James Beard Foundation President Susan Ungaro sat down with Gary Duff, host of The New American Kitchen, to discuss the role of women in the culinary world, her tenure at the Beard House and her transition into the world of food.
Here are three takeaways from our chat with James Beard Foundation President, Susan Ungaro:
1. Mrs. Ungaro used her publishing background at Family Circle magazine and insight from James Beard, to rebrand the James Beard Foundation over the past decade. She cites Vogue as her guiding model of success and has since turned the organization into a thriving powerhouse that has shaped the culinary world for the better.
2. When Ungaro became the Foundation's President, one of the many initiatives she focused on was to encourage better gender diversity in the culinary world. Under her leadership, the Foundation has highlighted more female chefs at Beard House dinners, the annual Chefs & Champagne fundraiser in the Hamptons, on the James Beard Foundation's website, as well as through programs such as the "Women in Culinary Leadership Grant" initiative. No woman had ever received an 'Outstanding Restaurateur' James Beard Award; now there have been two.
3. The James Beard Foundation, which moved its JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards to Chicago recently, is open to bringing the annual event on the road to other major food cities in the future.
This week, the James Beard Foundation's latest cookbook James Beard's All-American Eats: Recipes and Stories from Our Best-Loved Local Restaurants hits shelves and features recipes from over 75 eateries nationwide, which have been recognized as timeless institutions within their local communities with the James Beard "America's Classics" Award.
For more information about the James Beard Foundation, visit: www.jamesbeard.org
A special thanks to the team at the James Beard Foundation, as well as Diane Stefani of The Rosen Group PR, who facilitated the filming of this conversation at the James Beard House on West 12th Street in New York City.