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March 22, 2009


The James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of our culinary excellence. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine.

Beard's chatty culinary memoir, Delights & Prejudices, was published in 1964. He began his recollections with his earliest memory, when he was a tot on all fours, who "crawled into the vegetable bin, settled on a giant onion, and ate it, skin and all." He peppered his personal prose with recipes and observations about people and food. About that early onion, he concluded "It must have marked me for life, for I have never ceased to love the hearty flavor of raw onions." Beard set the ending of Delights & Prejudices in Gearhart, Oregon, site of many of his fondest food memories, where his mother "would start a fire on the beach with fine kindling, adding split wood and then bits of bark. In no time she would have breakfast going" Beard realized that "no place on earth, with the exception of Paris, has done as much to influence my professional life." It's this kind of reporting, commentary, and reflection we hope to capture on this blog.

Beard helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, and publications, and by maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. Move around the tabs on our website to see all of the events, programs, and food-world news we have in store. Click here to join the Foundation or here to donate to our cause.

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