Call for Applications: 2019 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Culinary Arts

New York, NY, March 1, 2018 — Applications are now open for the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in the Arts and Humanities, this year awarded in the field of culinary arts.

The Creative Promise Prizes were established in 2009 to celebrate emerging immigrant professionals who have demonstrated significant accomplishments, and to support them at crucial stages in their careers. Three foreign-born winners will each receive a $50,000 unrestricted cash prize. 

“The culinary arts are a medium through which culture is preserved, elevated, merged, and enriched,” says Marica Vilcek, cofounder and vice chairman of the Vilcek Foundation. “For years, immigrants have been at the vanguard of culinary innovation, and we are pleased to recognize this rich body of contributions through the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise.”

Eligible applicants are immigrant professionals working in the following capacities:

Chefs and food preparers — Chefs, sous chefs, pastry chefs, caterers, test kitchen chefs, bakers, and prepared food makers (craft jams, chocolates, cheeses, charcuterie, etc.)

Beverage professionals — Vintners, distillers, brewers, beverage program managers, bartenders, and coffee roasters

Food writers — Food writers, critics, publishers, and cookbook authors

Applicants must have been born outside of the United States; be 38 years of age or younger; and have at least five years of professional practice in the culinary arts. They should intend to pursue a career in the United States and must not be enrolled as full-time students.

Candidates will be asked to submit an application form, curriculum vitae, portfolio of work, press clippings, three short personal essays, and proof of immigration status (DACA recipients are welcome). Applications will be accepted from March 1 to June 11, 2018, 5PM EDT. The application and full eligibility requirements are available at

A panel of distinguished experts will evaluate each applicant’s accomplishments, including the quality and creativity of the work presented in the portfolio, clarity of personal and professional purpose, and potential to advance the field of culinary arts. The winners will be announced in February 2019 and honored at the foundation’s annual awards gala in the spring of 2019.

The Vilcek Foundation is dedicated to honoring the contributions of foreign-born artists, scientists, and scholars to American society. In addition to bestowing the Creative Promise Prizes, the foundation also awards the prestigious $100,000 Vilcek Prize. Launched in 2006, the Vilcek Prize celebrates the lifetime achievements of leading figures in biomedical science and in a wide array of the arts, including theater, dance, film, music, fashion, literature, architecture, and fine arts. The Vilcek Prizes last recognized the culinary arts in 2010. The Vilcek Prize was awarded to Spanish-born Chef José Andrés. The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Culinary Arts was awarded to Laotian-born Chef Varin Keokitvon. Since launching the prizes, the foundation has awarded approximately $4 million in cash prizes to 105 individuals from 48 different countries, including Guatemala, Iran, Romania, China, and Russia.

Both the Vilcek Prizes and the Creative Promise Prizes are awarded in the biomedical sciences and a rotating category of the arts each year. For information about the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science, please visit

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