1. What kind of scholarships does the James Beard Foundation offer?
  2. The James Beard Foundation offers scholarships in the culinary arts and wine studies, the specifics of which vary from year to year depending on criteria specified by donors. Cash scholarships include the James Beard Foundation General Scholarships and Friends of James Beard Scholarships. There are also tuition waiver scholarships that are granted by schools and administered by the James Beard Foundation.
  3. How can I find out which scholarships will be offered this year?
  4. 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 available to download at that time as well.
  5. What determines which scholarships are offered each year?
  6. The scholarships offered depend on the funds raised, tuition waivers donated, and on criteria specified by donors.
  7. Who selects the recipients of James Beard Foundation Scholarships?
  8. Completed application forms are received and processed by Scholarship America, a respected independent non-profit group that specializes in scholarship administration. Approximately 650 applications are received each year. The James Beard Foundation’s Scholarship Selection Committee reviews the semi-finalists, and approximately 70 recipients are selected.
  9. How can I prepare to apply?
  10. 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
  11. What is the deadline for application submissions?
  12. The deadline changes slightly from year to year. Applications for 2012 James Beard Foundation Scholarships must be postmarked no later than May 15, 2012, and should be submitted to the Scholarship Management Services of Scholarship America in St. Peter, MN, as instructed on the application form. 
  13. Are previous recipients of James Beard Foundation Scholarships eligible to apply again?
  14. Yes.
  15. Can I apply for more than one scholarship?
  16. Yes. The scholarship application acts as a universal application, putting you in the running for all the scholarships we offer that you qualify for.
  17. Is there a fee required with the application form?
  18. No.
  19. When will the winners be notified?
  20. Scholarship winners will be notified at the beginning of August. 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.
  21. Can I endow a scholarship or make a contribution to the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program?
  22. Yes. There is almost nothing more rewarding than helping a passionate, talented student realize his or her dreams. The scholarship profiles we include in every issue of Beard Bites, our electronic newsletter, speak to this satisfaction. 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 Diane Harris Brown at 212.627.1128 or via email.


  1. Does the James Beard Foundation offer volunteer opportunities?
  2. The Beard Foundation offers volunteer opportunities for current culinary and pastry students who would like to assist chefs in the James Beard House kitchen. Our guest chefs come from all over the country and can't always bring along their entire staff. Culinary student volunteers work side by side with visiting chefs and their teams to prepare and plate a meal that highlights the chef's talents. Volunteering is a fun, educational, and rewarding experience.
  3. How do I start the process of volunteering for the James Beard Foundation?
  4. Begin by downloading our Policies and Procedures form and an application. Return the completed and signed application to the address indicated, along with a copy of your valid culinary school student ID. Once your application has been received, you will be contacted by our student programs manager to discuss your schedule and availability.
  5. How do I learn about the different events open to volunteers?
  6. Upcoming events at the Beard House are posted online and copies of our printed calendar, JBF Events, are available at the Beard House, located at 167 West 12th Street. Your school will also have the latest issue of Previews, which lists three months of upcoming events. Please use these documents to learn what events are coming up on the schedule.
  7. How do I sign up to volunteer at an event?
  8. 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 March 1, and bookings for all of May begin on April 1. If your application has been approved and you'd like to get 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 ten days prior to the event, you will be contacted with a confirmation of your date and time slot, or you will be informed that there is no availability for that date and time, with other possible options offered. It is very important to return all calls from the James Beard Foundation in a timely manner.
  9. Why would there not be availability?
  10. 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 he or she will need during their Beard House experience.
  11. How long does it take to get on the schedule?
  12. 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.
  13. Why can’t I find the volunteer schedule online?
  14. 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 contact the student programs manager.
  15. What happens if I cannot keep my scheduled appointment due to illness or a change of plans?
  16. Please contact the student programs manager as soon as you find out that you're not going to be available so that another student can fill your slot.
  17. What are the hours for volunteers?
  18. There are three standard shifts for volunteers: 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.; 1:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.; and 4:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. Lunches end by 3:00 P.M. and dinners end 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.
  19. Where do I go?
  20. All volunteers should show up for their shifts at the James Beard House, located at 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.
  21. Hope do I prepare and what do I need to bring?
  22. For a better volunteer experience, please visit our website's Events section, find the date on which you're scheduled to volunteer, and read the event description, the menu, and the “Related Info" section, which contains links that will take you to the chef’s website and more. You should also consider checking out the JBF Kitchen Cam, our live, three-angle feed of the Beard House kitchen. This is a great way to see what might be in store for you. Each student volunteer is responsible for bringing his or her own knives and a clean uniform. We recommend bringing a pen and small notebook for taking notes.
  23. What will I be doing when I volunteer?
  24. If you are volunteering during the morning of a lunch, you will be assisting with last-minute prep and plate-out. If you are volunteering during the morning of a dinner, you will be assisting the chef with prepping the ingredients for that evening's service. If you are scheduled for the afternoon of a 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. With the JBF Kitchen Cam broadcasting all activity in the kitchen, professional conduct is mandatory. Keep cell-phone use to a minimum and focus on the tasks at hand.
  25. I just started school; what if I can't do what the chef asks?
  26. Please inform the chef that you are new in school and want to do your best. Chefs will take extra care to see that you're able to do whatever he or she needs. If your skills are not up to a 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 after your skills have improved.
  27. Can I volunteer at events that take place outside the James Beard House?
  28. Several of the Foundation’s larger New York City–area events, such as the Beard Awards, the annual JBF Gala, and Chefs & Champagne®, require student volunteers. Volunteer information for these events will be sent to your school’s student advisor in a timely fashion and will be posted accordingly.
  29. I do not live in the New York City area. How can I volunteer with the James Beard Foundation?
  30. We are currently creating relationships with culinary schools outside of New York City and 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 events calendar. Contact the student programs manager to learn more about this opportunity.
  31. I am not a culinary student. Can I still volunteer for the Foundation?
  32. While our official volunteer program is aimed at current culinary students, there are many other ways to get involved with the Foundation, from taking photos to stuffing gift bags. In addition, there are event-planning office internships that typically last three months. To learn more, send us an email.
  33. How can I contact the student programs manager? 
  34. Please send us an email