What types of events does the Beard House host? How often?
Each year the Beard House hosts around 200 dinners, plus occasional cocktail parties and workshops. 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 weekends during the summer months.
What happens at a typical Beard House event?
A typical event at the Beard House begins with a reception featuring passed hors d’oeuvre and beverage pairings, followed by a seated 5-course tasting menu with matching beverage pairings. A short Q & A with the chef concludes the evening. 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?
Yes, there is a set menu served for all. You can find menus on our event pages.
What if I’m a vegetarian or have special dietary needs?
Great news…we have a monthly vegan dinner series! Come to that! Certain events are also vegetarian friendly.
Because the Beard House features a different guest chef every night, and there is no pantry of ingredients to draw on, it is very difficult for chefs to accommodate special needs. 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.
If a special request is made at the time of booking a reservation, it can be conveyed to the chef, who is often able to accommodate with at least two weeks of advanced notice. Special requests made on the night of the event will certainly be entertained but there is no guarantee they can be fulfilled. If arrangements cannot be made, our reservations staff will gladly steer you towards a different event with a more suitable menu.
When can I make reservations?
Based on availability, you can reserve online up to two months in advance. Members have sneak peek access through our Previews newsletter up to three months in advance. Call the Reservations department at 212.627.2308 and leave a message for additional info.
Can I just show up at the door?
No, all events must be booked and paid for in advance.
Do I get to choose my seat? My dining companions?
No, you cannot pick your seat or table, but we will seat you with your companions, or with other guests you may know, by request. Seating is communal, at a variety of different sized tables. The Beard House maintains a dinner party atmosphere.
How are the prices for events determined?
Every event has a member price and general public price. There are several price tiers, depending on the event theme and chef. Members and general public diners are seated together, and the food and beverage experience is the same, regardless of membership level.
Do I have to tip? Is there tax?
There is no tipping, including for the coat room. The Beard House is an all-inclusive experience, and JBF fully compensates its staff. And as a charitable, 501c3 organization, we are tax exempt.
Are the event charges tax deductible?
No. The Beard House experience is priced at or below fair market value and is not tax deductible.
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 our full reservations 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.
What is your cancelation policy?
Our cancelation policy and fees are as follows: a fee of $25 per person is charged if a cancelation is made more than 5 business days before an event. Cancelations are non-refundable within 5 business days. Main dining room reservations for groups of 6 or more are 50 percent nonrefundable. Cancelations left on our voicemail will not be honored. Reservations made for the Peter Kump Boardroom, our private dining facility, are nonrefundable.
How is the seating arranged for events at the Beard House?
The Beard House seats a maximum of 55 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.
When do Beard House events start? How long do they last?
Dinners begin at 7:00 P.M., and cocktail parties at varying times. 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 Beard House is an age 21+ event space.
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. Please call 212.627.2308.
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 is located at 101 West 12th Street, at the corner of 6th Avenue, and is the closest garage.
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.
PARTICIPATING IN BEARD HOUSE EVENTS
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 reports to the director of house programming to recommend chefs and events. The committee is made up 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 cook 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 55 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, several 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. At the discretion of the director of house programming, the The Foundation is also able to occasionally provide participating chefs with a modest stipend 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 sponsor relations. 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 media, marketing, 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. You can view our most current audited financial statements here.
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 have on hand? How it all works?
Participating chefs receive comprehensive chef information by email from the House Programming team, , but information about cooking at the James Beard House is also on this website.
Do all James Beard Foundation events take place at the Beard House?
No. Although we host around 200 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 our national dining tour Taste America presented by Capital One® Culinary Series, our annual Gala Dinner & Auction, 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?
That depends on the event. The main reservations line for the James Beard Foundation is 212.627.2308. Some reservations for out-of-house events are handled through this line, but others are handled by the host venue. 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 main reservations line for the correct information.
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 212.675.4984 or email Kris Moon, COO at email@example.com or Victoria Jordan Rodriguez, Director of Sponsor Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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 culinary scholarships awarded in the name of the donor chef or restaurant. The remaining funds are used to support the operations of the James Beard Foundation, including the administration of our educational 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 Julie Marshall at 212.675.4984 ext 562 or email email@example.com.
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. Check out upcoming Greens events here.
How do I receive information about Greens events?
All communication about Greens events is conducted via email. Sign up to receive email invitations and other information about Greens here. And please consider becoming a Greens member for special members-only events and access.
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 events here.