As most food lovers know, many of the delicious dishes we eat can be credited to the diverse influences and skills that foreign-born chefs and cooks bring to their craft. In recognition of this vital part of our culture, our friends at the Vilcek Foundation, an organization that honors and supports immigrants who have made outstanding contributions to American society, have chosen to award its 2010 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise to a foreign-born chef, artisan, or culinary innovator. The Vilcek Foundation will award a $25,000 prize to a young professional who has made notable contributions to the field at an early stage in his or her career. In addition, four finalists will each be awarded $5,000. Applicants must be foreign born and be 38 years old or younger. Only naturalized U.S. citizens or green card holders are eligible to apply. The deadline for application submission has been extended to August 17th, 2009. Click here to find more information about the prize and download an application.