After James Beard’s death in 1985, his many friends and colleagues, led by cooking school founder Peter Kump, met with Julia Child and thought what to do with Beard’s New York townhouse.
While alive, Beard always welcomed students, authors, chefs, and other food and beverage professionals into his beloved home. His kitchen was truly at the heart of America’s growing food scene during the late 20th Century.
Peter Kump organized a campaign to raise the initial down payment on the Greenwich Village townhouse from Beard’s estate, then held by Reed College in Oregon.
On November 5, 1986, the James Beard Foundation officially opened the James Beard House “to provide a center for the culinary arts and to continue to foster the interest James Beard inspired in all aspects of food, its preparation presentation, and of course, enjoyment,” according to a press release issued that day.
The opening ceremony welcomed such culinary luminaries as Jacques Pépin, Judith Jones, Larry Forgione and other famed culinary world notables who had been touched and inspired by Beard during his lifeftime.
Today the Foundation hosts more than 250 events at the Beard House annually, realizing Kump’s vision and maintaining Beard’s home as an important meeting place for America’s food community.
In 1990 the James Beard Foundation made another leap forward by establishing the James Beard Foundation Awards for excellence in the food and beverage and related industries.
Today the James Beard Foundation has evolved beyond the scope of influence any one person yet all the while keeping true to the ideals that James Beard professed. Each program emphasizes the importance of simple, wholesome food, good cooking, and good eating by educating, mentoring, supporting, and caring for the people who prepare and enjoy it.
Taylor Shellfish Farms is proud and honored to support the James Beard Foundation and its many outstanding programs.