James Beard Foundation Announces Taste America Cities and Dates

The James Beard Foundation announced the cities and dates for its sixth annual Taste America. From September 28–November 17, the traveling series will bring one-of-a-kind dining and educational experiences to 10 dynamic culinary destinations including Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Louisville, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle. In addition to spotlighting the delicious food around the country, Taste America will focus on amplifying JBF food waste and sustainability initiatives and will directly contribute to the Foundation's Scholarship programs.

Each city’s weekend-long program will feature a unique dining experience where chefs from around the country will partner with local chefs in each of the ten Taste America cities to represent the importance of their distinct local food scenes, and highlight the collective impact that the culinary industry has in their communities. In addition, food lovers in select cities* will have access to free in-store cooking demos, tastings from local producers and artisans, and chef appearances at Sur La Table stores. On display at the Sur La Table stores will be JBF’s latest cookbook, Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food.

“Taste America exemplifies the Foundation’s mission of shining a spotlight on the rich diversity of America’s food culture and the communities that comprise it,” says Clare Reichenbach, chief executive officer of the James Beard Foundation. “Taste America highlights local foods, beverages, and artisans, offering food lovers the opportunity to have unique dining experiences, engage directly with amazing chefs, and to support the Foundation’s mission to drive towards a better food system for all.”

James Beard Foundation award–winning chef Traci Des Jardins will host the tour’s official kick-off celebration alongside 2018 Outstanding Bakers Belinda Leong and Michel Suas at an invitation-only reception in August at the James Beard House in New York City featuring dishes from Des Jardins and her team.

The James Beard Foundation is proud to donate a portion of each evenings’ proceeds to the Taste America Scholarship Fund. Local culinary students in the 10 participating states were invited to apply for this culinary scholarship between April 1 and May 15, 2018, via jamesbeard.org. Candidates will be reviewed by the JBF Scholarship Selection Committee, and recipients will be announced in August 2018.

New in 2018, Taste America will join forces with Feeding America to reduce food waste and donate otherwise viable food and meals leftover from the weekends’ events to those in need. Logistics will be coordinated with local food waste organizations in each of the ten Taste America cities.

Below is the JBF Taste America 2018 program calendar:

  • September 28-29: New Orleans and Phoenix
  • October 12-13: Los Angeles
  • October 19-20: Louisville, KY and Seattle
  • October 26-27: Chicago and San Francisco
  • November 2-3: Boston and Philadelphia
  • November 16-17: Austin

New Orleans is celebrating its tricentennial this year and so its dinner will take on a different format with four simultaneous Taste America dinners occurring in iconic restaurants, all on the same night, as the tour launches on Friday, September 28. Taste America Visiting All-Star and JBF Board Chair Emeritus Emily Luchetti will create a universal dessert to cap off each dinner.

The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America 2018 is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors and partners, including premier sponsor Woodford Reserve; supporting sponsors Dinova, Gloria Ferrer, Kerrygold, Robert Mondavi Winery, and Windstar Cruises; retail partner Sur La Table; and founding partner Bowen & Company. Additional support for Taste America 2018 has been provided by Verterra Dinnerware.

Ticket sales for JBF’s Taste America 2018 will begin in July.

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