Danny Meyer Honored With Julia Child Award

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Danny Meyer shares remarks at the Smithsonian Food History Gala.
Danny Meyer shares remarks at the Smithsonian Food History Gala.

Photo Credit: Pepe Gomez

On October 26th, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts honored Danny Meyer with the third annual Julia Child Award in conjunction with the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian Food History Gala.The evening, which kicks off the Smithsonian Food History Weekend, brings together culinary leaders, foodies, practitioners, and scholars together to benefit the research programs and exhibitions of the museum’s Food History Project.

The Foundation selected Meyer as the 2017 recipient of the Julia Child Award for his profound and significant impact on the way America cooks, eats and drinks. In addition to being honored with the award, Meyer has received a $50,000 grant of which he will donate to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program, to help fulfill its mission of ending child hunger in America.

Danny Meyer and his mother viewing his contributions to the Smithsonian Food History Weekend Exhibit.
Danny Meyer and his mother viewing his contributions to the Smithsonian Food History Weekend Exhibit.

Photo Credit: Pepe Gomez

Upon receiving the award, Meyer said “When I heard the context [about the Julia Child Award], which was everything… The opportunity that would come with this honor – to get $50,000 that I could then give to any organization I wanted to, which took about four tenths of a second to say ‘that’s going to Share Our Strength for the No Kid Hungry Campaign’. I knew that this one meant a lot…”

Meyer donated several items to the National Museum of American History that represent his early career, which were unveiled at the gala, including: a leather-bound journal stuffed  from 1985, the year Meyer opened his first restaurant, Union Square Cafe, at age 27, a red-and-white striped Brooks Brothers dress shirt worn by Union Square Cafe waiters in the 1980s, comment cards filled out by guests on the 10th anniversary of Gramercy Tavern, a  beer tap handle for Brooklyn Brewery’s Blue Smoke Original Ale and a series of coasters from Blue Smoke and more.

Danny Meyer alongside the evening’s featured speakers (L to R: Will Guidera, Nick Lander, Eric Spivey, Danny Meyer, John Gray, Ruth Reichl, Calvin Trillin)
Danny Meyer alongside the evening’s featured speakers (L to R: Will Guidera, Nick Lander, Eric Spivey, Danny Meyer, John Gray, Ruth Reichl, Calvin Trillin)

Photo Credit: Pepe Gomez

These items will remain on display for public viewing throughout the Smithsonian’s Food History Weekend.

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