Today, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts announced that Chef Rick Bayless is the recipient of the second annual Julia Child Award. The 2016 award will once again be presented at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History at a gala October 27. The award is accompanied by a $50,000 grant from the foundation to a food-related nonprofit selected by Chef Bayless.
“Rick Bayless represents everything the foundation sought to recognize in creating this Award. We applaud Rick’s achievements as an industry leader and a humanitarian who has championed educating Americans about Mexican cuisine just as Julia did with French cuisine. The foundation is delighted the award’s grant will enable Rick’s foundation to expand its valuable work,” says Eric W. Spivey, chairman of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.
Chef Bayless was chosen by an independent jury for his accomplished work as a chef, restaurateur, author, television personality, environmental advocate, and philanthropist. He has selected the Frontera Farmer Foundation to receive the $50,000 Award grant. The Frontera Farmer Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2003 by Chef Bayless and his team, is committed to promoting small, sustainable farms serving the Chicago area by providing them with capital development grants. The money will be used to help further the Frontera Farmer Foundation’s mission to help support small Midwestern farms and sustainable regional cuisine.
"For me, receiving this incredible honor is truly coming full circle. See, I was raised in my family's barbecue restaurant, but it was Julia who was responsible for awakening me to cooking's fullest possibilities. Some of my earliest, most vivid memories are of two things: learning to barbecue ribs alongside our restaurant's pit master and watching Julia on television, completely transfixed by the complexity and precision she brought to recipes like coq au vin, napoleons, and crepes Suzette—all of which I tackled at 12 years old in my mom's home kitchen,” Bayless says. “I simply can't thank the foundation enough. Really, this award means the world to me, and it will mean a great deal to the Midwest family farms supported by the Frontera Farmer Foundation.”
The Award will be presented to Chef Bayless by esteemed journalist Scott Simon of NPR’s Weekend Edition during the gala, which kicks-off the second annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend. The gala will be held at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., on October 27 and supports the Museum’s American Food History project.
Created by Julia Child, the Foundation has become one of the leading grant-giving private foundations solely dedicated to supporting the field of gastronomy and the culinary arts. In 2015, the Foundation established the Julia Child Award to continue to foster Julia’s legacy, while also honoring an individual who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats, and drinks.