The James Beard Foundation: Where Pleasure Meets Purpose

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Can you have ‘good food for good?’ James Beard Foundation CEO Clare Reichenbach joins Billy Shore to discuss the role the culinary community plays in driving positive change through food. “Whether it’s celebrity or agency, [chefs] are trusted in a way that is unparalleled, and they literally can help shape public taste and opinion,” says Reichenbach. “I am so impressed by this community. There are so many calls on their time, but the generosity of spirit I see day in and day out is phenomenal,” she continues.

Reichenbach discusses in more depth some of the important issues facing the restaurant industry and the James Beard Foundation, including the #MeToo movement and gender equality. “There’s been a day of reckoning and I don’t see us going back from that… Culturally there’s been a good shift, but actually seeing that shift translate into systemic, structural change remains to be seen,” she cautions.

Listen in as two leaders of influential food organizations talk about using the powerful currency of food culture to drive social change.

Resources and Mentions:

Clare Reichenbach

Clare Reichenbach

Chief Executive Officer
Chief executive officer of the James Beard Foundation (JBF), the country’s preeminent culinary arts organization. Reichenbach’s responsibilities include overseeing a wide range of the JBF programs such as the James Beard Foundation Awards; the JBF Women’s Leadership Programs; the James Beard House dinners and events around the United States; the non-profit’s scholarship programs; and the JBF Impact Programs, all in pursuit of a more equitable and sustainable food system. Before joining the James Beard Foundation, Reichenbach founded CJJR Consulting, where her clients included New York Public Radio, NBCU, and Samsung. Prior to that, Clare worked at the BBC for over 10 years, where she was executive vice president of strategy and business development, a position she also held at AMC Networks. Her accolades include being named one of CableFAX’s “Most Powerful Women in Cable,” Multichannel News’s “Women to Watch,” and Management Today’s “35 Women Under 35.” Reichenbach has a bachelor’s degree from Oxford University and completed the advanced management program from Harvard Business School.

No Kid Hungry

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

James Beard Foundation

A nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. For more than 30 years, the James Beard Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives. Through the James Beard Awardsunique dining experiences at the James Beard House and around the country, scholarships, hands-on learning, and a variety of industry programs that educate and empower leaders in our community, the Foundation has built a platform for chefs and asserted the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food. To that end, the Foundation has also created signature impact-oriented initiatives that include the Women’s Leadership Programs aimed at addressing the gender imbalance in the culinary industry; advocacy training through its Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change; and the James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards that shine a spotlight on successful change makers.

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