Bouchon Bakery’s Thomas Keller will kick off the tour on August 2 in New York City, with an invitation-only reception at the James Beard House.
Following that, from September 22 to November 11, each featured city will celebrate the tour with weekend-long program. This will consist of a unique benefit dinner called A Night of Culinary Stars, prepared by a traveling Taste America All-Star, a Local Star chef, and a pastry chef. There will also be free in-store consumer events at select Sur La Table locations, featuring celebrity chef appearances, cooking demonstrations, book signings, tastings from local producers and artisans, and more.
The 2017 Taste America program calendar:
- Sept. 22-23 - Phoenix (All-Star Traci Des Jardins; Local Star Nobuo Fukuda)
- Oct. 6-7 - Los Angeles (All-Star Barbara Lynch; Local Star Michael Cimarusti) and New Orleans (All-Star to be announced soon; Local Star Rebecca Wilcomb)
- Oct. 13-14 - Philadelphia (All-Star Marc Murphy; Local Star Greg Vernick) and Seattle (All-Star to be announced soon; Local Star Matt Dillon)
- Oct. 27-28 - Chicago (All-Star Michael Voltaggio; Local Star Stephanie Izard) and San Francisco (All-Star Hugh Acheson; Local Stars Stuart Brioza & Nicole Krasinski)
- Nov. 3-4 - Austin (All-Star Ludo Lefebvre; Local Star Tyson Cole) and Boston (All-Star Daniel Boulud; Local Star Karen Akunowicz)
- Nov. 10-11 - Kansas City (All-Star Tony Mantuano; Local Star Debbie Gold)
Each chef has either been a James Beard Award winner or a nominee.
“More and more, we are hearing from our passionate community of culinary connoisseurs that they want our unique Beard House dining experience in their city,” says Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “How exciting that we are in our fifth anniversary year and able to bring the best of the best chefs to diverse cities across the country. We thank the chefs and our sponsors, who make it possible to help support our many education programs, at a time when culinary tourism is exploding in popularity.”
The James Beard Foundation will donate a portion of each evening’s 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, 2017, via jamesbeard.org. Candidates will be reviewed by the JBF Scholarship Selection Committee, chaired by JBF president Susan Ungaro.