How Chefs are Invited to Cook at the Beard House
The mission of the James Beard Foundation is to celebrate, nurture, and preserve America’s culinary heritage and future. Towards this end, chefs are invited to “perform” at the Beard House by presenting lunches, brunches, workshops, and dinners to Foundation members and the public.
Recommendations for potential chefs can come from various sources: chefs, members, staff, volunteer program committee members, or other interested parties.
Chefs are invited by the director of house programming based on the following criteria:
- national or regional reputation, as evidenced by press and resume/biography
- known use of high quality, seasonal, and/or local ingredients
- demonstrated excellence in a particular discipline: e.g. regional, ethnic, pastry
- financial stability and resources to partner with JBF for a New York event without negative consequences to own business
- desire on part of chef and restaurant
- level of interest in event by our dining members and their guests
- submission of complete event proposal, including menu and wines
Final selection is based on:
- thorough review of proposed event menu and wine list
- consideration of scheduled events to ensure diversity in the calendar
- consideration of holiday or theme events that may be appropriate matches for certain chefs
- judgment of director based on data, historical trends, and professional expertise
The Chef Selection Committee
The committee is comprised of food and wine professionals and gastronomic enthusiasts who represent the Foundation on a volunteer basis. The Committee meets monthly to recommend chefs and events to the director of house programming. Their participation broadens the universe of qualifying chefs, provides outside perspective and various areas of expertise and knowledge to the chef selection process, and creates a forum for discussion and exchange of travel and dining experiences as it relates to the Foundation’s in-house events.
Criteria for committee membership are:
- recommendation by current committee member, JBF staff member, or JBF trustee
- desire to participate on behalf of JBF’s best interest and in line with the Code of Ethics
- experience with, interest in, and enthusiasm for the culinary arts and restaurant dining
- demonstrated ability to judge restaurant and chef quality
- commitment to staying abreast of media coverage and current trends in dining
- working knowledge of wine and beverages
- public speaker ability
Responsibilities of chef selection committee members are to:
- exhibit professional behavior and comply with the JBF code of ethics, including not using the Foundation affiliation for personal gain, and full disclosure of any professional relationships with or vested interests in proposed event participants prior to considering recommendations
- secure complete chef proposal/press kits, including chef biography, restaurant fact sheet, sample menu and wine list, independent press, and proposed JBF menu (typically three to five passed hors d’oeuvre followed by a five-course tasting menu and matching wines for each course)
- act as liaison between scheduled chefs and JBF for events recommended by committee member
- represent the Foundation at events and interact with guests
For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Cooking at the Beard House
Once you’ve been invited to cook at the Beard House and you have agreed on a date for your event, you will receive an information packet in the mail that contains everything you need to know about what is expected of you and how the logistics of the event will unfold; the same information is available on this page. We are very much aware of the time and expense involved in coming to cook at the Beard House, and so we try to make everyone’s Beard House experience be as smooth and successful as possible. We are grateful for your support.
A typical dinner consists of three to five passed hors d’oeuvre (with a minimum of two pieces each per guest), five courses including dessert, and matching wines for each course. All food is usually plated in the kitchen. Diners enter through the kitchen and often want to briefly meet you. Dinners start with a reception at 7:00 P.M., which is held in the greenhouse or the garden (weather permitting). Aperitifs and hors d’oeuvre are served during this time. Guests are seated for dinner at 7:45 P.M., and service begins at 8:00 P.M.
Guest capacity for all events is 74. This will insure the best experience for both visiting chefs and our diners.
Depending on guest needs and the number of reservations for an event, we seat guests on the second floor—the main dining area—which has a capacity of 55, the greenhouse gallery on the first floor, which has a 12-seat round, and the front reception room, if needed. The private Peter Kump Boardroom on the fourth floor accommodates up to 12 guests for special occasions, while staying within the 74-guest maximum capacity.
View the Beard House kitchen floorplan.
The house kitchen is available to you early in the morning on the day of your event. If another event is not scheduled, it is sometimes possible to use the kitchen a day before your event. Please call us to discuss these arrangements. Local chefs generally prepare most of the menu in their own kitchens and transport food to the Beard House. Out-of-town chefs are advised to locate a host kitchen in New York where they can prep ahead of time. We will try to help you by providing a list of spaces and telephone numbers, if necessary.
We are proud to announce the recent renovation of the James Beard Kitchen, sponsored by Jade Range. We are confident that first-time chefs will have a wonderful experience and returning chefs will be pleasantly surprised.
Kitchen Staff & Volunteers
Usually four to six kitchen staff members are needed at the time of service. It is optimal to have as many of your staff with you as possible, but we realize that this is not always feasible. In the Foundation’s spirit of education, we work closely with local culinary schools to provide chefs with both student and graduated volunteers. We also have a roster of dedicated food enthusiasts who possess varying degrees of training and experience. We can request up to three volunteers for the day of your event to augment your staff. We will do our best to confirm your volunteer request the week prior to your event. Please advise us of your needs as early as possible.
The local cooking schools include the French Culinary Institute, the Natural Gourmet Cookery School, ICE-Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump Cooking School), and AINY-Art Institute of New York (formerly New York Restaurant School) among others.
Food Donations and Suppliers
Food and Wine Donations
Although the main purpose of your dinner at the James Beard Foundation is to showcase your talents, it also helps our mission of celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America’s culinary heritage. Events such as yours are an important source of revenue for the Foundation. You are responsible for procuring the food and wine for your event. We encourage you to seek products at a discount or donations from your own purveyor. We have also listed our House Purveyors and House Suppliers for your convenience (see below). We also encourage you to seek donations from wine and spirit companies, as this is a wonderful promotional opportunity for them. We have found that restaurant suppliers are often willing to contribute food and wine products for an event in exchange for credit on the menu and in our newsletter. We hope that you will explore this possibility with your suppliers. To include donation credits in our newsletter, please keep our publications deadlines in mind.
The House purveyors listed below have agreed to donate product to chefs upon request or have set a dollar limit on the amount of the donation. Please contact them directly for more information and place your order well in advance. We have also partnered with a number of suppliers who are available to donate product to your event. Information about these suppliers can be found in the printed chef-information packet that is mailed to event participants.
All-Clad is the undisputed cookware choice of top restaurant chefs and serious home cooks. Born in the Unites States steel age in 1967 as Clad Metals, the company originally specialized in formulating bonded metals for a variety of industries. Since it was established as All-Clad Metalcrafters in 1971, every piece of cookware has been handcrafted with a revolutionary bonding process using a proprietary recipe of metals to provide the best cooking performance. Today, All-Clad cookware is still proudly handcrafted by American artisans in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, with American-made steel the same way it was four decades ago. No detail is overlooked in crafting All-Clad cookware, and that is what makes it a true original. All-Clad Metalcrafters offers several collections of bonded cookware, kitchen tools, electrics, and gourmet accessories. All-Clad can be found in specialty cookware and department stores in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit allclad.com.
Founded in 1932, Breville is an iconic Australian brand and worldwide leader in kitchen countertop appliances, with more than 220 products and over 90 patents registered globally. The company is known for creating award-winning appliances – such as the Juice Fountain™ series of juicers, Sous Chef™ food processor, Scraper Mixer Pro™ stand mixer and Smart Oven™ – that seamlessly integrate innovative technology and beautiful design to make preparing food and beverages easier and more enjoyable. For more information on Breville, visit brevilleusa.com.
Over 15 years ago, pastry chef Rochelle Huppin Fleck noticed a lack of comfortable chef apparel options and founded Chefwear. Since then, Chefwear has completely revolutionized the way chefs and restaurateurs dress. Its complete line of culinary apparel is designed to meet the needs of professional chefs, as well as those of the ever-increasing number of people who like to cook and entertain at home. In addition to eight styles of pants and 28 styles of jackets, Chefwear's product line includes shirts, hats, aprons, shoes, pint-size duds for kids, and a full line of women’s jackets and pants. For more information, visit chefwear.com.
A long time ago in the quaint hilltop village of Sant’Elia a Pianisi, located in the Molise region of Italy, two small family businesses were born. One family operated a stone mill for crushing homegrown olives used to produce fine extra virgin olive oil. The other family gathered the durum wheat harvest, milled the wheat into semolina grain and ultimately produced fresh pasta for the local market. Over time, both families became experts at their trade, passing their knowledge down through the generations.
Today, the Colavita Olive Oil and Colavita Pasta companies are still family-owned and operating in the same town of their ancestors. They have since joined with another family-owned company, Colavita USA, and together they have shared the fruits of their respective crafts and brought a taste of Italy to the American kitchen for over twenty years. For more information on Colavita, the trusted family brand, go to main.colavita.com.
Ecolab is the leading global developer and marketer of premium cleaning, sanitizing, pest elimination, maintenance, and repair products and services for the hospitality, foodservice, institutional, and industrial markets. Founded in 1923, and headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ecolab reaches customers in more than 160 countries, employing more than 20,000 associates worldwide. Ecolab’s customers include hotels and restaurants; foodservice, healthcare, and educational facilities; quickservice (fast food) units; commercial laundries; light industry; dairy plants and farms; and food and beverage processors. For more information, visit ecolab.com.
Since 1996, FoodMatch has established itself as the industry leader in bringing all-natural, regionally authentic Mediterranean olives, antipasti and ingredients to the American consumer. Through the hands of our growers, we create great tasting, responsibly produced authentic foods that nurture community and enhance your quality of life. For more information, visit foodmatch.com.
Gourmet Settings' passion, original thinking, pursuit of innovative solutions, and quest for perfection has made them a leader in the flatware industry. It is their personal touch and real care that defines them. Gourmet Settings creates beautiful, fine flatware that is built to last. You use your knives, forks, and spoons three times a day, 365 days a year. That's why Gourmet Settings strives to bring a smile to your face each and every time you use their flatware. For more information, visit gourmetsettings.com.
Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork
The Ivey family fell in love with the Chester White heritage breed hog almost forty years ago, and they have been raising these hogs in Seven Springs, NC, ever since. The breed is known for exceptional marbling, and our careful farming practices have resulted in what we think is the most consistently juicy and delicious pork in the market. Our hogs are hand-fed diets with no animal protein by-products, hormones, or growth promotants. They are raised in an environment that respects their natural instincts and behaviors, with room to move and congregate in social groups. These practices make for healthier and happier animals, and in the end, tastier cuts for the table. We’re a family farm after all, and caring for and respecting our hogs is important to us. We are glad that it is also important to you. For more information, visit heritagecheshire.com.
Koppert Cress USA
Koppert Cress USA is a leading innovator of heirloom microgreens and specialties. All Koppert Cress products are grown locally and eco-consciously in the North Fork of Long Island, NY. Their all-natural products feature rare varieties that are grown from seeds sourced around the globe. Every featured chef is given full access to the Koppert Cress collection of living microgreens, cut microgreens, and specialty collections at no cost. Product requests will be delivered directly to the James Beard House on the day of your event. For brochures and recipe ideas, visit usa.koppertcress.com and follow @KOPPERTCRESSUSA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Lavazza, Italy's favorite coffee
When Luigi Lavazza founded Lavazza in Turin, Italy, 116 years ago, three things were true, and still are today: quality is paramount; customers matter most; the Lavazza brand represents the passion and commitment of the Lavazza family. These values made Lavazza Italy's #1 coffee, the sixth largest roaster in the world, and a global purveyor of fine espresso, superior quality coffee and state-of-the-art coffee technology for the consumer and professional markets. Where we come from, coffee is never just a beverage. It's a culture. Maybe even an obsession. Lavazza Premium Coffees Corp., the North-American subsidiary, is based in New York City. For more information, visit lavazza.com.
Melissa's is the premier importer and supplier of exotic, organic, and specialty produce in the United States. Working with farmers and growers from all over the world to provide the best of the global marketplace, Melissa's sets the standard of quality and service in the industry. For more information, visit melissas.com.
Our family business has been crafting the finest vanilla and flavor products for more than 100 years. To produce our vanilla extracts, we use a proprietary cold extraction process that gently draws out the over 300 flavor compounds present in the beans. Our vanilla products (which include extracts, pastes, powders, sugars, and beans) are also origin specific, enabling chefs to work with the unique and highly coveted flavor profiles found in beans from the finest growing regions: Madagascar, Mexico, and Tahiti. For our flavors (which include extracts of almond, chocolate, lemon, and more), we start with premium ingredients and gently extract the delicate flavor. Our dedication to quality is matched only by our commitment to the discerning culinary professionals that use our products. Visit us at nielsenmassey.com or on Facebook or Twitter.
OpenTable is the world's leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 12 million diners per month via online bookings across approximately 30,000 restaurants. The OpenTable network connects restaurants and diners, helping diners discover and book the perfect table and helping restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back. The OpenTable service enables diners to see which restaurants have available tables, select a restaurant based on verified diner reviews, menus, and other helpful information, and easily book a reservation. In addition to the company’s website and mobile apps, OpenTable powers online reservations for nearly 600 partners, including many of the Internet’s most popular global and local brands. For restaurants, the OpenTable hospitality solutions enable them to manage their reservation book, streamline their operations, and enhance their service levels. Since its inception in 1998, OpenTable has seated more than 530 million diners around the world. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and OpenTable service is available throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit opentable.com.
Standing as a beacon of quality and customer service, Roland Foods has 80 years of experience in supplying consistently excellent specialty foods from around the world. As gastronomic explorers we travel the world to curate a broad collection of the most authentic ingredients from local producers of regional cuisines around the globe. Our ever-expanding catalog of over 1,500 products ranges from regional oils, vinegars, spices, condiments, sauces and grains to high quality preserved seafood, fruits and vegetables.
Roland Foods is passionate about great food. We know what it takes to bring forth a finished product you are proud of, whether it is meant for restaurant guests or family and friends. Our mission is to make you proud every time. Visit our website for more Roland® information: rolandfood.com.
S.Pellegrino, Acqua Panna, and Perrier by Nestlé Waters North America
Acqua Panna Natural Spring Water is a proud sponsor of the Outstanding Restaurant Award. For centuries, S.Pellegrino® Natural Mineral Sparkling Water and Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water have complemented fine food, wine, and dining occasions. In support of the culinary community, S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna recognize top chefs and restaurants through their longstanding sponsorship of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and the James Beard Foundation Awards, elevate emerging chefs at the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup, and nurture tomorrow’s great chefs with the S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition. For more information, please visit sanpellegrino.com and acquapanna.com.
Skuna Bay Vancouver Island Craft Raised Salmon
Offering a premium selection of Craft Raised Salmon, Skuna Bay is made possible by its group of experienced and passionate farmers who are dedicated to raising fish in its natural ocean environment. The farms of Skuna Bay are located in an isolated region off the coast of Vancouver Island where glacier-fed waters, strong tidal currents, and ideal salinity combine to provide perfect waters for raising good salmon. Patented innovations in packaging and a unique and exclusive method of inspecting, selecting, hand cleaning, and packing allow their salmon to be delivered in perfect condition so that chefs experience the salmon “fresh from the ocean.” The goal is to deliver our salmon just as it was when pulled out of the water by its craftsmen farmers who spent three and a half years raising it. By reliably providing the highest standards for salmon in North America, Skuna Bay not only supplies our salmon to the best chefs in America, we also help to reduce pressure on wild fish populations. For more information, please visit skunasalmon.com.
Sysco Metro NY
At Sysco Metro NY, delivering the best ingredients to great restaurants is what we do. Our professional team of marketing and delivery associates, merchandisers, chefs, and product specialists fulfill a common mission: to market and deliver great products to our customers with exceptional service. The heart of this endeavor is to preserve and secure the efforts of the farmer from their fields to your guests' forks. We deliver safe, wholesome food to your establishment, with accountability and traceability. Our chefs and specialists have over two centuries of combined foodservice experience and are able to work with you and your staff to contain costs and increase profits. Our vendor partners offer many programs that go beyond food items and into the daily mechanics of restaurant operations. You can always be sure that good things come from Sysco Metro NY. For more information, visit syscometrony.com.
Tea Forté's award-winning specialty teas, exquisite design, and opulent approach is presented at the world's leading hotels, restaurants, and resorts. We take great pride in offering only the finest tea leaves in the world. The estate-grown leaves we select represent less than 1 percent of all teas available and yield diverse, subtle characteristics similar to those of fine wines. Tea Forté transforms a cup of tea, providing a distinct and memorable detail of the guest experience. For more information, please contact Wendy Ryskoski at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit teaforte.com/wholesale-tea.
Located in American Fork, Utah, ThermoWorks brings scientific precision and robust industrial design to professional temperature tools for food safety and culinary excellence. The preferred brand among leading chefs and demanding operations, ThermoWorks sells direct to national chains, single restaurants, food processors and to consumers. Many of our thermometers are award-winning and recognized as best-in-class, including handheld thermometers like our Thermapen, alarm thermometers like our ChefAlarm, infrared thermometers, data loggers, pH meters, and timers. Customers have direct access to expert instrument consultants and a full in-house technical support team. Our advanced NIST-Traceable calibration lab assures ThermoWorks products meet the highest performance standards. For more information, visit ThermoWorks.com.
True Refrigeration is proud to be an official house purveyor at the James Beard Foundation in New York City. True has provided commercial refrigeration for the kitchen, as well as the new True Professional Series line of premium residential refrigeration for wine, food, and beverage storage throughout the House, including the outdoor garden area. We are proud to celebrate the culinary arts and have chefs and guests experience firsthand the quality and heritage of True products, along with the great partnership between True and the James Beard Foundation. For more information, please visit truemfg.com.
Created in 1922 in France's Rhone Valley by a pastry chef for pastry chefs, Valrhona has remained a chef driven company that values working in partnership with culinary professionals. Valrhona employs 20 corporate chefs and operates three premier pastry schools ("Ecoles du Grand Chocolat") throughout the world. The brand of choice for the world's most demanding pastry professionals and chocolatiers, Valrhona is committed to the creation of unique artisan quality chocolates with complex and balanced flavors.
The pillars of Valrhona’s philosophy are the uncompromising commitment to quality, taste, and innovation as well as community and environmental stewardship. As an owner of two plantations, Valrhona is literally the source of fine chocolate as they plant, discover, select, and blend fine and rare cocoa beans. For more information, visit valrhonaprofessionals.com.
Dining Room Details
Our professional service staff includes a maitre d’hotel, waiters (usually one per ten guests), and dishwashers. We provide their services for each event at no cost to the chef. Should you wish to provide a family meal, the scheduled time is around 5:30 P.M.
Setting and Ambiance
Our professional service staff includes a maitre d’hotel, waiters (usually one per ten guests), and dishwashers. We provide their services for each event at no cost to the chef. Should you wish to provide a family meal, the scheduled time is around 5:30 P.M.
The Foundation does not provide floral or decorate centerpieces. We encourage chefs to decorate the dining areas in any way that will enhance the ambience of the event such as with linens, centerpieces, additional flowers, music, etc. Our house florist John Yarce can be contacted to arrange for flowers or centerpieces. He can be reached at 212-691-5412 or www.organicany.com. We have a sound system for playing CDs and ipods if music is desired during the reception hour. The floor plan and seating chart are available upon request.
Complimentary Seats/Additional Seats
For every event at the Beard House, JBF will set aside a total of 4 complimentary seats for your event, which can be used as you wish. If you need additional seats for your event (for family, media, management, sponsors, and anyone else who would like to come) they can be purchased at the discounted member’s rate. Please inform either Claudia (x245) or Kris (x246) of the names of the guests for the 4 complimentary seats and if you wish to purchase additional seats.
We encourage chefs to invite members of the media. Chefs are responsible for providing seats to the press as well as their other guests.
We encourage chefs to invite their supporters and loyal customers. As a courtesy, we will extend the discounted member’s rate to anyone who is referred by the restaurant. Guests need to call our reservations department directly, at 212.627.2308, identify themselves as “friends of the restaurant,” and ask for the member’s rate.
You are encouraged to print souvenir menus with wines and/or beverages for your event on your restaurant’s letterhead. Since guests often take the menu as a souvenir for the evening, it is an excellent opportunity to showcase your restaurant. Be as creative as you please with wine notes, history of the property, etc. If you prefer, we can print your menu on the Beard Foundation letterhead. Please also bring display materials, such as restaurant menu, cards, books, etc.
We try to provide a volunteer photographer for every event, but it is not always possible. If you do have a photographer at your event, please prepare plates for each course to be photographed. The photographer donates his/her services to the Foundation and is a guest at each meal. If you have special publicity/press/photographic needs, please contact Elena North-Kelly, Associate Editor, at email@example.com or 212.627.1111 x555.
Visiting New York
For a listing of discounted hotel reservations in New York City, we recommend calling “QUICKBOOK” 800.789.9887 or www.quikbook.com or www.hotels.com. They offer an excellent selection of accommodations at every price level.
Guest Chef Program
The James Beard Guest Chef Program was created by Great Performances and the James Beard Foundation to unite visiting chefs with Great Performances’s New York City cafés. The program is an exciting approach to enhancing exposure for the chefs while providing café guests with a unique dining experience.
Initiated in September 2006, guest chefs from the James Beard House have had the opportunity to extend their New York City run by creating a special menu to be served at one of the cafés operated by Great Performances. The program has garnered great acclaim from diners as well as the chefs themselves. The specialty menus frequently complement the cuisine or style of the café, and on occasion, they even coincide with a particular performance or exhibit occurring in the arts institution that houses the café. For example, chef Michael Wei, a prominent Chinese chef, presented a Chinese menu at Sotheby’s the same week that it debuted a new collection of Chinese art. These thematic pairings increase public interest in the chef and create an enhanced experience for our guest chefs in New York. View the guest chefs here.