New Orleans Contact: Liz Bodet /504.583.5550

James Beard Foundation Contact: Alexandra Pearson or Diane Stefani / / 212.255.8455


New York, NY (July 15, 2015) - The James Beard Foundation (JBF) is pleased to announce the third consecutive year of the Taste America®: "Local Flavor from Coast To Coast" national epicurean tour, which will visit ten American cities this fall. Spanning six weekends between September 18 and November 7, 2015, the program will stop in Boston, Charleston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Seattle. Each city will enjoy a special evening that starts off with a walk-around tasting reception from a lineup of celebrated local chefs, followed by a one-of-a-kind, four-course dinner crafted in collaboration with a Taste America All-Star and a Local Star chef. Tickets are on sale at

New Orleans' weekend-long Taste America itinerary will kick off on Friday, October 9, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans with A Night of Culinary Stars, an exclusive dining event benefiting the James Beard Foundation. The evening will begin with a reception filled with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres from local chefs and restaurateurs, including James Beard Award-winning chefs Tory McPhail (Commander's Palace), Ryan Prewitt (Pêche Seafood Grill), Alon Shaya (Shaya), Stephen Stryjewski (Cochon), and Sue Zemanick (Gautreau's).

Afterwards, guests will be seated for an extraordinary dinner prepared by two James Beard Award-winning chefs, Taste America All-Star April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig; NYC) and Local Star Donald Link (Herbsaint), as well as Host Chef Eric Damidot (Hyatt Regency - 8 Block Kitchen), who will collaborate to create a unique and unforgettable one-night-only menu. Dessert for the evening will be prepared by Pastry Chef Jeremy Fogg of James Beard Award-winning Emeril's Restaurant.

On Saturday, October 10, free in-store consumer events will take place at Sur La Table® located at Perkins Row in Baton Rouge. Activities of the day will include a cooking demo by All-Star April Bloomfield, book signings, tastings from local producers and artisans, as well as product demos and tastings from our national sponsors. Reservations for the free cooking demos will begin two weeks prior to each event at Visit the New Orleans event page for the full schedule and more details.

The full Taste America program calendar is as follows:

  • Sept. 18-19 Miami: All-Star Rocco DiSpirito*
  • Sept. 25-26 Charleston: All-Star Art Smith*/Phoenix: All-Star Michel Nischan*
  • Oct. 2-3 Minneapolis: All-Star Jonathan Waxman*/Seattle: All-Star Tyler Florence
  • Oct. 9-10 Boston: All-Star Traci Des Jardins*/New Orleans: All-Star April Bloomfield*
  • Oct. 23-24 Chicago: All-Star Mark Ladner*/San Francisco: All-Star Tony Mantuano*
  • Nov. 6-7 Los Angeles: All-Star Hugh Acheson*

*Notes James Beard Award Winner

"This is an electrifying time in the food world, made evident by the remarkably innovative dishes chefs are creating in their respective cities, large and small, across America," said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. "Now in its third year, our Taste America program both celebrates and educates Americans about our country's diverse culinary landscape, and the talented toques who are cultivating it. We are thrilled to bring Taste America to these ten dynamic cities this year, and unite some of the top talent in the industry for a truly unique dining experience."

The James Beard Foundation is proud to donate a portion of the evening's proceeds to the Taste America Scholarship Fund. Local culinary students in Louisiana are invited to apply for this culinary scholarship between April 1 and May 15, 2016 through Candidates will be reviewed by the JBF Scholarship Selection Committee, chaired by Ungaro.

The James Beard Foundation's Taste America is presented in association with The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card and is supported by the following national sponsors. Premier sponsors Lifeway Foods and New Orleans; supporting sponsors BACARDÍ GRAN RESERVA®, Breville®, Nespresso®, and Sodexo; digital media partner The Daily Meal®; and by returning national retail partner Sur La Table. Taste America New Orleans' local sponsors include Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

For more information about Taste America events in New Orleans, please visit or contact Liz Bodet: 504.583.5550 or, and follow #JBFTasteAmerica on Twitter and Instagram.

About the James Beard Foundation (JBF)
Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City's Greenwich Village as a "performance space" for visiting chefs. In September of 2012, JBF launched the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Office of Protocol and helped create the American Chef Corps as a way to champion American chefs abroad, promote American food products, and foster an interest in American culinary culture and history through international programs and initiatives. One such project is Expo Milano 2015, a global gathering of 147 countries addressing the challenges of how we will feed ourselves in the future. At Expo, the James Beard Foundation has co-led the effort for the State Department to design and produce the USA Pavilion; the theme of the pavilion, "American Food 2.0: United to Feed the Planet," showcases America's contributions to global food security and gastronomy. For more information, please visit Get JBF news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation's blog. Join the James Beard Foundation on Facebook. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.