In a press release shared with Tasting Table, the Julia Child Foundation says its Julia Child Award “recognizes an individual (or team) who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats, and drinks.” This year, the organization has chosen to honor Grace Young for her advocacy efforts to save historic Chinatowns. According to the organization, Young will receive $50,000 to further her efforts in preserving Chinese culinary traditions through her work as both an author and activist. It’s a fitting full-circle tribute as Young credits her early interest in cooking and exploring her culture’s cuisine to watching Julia Child when she was young.
Young’s own statement says the money “has been allocated to five Chinatowns in San Francisco, Oakland, Honolulu, Boston, and New York.” The grant will be used to pay one or two restaurants in each neighborhood to prepare meals for locals, including seniors and low-income residents, helping these businesses get back on their feet while supporting vulnerable populations. It’s always inspiring to see chefs giving back to the communities that did so much for them, and of course you can help out too by donating to some of the organizations Young partners with like Welcome to Chinatown in New York, or by patronizing restaurants if your city has a local Chinatown. It’s always nice when doing the right thing can be delicious at the same time.