The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Culinary Arts

Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise

Culinary Arts Vilcek Dropdown Arrows

The Vilcek Foundation will award three prizes of $50,000 each to immigrant culinary arts professionals, born in 1980 or later, who demonstrate extraordinary talent, dedication, and potential to advance the field of culinary arts. The prizes are meant to facilitate future discovery and impact for promising food professionals, beverage professionals, and culinary writers at a critical stage in their careers.


2019 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise

Congratulations to the phenomenal winners of the 2019 Creative Promise Prizes! Read more about their incredible accomplishments in the culinary arts.

Tejal Rao >

Fabián von Hauske Valtierra >

Nite Yun >


Eligibility Requirements


Eligible applicants are professionals working in fields related to the culinary arts, including:

Culinary arts, including baking and pastry arts

Beverage arts

Culinary writing

Eligible professions include:

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

Beverage professionals: vintners, distillers, brewers, bartenders, coffee roasters, etc.

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


To be eligible for the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Culinary Arts, applicants must meet all of the criteria listed below:

Applicant must have been born outside the United States.

Applicant must not be more than 38 years old as of December 31, 2018 (born on or after January 1, 1980).

Applicant must: be a naturalized citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States; be a holder of an H1B or O-1 visa and have been living and working in the United States for at least 5 years; or have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Applicant must have at least 5 years of professional experience in culinary arts.

Applicant must not be enrolled as a full-time student.

Applicant must intend to pursue a professional career in the United States.

Applicant must not be a past winner of the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise.


Selection Process


A panel of distinguished members of the culinary arts community will evaluate applications based on their quality, level of creativity, clarity of vision, and impact. The submitted work samples should show curiosity, originality, technical excellence, and potential for longevity within the field. The individuals chosen will have demonstrated commitment to their chosen field.

The prizewinners selected by the jury will be the candidates whose work best exemplifies the characteristics outlined above. Recommendations of the jury will be submitted to the Vilcek Foundation’s Board of Directors for final approval. The winners of the Creative Promise Prize in Culinary Arts will be notified by November 2018 and will be invited to attend the Vilcek Foundation’s annual awards ceremony in New York City, in the spring of 2019. Travel expenses and accommodations will be covered by the foundation.