The James Beard Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2021 National Scholarship Program. Established in 2016, the National Scholarship Program offers scholarships of $ 20,000 each to 12 food-focused individuals who plan to pursue studies in culinary arts, food studies, agriculture, hotel management and other related fields. The committee intended to select a group of academics who represented diversity in many ways – from gender and racial diversity to diversity in fields of study and career ambition. To ensure regional diversity, one winner is selected from each of the 12 geographic regions defined by the James Beard Foundation Awards. These regions include California, Great Lakes, Mid Atlantic, Midwest, Mountains, New York State, Northeast, Northwest and Pacific, South, Southeast , the southwest and Texas.

The 2021 JBF National Fellows are:

  • Holden Dahlerbruch (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA): Dahlerbruch has a dual specialization in International Relations and Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Culinary History, Culture and Entrepreneurship at Tufts University. After starring in two seasons of FYI’s “Man vs. Child: Chef Showdown”, Dahlerbruch founded his own business, Culinary Playgrounds, developed four pop-up restaurants, and staged restaurants and food trucks across the country. Dahlerbruch plans to pursue law studies in the hopes of becoming a culinary lawyer.
  • Julia Fine (Boston): Fine continues to study the intersection of culinary and imperial history at Boston University.
  • Robbin Gheesling (Wichita, KS): Gheesling will continue his research on Florence wine doors at Middlebury College. To complete his studies, Gheesling will produce two books: a college-level text on the creation, use and societal effects of wine doors, and a guide filled with photographs and self-guided maps for travelers.
  • Anna Gruvberger (Hinsdale, Illinois): Gruvberger studied at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. She has worked with the Ezra Cornell Hotel (HEC) and the Cornell Real Estate Club (CREC) and has been selected to be a CREC Mentor next year. Its goal is to create sensory and imaginative culinary experiences.
  • Abby Katz (New York): Katz graduated from New York University with a master’s degree in food studies with a major in food politics and history. She plans to pursue her doctorate in food policy, history and health equity in the coming years.
  • Kavita Malstead (Boston): Malstead is pursuing a Masters of Gastronomy in World Food Cultures and Mobility at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. There, she will explore the relationship between diasporic identity and culinary tradition from an interdisciplinary perspective. Malstead plans to continue his career as a food anthropologist, focusing on the values ​​of cultural diversity, food sovereignty and justice.
  • Jordan Montoya (Taos, New Mexico): Montoya will be studying for a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Culinary Science at the Culinary Institute of America. He hopes to work in food research and development.
  • Melvin Nguyen (Boston): Nguyen will pursue a Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy at Boston University. It plans to study the intersectionality of food waste and insecurity through a focus on policy and advocacy. Its aim is to become an advocate for equity in vocational and technical education systems.
  • Frances Quinton (Austin): Quinton attended the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Quinton is inspired by simplistic, fresh and inspiring farm-to-table cuisine, and her ambition is to become a gourmet chef.
  • Wiley Reid (Tacoma, WA): Reid will pursue a master’s degree in international peace and conflict resolution at American University. Interested in the relationship between ecology and conflict, Reid seeks to assess ways in which sustainable food systems can promote positive outcomes for global peacebuilding and prevent key regions from destabilizing into states of armed conflict.
  • Isaac Upthegrove (Port Austin, Michigan): Upthegrove is attending the Culinary Institute of America to earn a degree in Applied Food Studies.
  • Jamie Waters (San Francisco): Waters will participate in the six-month baking and baking program at the San Francisco Cooking School. During the pandemic, Waters turned his baking hobby into a small business to make money. She looks forward to expanding her knowledge of baking and the wide range of pastries.

To learn more about the National Scholars Program and other James Beard Foundation scholarships, visit

About the James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation celebrates and supports the people behind American food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry to create a future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and thriving industry that honors its diverse communities. By amplifying new voices, celebrating those leading the way and supporting those on the right path, the Foundation is working to create a more equitable and sustainable future – what we call Good Food for Good â„¢. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the James Beard Foundation launched the Open for Good campaign to ensure independent restaurants not only survive, but the industry is able to rebuild itself stronger than before. For more information, subscribe to the Beard Bites digital newsletter and follow @beardfoundation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Club-house. The James Beard Foundation is a national 501c (3) nonprofit based in New York City.