The James Beard Foundation announced that applications for its 2023 Scholarship Program are now open. The Scholarship Program—an annual initiative aimed at supporting aspiring culinary students, future restaurateurs, beverage professionals, and more—will offer more than $470,000 to recipients this year.
The JBF Scholarship Program supports the life cycle of a culinary career, providing financial assistance to both emerging and established culinary talent looking to further their education at a licensed or accredited culinary school, hospitality institution, college, or university. Established in 1991, the Scholarship Program serves a particular need in a post-pandemic world, with culinary school applications decreasing while the projected need for head cooks and chefs rising an estimated 15 percent from 2021 to 2031—over double the growth of other professions.1,2 As of 2023, JBF will have awarded nearly $9 million in financial aid to over 2,000 recipients, thanks in part to new partnerships with the Tasting Texas Food and Wine Festival and donor Jamie Hormel.
“The James Beard Foundation was founded to not only celebrate, but support and empower the future of the culinary industry,” says Anne E. McBride, PhD, Vice President of Programs, James Beard Foundation. “Now more than ever, we are proud to foster up-and-coming talent through funding and scholarship opportunities, helping us to create a more equitable and sustainable industry.”
Scholarship award amounts range from $2,500 to $20,000, and eligibility requirements vary by opportunity. Applicants, generally, must be enrolled or planning to enroll in a program at a licensed or accredited culinary school, hospitality institution, college, or university in Fall 2023. International students may also qualify for many of the scholarships and are encouraged to apply. Previous recipients are also eligible to apply again, and interested applicants are eligible to apply for more than one scholarship. There is no application fee required.
This year, JBF will offer three basic types of scholarship awards in the categories of Culinary and Pastry Arts, Wine Studies, and Food Systems. The types of awards are:
- Scholarships: Cash grants applied to tuition and, on a case-by-case basis, other school-related expenses
- Tuition Waivers: Tuition waivers granted by educational institutions, which are renewable in some cases
- Work Study Grants: Grants for working culinary professionals that cover expenses from programs offering experiential learning at farms, fisheries, wineries, and other venues of food production, under the auspices of the Jean-Louis Palladin Professional Work/Study Grant
Below is a selection of the scholarships JBF will be offering for the 2023 year:
The Debbie Lewis Women in Wine Scholarship: The Debbie Lewis Women in Wine Scholarship honors the life of vintner Debbie Lewis. Debbie had a lifelong passion for mastering the business of wine and set an inspiring example of dedication and hard work to all those around her. Woman-identifying students over the age of 21 who reside in the U.S. and are planning to enroll or are currently enrolled in a beverage, wine studies, hospitality management, master sommelier, or culinary program at an accredited culinary school, hospitality institution, college, or university will qualify. Up to one  scholarship of $5,000 will be granted.
The JBF Caviar Chefs of Tomorrow Scholarship Fund: The JBF Caviar Chefs of Tomorrow Scholarship Fund was established in partnership with Caviar with the mission to increase diversity in the premium restaurant industry and aims to support BIPOC individuals who reside in the United States who are planning to pursue culinary or pastry training at an accredited institution. Up to two  scholarships of $20,000 will be granted.
The JBF Mondelēz Foodservice Scholarship Fund for Equity in Leadership: The JBF Mondelēz Foodservice Scholarship Fund for Equity in Leadership is open to women-identifying and BIPOC individuals who are planning to enroll, or are currently enrolled, at an accredited institution, focusing on culinary arts, pastry and baking, culinary science, or food business, and who reside in the United States. Up to three  scholarships of $10,000 will be granted.
The JBF Visit San Antonio Culinaria Scholarship Fund: The JBF Visit San Antonio Culinaria Scholarship Fund is open to women and BIPOC individuals who reside in the state of Texas and are pursuing a degree at an accredited institution in culinary, pastry, restaurant management, or wine studies. Up to four  scholarships of $10,000 will be granted.
The JBF National Scholars Scholarship: The JBF National Scholars Program, which launched in 2016, provides ten  high-impact scholarships of $20,000 each to food-focused candidates of exceptional talent. Candidates for the 10 National Scholarships are selected according to academic merit, personal and professional recommendations, and demonstration of the potential for leadership roles in culinary arts, food studies, agriculture, hospitality management, and related fields. To ensure regional diversity of this national program, one  awardee will be selected from each of the 10 geographic regions defined by the JBF Awards.
The Scholarship Program is administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS), an independent company that specializes in managing sponsored educational assistance programs. ISTS hosts the online application process, vets the initial candidates for eligibility, and disburses awards to recipients on the Foundation’s behalf. The JBF Scholarship Selection Committee reviews the semifinalists and approximately 40 recipients are selected. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2023.
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