The Wine Atelier Podcast #18: Clare Reichenbach, CEO of The James Beard Foundation

It’s week three of Women's History Month and I'm happy to highlight an amazing lady in the food world, Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation. Widely considered "the Oscars" of the food world, The James Beard Awards are among the highest commendations Chefs, restaurants and/or journalists can receive. So if you're a foodie, you definitely won't want to miss this interview with their delightful new CEO!

It's officially been a year since Reichenbach joined the Foundation, taking over the leadership role from previous JBF President, Susan Ungaro. And while she definitely had big shoes to fill, it was quickly apparent that, even without a formal culinary background, Reichenbach's lifelong passion for food, formidable skill set and impressive business experience, not to mention her exuberant personality, made her the perfect woman for the job.

Reichenbach also joined The James Beard Foundation during a tumultuous time in the food world. The #Metoo movement was in full effect and sexual misconduct allegations against a host of well-respected, award-winning, male Chefs were flying. In this interview, Reichenbach confidently addresses the issue and shares the many ways in which she is effecting positive change through a variety of strategic impact initiatives that are making the food industry a more welcoming, diverse and sustainable place for everyone.

In this interview, you'll thoroughly enjoy getting acquainted with the delightful and down to earth Reichenbach, a Brit whose passion for food began as a young girl and has continued throughout her life. She also shares how the skills she developed and honed during her impressive career prior to joining the JBF are coming in handy to further expand the foundation's mission of "Good food for good." She also offers helpful advice to women seeking a career in the food industry or who are trying to make a change in their current career path.

And folks, there's LOTS going on at The James Beard Foundation this month, leading up to the awards in Chicago on May 6th! Tomorrow morning (Wednesday, March 27) at 10am ET, the final Restaurant and Chef Award nominees, as well as the nominees for our Media and Restaurant Design Awards will be announced at a press conference in Houston (see below for details).

And for the remainder of March, the James Beard Foundation is asking everyone to support women-led restaurants through Grubhub’s annual RestaurantHER initiative. During Women’s History Month, when you round up your change on an online takeout or delivery order, the difference will be donated directly to the JBF's Women’s Leadership Programs. The proceeds from this campaign will work to ensure that more women step into leadership positions in kitchens, including expanding the number of women-owned restaurants. So the next time you order in, donate your change and help make a real difference in the lives of women across the country.

Many thanks to the charming Clare Reichenbach for joining me and to listen to this episode of The Wine Atelier podcast, simply click “play” on the slider above OR click here to listen in iTunes. Please stay tuned for more interviews with amazing women of food and wine as we continue our celebration of Women’s History Month!


To watch the live stream video of the James Beard Award finalist announcements on March 27th at 10am ET, please click here- For more information on the James Beard Award Ceremony in Chicago in May, please click here.- For information on the JBF's Women's Leadership Programs and other initiatives, please click here.- For purchasing information for the JBF's new cookbook, "Waste Not: How to Get the Most from your Food" please click here.- For information on attending a dinner at the James Beard House in NYC or planning a tour, please click the respective links and to view my blog post on our tour of the James Beard House, please click here.


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Stephanie Miskew
Stephanie Miskew