Julia Child, the mother of American-French cooking and the first face of culinary television passed away 11 years ago. It was a heartbreaking day for epicureans around the world and we all mourned, didn’t we?
This year, the Julia Child Foundation announced the first annual Julia Child Award, which will be presented every year to a chef who “encourages people to cook for themselves, to better understand where food comes from, to value eating and drinking and the importance that both can play in improving the quality of life,” according to the foundation’s statement.
“There’s a list of about half a dozen characteristics they are looking for. It’s looking at what Julia represented and why she was so successful, that combination of education and entertainment, passion and commitment to the subject,” Todd Shulkin, executive director of the Julia Child Foundation told the Associated Press. “We’re looking at trying to shine a spotlight on people who are prodding change, challenging what Americans are eating and drinking, and encouraging them to cook for themselves.”
The very first winner of the Award will be announced on August 15th which is Julia Child’s birthday, along with being our Independence Day. The award itself will be presented in October at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. However, the winner will not be receiving a cash prize but instead will receive a $50,000 grant to “pay it forward” to a food-related nonprofit group.
We aren’t close knowing who the winner is yet but there is much speculation on who the winner might be. A top contender is Alice Waters, another Californian chef and culinary icon who along with Julia Child features on our list of ‘Goddesses of Food’.
The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges, consisting of Jim Dodge (director of specialty culinary programs for Bon Appétit Management Co.), Darra Goldstein (cookbook author and professor of Russian at Williams College), Russ Parsons (food columnist of the Los Angeles Times), Nancy Silverton (co-owner of the Mozza restaurant group), and Jasper White (owner and executive chef of Jasper White’s Summer Shack restaurants in Massachusetts and Connecticut).