The James Beard Foundation (JBF) recently announced that applications for its 2024 Scholarship Program are open, according to a press release. The Scholarship Program—an annual initiative aimed at supporting aspiring culinary students, future restaurateurs, beverage professionals, and more—will offer more than $500,000 to recipients this year.
With the independent restaurant industry at its most stable since before the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a renewed interest and excitement in the culinary arts among young professionals, resulting in nearly a 10% increase in enrollment in 2-year culinary programs between 2022 and 2023. 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. As of 2024, JBF will have awarded nearly $10 million in financial aid to over 2,000 recipients, thanks in part to a new offering from HexClad and existing partnerships.
“The mission of the James Beard Foundation is to celebrate and support the people behind America’s food culture, while creating a future where all have the opportunity to thrive,” said Dr. Anne E. McBride, Vice President of Programs at the James Beard Foundation. “As the country’s leading culinary nonprofit supporting independent restaurants, we are proud that our Scholarship Program offers this foundational support for aspiring culinary professionals at the very start of their careers.”
Scholarship award amounts range from $5,000 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 2024. 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 2024 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. Students who are women 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.
• HexClad Culinary Scholarship: The HexClad Culinary Scholarship is open to women and BIPOC individuals who reside in the United States and are accepted into or enrolled in an accredited Culinary program. Up to 2 scholarship(s) of $12,500 each will be granted. Please note that there are promotional opportunities associated with this scholarship.
• The JBF Visit San Antonio Culinaria Scholarship Fund: The JBF Visit San Antonio Culinaria Scholarship Fund, funded by the Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival, 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 six  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 April 5, 2024.
For more information about the program and to apply, visit jamesbeard.org/scholarships.
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