants mostly pay their own way to the Beard House, where does the money from reservations go?
The costs to the Foundation associated with producing each event and maintaining the Beard House are covered by the price of each event. Those costs include publications, waitstaff, linens, upkeep, administrative staff, cleaning staff, chef reimbursement, and other expenses related to the event itself. What’s left goes to the general operating and programming budgets of the Foundation. View our most current audited financial statements.
I am scheduled to participate in an event at the Beard House. Where can I find out what I need to do? What equipment you’ve got on hand? How it all works?
Participating chefs all receive a comprehensive chef information packet in the mail, but all information about cooking at the James Beard House is on this website.
Do all James Beard Foundation events take place at the Beard House?
No. Although we host over 250 events a year at the Beard House, the Foundation also hosts events in other venues in the New York City area and across the country, including Chefs & Champagne®, our annual JBF Gala, Celebrity Chef Tour, and Friends of James Beard Benefit® dinners. Occasionally we even host events in other countries. We refer to events not held in the Beard House as out-of-house events.
Do I need to be a member to attend the James Beard Foundation’s out-of-house events?
No. Most Foundation events are open to the general public, although there is usually a discounted price for members.
How do I make reservations for out-of-house events?
It depends on the event. Every time you see information about an event, we will give you the appropriate number to call or website to visit for reservations. And you can always call our James Beard Foundation main reservations line at 212.627.2308.
How can my company become involved with your special events?
For organizations or companies looking to promote themselves by associating with our events, there are a number of different opportunities. For example, organizations can become cash sponsors, donate products, contribute to our auctions, become gift bag underwriters, and/or purchase VIP tables. Our sponsorship department can tailor an attractive promotion/association program to suit your organization’s needs. For more information, please call 212.627.2090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Where does the money raised at special events go?
As with all of our events and fundraising, the proceeds from out-of-house events go to the Foundation’s general operating fund, scholarships, or to cover the costs of other specified programs.
What is the Celebrity Chef Tour?
A national program held in cities throughout the country. Like a James Beard House dinner, each event features a reception and multi-course dinner prepared by JBF Award winners and other acclaimed chefs, as well as a Q&A with the evening’s chefs. With a minimum of 24 events per year, the program attracts approximately 3,000 guests and features approximately 130 chefs annually.
What are Friends of James Beard Benefits?
Friends of James Beard Benefits are fundraising dinners hosted by restaurants and hotels around the county. They are usually initiated by the hosting restaurants, who invite a group of guest chefs to participate. We refer to them as FOJBBs.
How are the funds raised at Friends of James Beard Benefits used by the Foundation?
Friends of James Beard Benefits have a minimum fundraising requirement. Half of the funds raised at all FOJBBs are allocated to are allocated to one of three of JBF’s programs: the JBF National Scholars, Impact Programs, or the JBF Women’s Leadership Programs. The remaining funds are used to support the operations of the James Beard Foundation, including the administration of our programs.
How much time is needed to plan a Friends of James Beard Benefit?
We recommend that you start the planning process at least six months before the event. The James Beard Foundation starts to publicize and promote the event three months in advance.
Who attends Friends of James Beard Benefits?
Anyone who enjoys a great food and wine experience is welcome, whether or not they are James Beard Foundation members. Reservations are usually taken by the host restaurant; this information will be posted everywhere the event is promoted. Find out if there is a Friends of James Beard Benefit happening near you.
Can I receive guidelines for hosting a Friends of James Beard Benefit?
For a complete list of guidelines, contact Michelle Santoro at 212.627.1111x552 or via email.
What are Greens events?
The James Beard Foundation’s Greens events are geared to foodies ages 21 to 39 and held at the Beard House and different venues around New York City and Chicago. Greens events are open to members and non-members alike. The idea is to bring young people who share an interest in food and wine together to experience, learn, and have fun. Though Greens is not a membership category, James Beard Foundation members receive member discounts to Greens events and we strongly encourage all Greens attendees to become members of the Foundation. Check out upcoming James Beard Foundation Greens events.
How do I receive information about Greens events?
All communication about Greens events is conducted via email. Sign up to recieve invitations and other information about Greens.
What do I do if I am 40 or over?
The James Beard Foundation offers exciting events for food lovers of all ages. View a calendar of upcoming James Beard Foundation events
How do I make a reservation for a James Beard Foundation event?
Reservations can be made by calling 212.627.2308, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. All reservations are prepaid, so please have your credit card on hand. You will also need to provide a phone number. You must speak to a reservations department representative to consider your reservation confirmed. (Messages left on our voicemail system do not count as reservations.) As a courtesy, your reservation will be reconfirmed two to three business days before the event. View the James Beard Foundation reservation policy.
When will my credit card be charged?
Expect a charge to appear during the month of your event. Most charges are processed within the week of the reserved event. Since all events are prepaid, please contact us if the card used to make your reservation has been lost or stolen before the charge appears on your bill, or if you would like to use an alternate card.
Are receipts available?
Yes. To expedite this process, please provide your email address, mailing address, and fax number at the time you make your reservation. Receipts requested after an event will be generated by our accounting department.
Is the cost of my reservation tax deductible?
Most Beard House events are priced at or below market value, and are therefore not tax deductible. Exceptions occur with higher priced fundraising events, for which any amount above the fair market value of the event can be deducted. When the tax-deductible amount exceeds $250, tax letters will be sent as required by law.
What is your cancelation policy?
Our cancelation policy and fees are as follows: a fee of $5 per person is charged if a cancelation is made more than seven days before an event and a fee of $20 per person is charged if a cancelation is made seven days to 24 hours before an event. No refunds are offered for cancelations made within 24 hours of an event or for no-shows. Cancelations left on our voice mail will not be honored. Reservations made for the Peter Kump Boardroom, our private dining facility, are non-refundable.
How is the seating arranged for events at the Beard House?
The Beard House seats a maximum of 80 guests and our tables seat between 4 and 12 guests. Due to the layout of our dining rooms, you may be seated with other parties. If friends are booking reservations separately, please be sure to indicate to the reservations department representative that you wish to be seated together.
How large of a party may be booked at the Beard House?
Reservations are accepted for up to 20 guests in one party, and while a party that large cannot be seated together at the same table, we will arrange to have everyone seated at nearby tables. To assist in the process, it helps to send a list of names of the people who should be seated together to the reservations department at the time you make your reservation. For an additional fee, our private dining room is available for parties of up to 12 guests.
Is a private dining room available at the Beard House?
The Peter Kump Boardroom is available for most events at the Beard House. The private room seats 12 guests with options for AV equipment, privately held reception hours, and more. Contact the reservations department for more information at 212.627.2308 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the dress code for events at the Beard House?
There is no official dress code for events at the Beard House; however, we do recommend business professional or cocktail attire. Events at the Beard House celebrate the chef, and respectful dress contributes to the ambience.
Is there a choice of dishes at Beard House events?
No. Everything listed on the chef’s menu is served to each guest. Visit the events section of our site to view the most up-to-date menus.
Can you accommodate food allergies/dietary restrictions?
Chefs who visit the Beard House create distinct tasting menus that highlight their skills and cuisine. We ask that you carefully consider any allergies or dietary restrictions before booking; however, both the chefs and the James Beard Foundation understand that these limitations should not hinder anyone’s dining experience. Upon reserving, please alert the reservations department to these issues. Event managers will discuss with the chef what items to avoid or what accommodations, if any, can be made. If arrangements cannot be made, our reservations staff will gladly steer you towards a different event with a more suitable menu.
When do Beard House events start? How long do they last?
Dinners begin at 7:00 P.M., lunches and brunches at 12:00 noon, and cocktail parties at varying times. Our literary series Beard on Books and Enlightened Eaters start at 12:00 noon and last one hour. Dining events at the Beard House generally last 2 to 3 hours.
Is there a reduced price available for guests who do not drink alcohol?
Unfortunately, the James Beard Foundation is not able to offer a reduced price for guests who do not drink alcohol.
Are children allowed to attend the events at the Beard House?
The attendance of small children is discouraged both for their safety and for the comfort of other diners. We do not have special children’s menus, beverages, or prices.
The event I am interested in is sold out, what should I do?
If you wish to attend an event that is sold out, the reservations department will be happy to add you to a waiting list. Cancelations frequently occur and you will be notified but not obligated to make the reservation if seats become available.
How do I find out about upcoming scheduled events at the Beard House?
Become a member! Fellow-level members and above receive notifications of events three months in advance in our monthly digital publication, Previews. Menus and more detailed event information are available online about one month before the events, but events may sell out before this online posting.
Is parking available near the Beard House?
Yes. Chivian Garage has an exclusive partnership with the James Beard Foundation. The garage is located at 101 West 12th Street, at the corner of 6th Avenue, and has a $7 parking fee from 6:30 P.M. with validation from the Beard House maitre’d. For SUVs and cars 181” or longer the fee is $17.
Is the James Beard House available for private events?
Yes. The Beard House can be rented for events, pending availability. Please contact membership services for more details at 212.675.4984 or via email.
What is Beard Bites?
Beard Bites is a weekly digital newsletter that has information about upcoming events and Foundation news. It is available to members and nonmembers. Beard Bites is the best way to stay informed about what is going on at the Beard Foundation. Sign up here.
What is Previews?
Previews is a monthly digital publication that gives three months’ advance notice of events. It is available as a benefit to high-level members, beginning at the Fellowship level.
Does the Foundation publish any books?
In 2007 the James Beard Foundation republished one of James Beard’s classic books, Beard on Food. In March, 2012, we published The James Beard Foundation's Best of the Best: A 25th Anniversary Celebration of America's Outstanding Chefs, which features recipes from and profiles of every chef who has won our Outstanding Chef Award. (If you purchase these books through our Amazon store, a portion of the proceeds will come back to the Foundation.) In February, 2016, we published James Beard's All-American Eats: Recipes and Stories from Our Best-Loved Local Restaurants, which features recipes from our America's Classics Award winners. Other book projects are in the works.
What happened to that annual Restaurant Directory you used to publish?
Our directories have been published online since 2007. At the moment they are being redesigned to be consistent with our new website.
Is there a Foundation magazine?
There is no Foundation magazine, but we do publish feature articles, news, and recipes on our blog.
Do you accept unsolicited article submissions and queries?
Yes. We are happy to consider previously unpublished work and queries. Please email your submission, along with a cover letter, to our media department.
Will you include events put on by other organizations in you publications?
As a rule, we do not publicize events besides our own unless we have some sort of formal relationship with the host organization or the specific event. We enact this policy not because we do not wish all food events to be a success, but because we wish to respect the wishes of our members and subscribers who specifically signed up for information about the Foundation.
If I sign up for your digital publications will I be bombarded with junk mail and spam?
We do everything to ensure the privacy of our members and subscribers and use the utmost discretion in sending out Foundation-related marketing information. We do not share our email addresses. And, of course, you are welcome to unsubscribe at anytime.
I signed up for your digital publications (or joined as a JBF member) but I’m not getting anything from you in my inbox. What’s up?
First, check your junk mail folder. If you see James Beard Foundation communications there, please add us to your contact list. If you still can’t find any of our communications, you might have accidentally unsubscribed from our list. Please be aware that if you unsubscribe from any of our mailings through our electronic mail distribution service, SubscriberMail, you will not be able to receive any of our digital communication. We take your privacy seriously. To begin receiving our digital communications again, please resubscribe to Beard Bites.
How do I become a sponsor of the James Beard Foundation?
James Beard Foundation sponsorships are designed to help companies and organizations promote and market their goods and services. We consider our sponsors partners and work creatively to help deliver the full benefits of sponsorship. Cash sponsorships are available at many levels and in several areas of the Foundation. We tailor our sponsorships so that companies interested in promoting their goods or services to chefs and professionals can do so, and those more interested in promoting to a consumer audience have that opportunity, as well. For more information, please call 212.627.2090 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I get my product served at James Beard Foundation events?
The James Beard Foundation offers a House purveyorship program to high-quality companies interested in serving their products at Foundation events. Per a contractual agreement, the company agrees to pay a minimum cash sponsorship annually to the Foundation and donate products and/or services as needed for Beard House operations and other events. You can view a list of current James Beard House purveyors. For more information, please call 212.627.2090 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I find the James Beard Foundation’s financial information?
The James Beard Foundation is dedicated to transparency. As a tax-exempt organization we are committed to publishing our complete financial information for the public. Audited financial statements from 2012 through 2017 are available online. Please note when viewing these statements that our fiscal year extends from April 1 through March 31. View our financial information here.
Can I donate to the Foundation?
Yes. By donating to the Foundation you are supporting our mission and programs. You are saying that you believe that food is important, that American cuisine is something to celebrate, and that you want to help the people and practitioners who continue to work so hard to elevate the culinary arts. We gladly accept donations to the Foundation and its programs. For more information, please contact our director of charitable giving and strategic partnerships, Kris Moon, at 212.627.5252 or at email@example.com. You can also make a donation to the James Beard Foundation on our donation page.
Can I designate my donation for a specific use?
Yes. Any donations may be earmarked for specific programs, such as scholarships, or for any uniquely named fund of your choosing.
Are donations made to the Foundation fully tax deductible?
Yes. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible.