The winners will receive a $50,000 grant.
This year’s winners of the fourth annual Julia Child Award are the restaurateurs and television personalities, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. This is the first team to ever receive the award. The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts recognizes the pair’s accomplishments as chefs, as well as their “track record of their mentorship, bridge building, and giving back to the community.”
Milliken and Feniger, who opened City Café and CITY Restaurant in Los Angeles 35 years ago, are currently co-chefs and co-owners of Border Grill restaurants in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
But their restaurant business is just the beginning of their accomplishments: Between the two of them, they’ve written six cookbooks, and starred in the Food Network show Too Hot Tamales, which aired from 1995 to 1999. They have also competed on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters.
Milliken and Feniger are also committed to advancing the position of women in the restaurant industry. Milliken co-founded Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, which provides educational opportunities for women who are interested in breaking into the culinary world. Meanwhile, Feniger is a board member of the L.A. LGBT Center.
“We are over the moon to be recognized by this Foundation that bears the name of our generous mentor and steadfast supporter,” Feniger said in a statement from the foundation. “Julia was fearless in the kitchen and in life and has served as a role model for us throughout our careers. From the moment in 1981 when she barged into the City Café kitchen to meet us, we forged a mentorship, with Julia selflessly sharing advice and expertise.”
Milliken and Feniger will receive the award on November 1 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History gala, which will be hosted by Bobby Flay. They will also be awarded a $50,000 grant, which will go toward a cause of their choice within the restaurant industry. Last year’s winner was Danny Meyer.
This year, the Julia Child Award welcomed two new jurors to its panel: Carla Hall, best known as a host of the now-defunct talk show, The Chew, and Stephen Pyles, a pioneer of Southwestern cuisine. Hall hosted the James Beard Foundation Awards earlier this year.