Not only will the tour spotlight delicious food from around the country, but it will also focus on amplifying the James Beard Foundation’s food waste and sustainability initiatives and will directly contribute to the Foundation's Scholarship programs. A portion of the proceeds from each event on the tour will go to the Taste America Scholarship Fund, which supports local culinary students in the ten participating states.
“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, CEO 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.
Following that, from September 28 – November 17, each featured city will celebrate the tour with weekend-long program. This will consist of a unique benefit dinner, where chefs from around the country will partner with local chefs to represent the importance of their distinct local food scenes. There will also be free in-store consumer events featuring cooking demos, tastings from local producers and artisans, and chef appearances at Sur La Table stores.
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 and Seattle
- October 26-27: Chicago and San Francisco
- November 2-3: Boston and Philadelphia
- November 16-17: Austin