Kendall has long supported the James Beard Foundation and its annual Awards—and for good reason. We believe in honoring the best and brightest in our industry, and that includes those chefs whose remarkable business sense and talent in the kitchen have helped to move the culinary arts forward. We feel competition is healthy; it keeps innovators active in kitchens across the country. And it gives me joy to say that there are seven past winners and 14 semi-finalists and nominees among our alumni.
This year, we’ve stepped up our contributions to the official event: More than 25 Kendall students and graduates worked as volunteers alongside top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country to prep and execute the gala reception on May 2. Prior to that, Kendall opened its doors and provided the opportunity for students—our own and those from local high schools—to hear from a panel of 2016 award nominees who discussed how their careers led to this moment.
At Kendall, we have a responsibility to be involved with organizations like the James Beard Foundation. It’s not just about chefs. It’s not just about food. It’s about advancing this industry to benefit all, including young chefs, restaurants, and the community. Joining the event this year as an official sponsor also complements our college’s mission by allowing us to offer rigorous learning experiences at this prestigious event.
The Foundation’s decision to bring the Awards to Chicago, reminds us how fortunate we are to be in Chicago, a global culinary and hospitality destination. As a member of this community, we’re committed to helping young students develop the skills, both technical and professional, to continue making a difference here in Chicago and around the globe.
How are you influenced by the James Beard Awards? Tell us how in the comments!