The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America®

Bowen & Company created and produced a 10-city culinary tour to help the James Beard Foundation reach a national audience and celebrate “Local Flavor from Coast to Coast.” Festivities in each city included an exclusive benefit dinner featuring a visiting All-Star chef alongside local JBF Award-winning talent and culinary celebrities. Day two was focused on free public events at Sur La Table stores: cooking demonstrations, artisanal tastings, book signings, and more. The program’s success has led to its establishment as an annual fall event for the Foundation.

  • Garnered extensive national coverage in broadcast, print and online publications, as well as a robust social media following. The result was over 900 million impressions with an estimated ad value of $8.25 million in 2015.
  • Coordinated a “one-night-only” dining experience in each market, bringing together a visiting All-Star chef with Local Star chefs to create the menu, as well as featuring top talent from each city in the tasting reception and at Sur La Table stores the next day.
  • Created live and silent auction revenue streams in each market, and oversaw curation of exciting bidding lots
  • Built a comprehensive, national event template that is rolled out in each of 10 markets in coordination with local producing partners engaged and managed by Bowen & Company
  • Net profits from fundraising dinners have continued to increase by at least 10% in each successive year.
  • Maximized sponsor integration. Bowen & Co. manages the sales, activations, and benefits fulfillment for a roster of exclusive national sponsors, including the credit card, automotive, and culinary realms. Additional income streams are drawn from local sponsors in each market.
  • A portion of proceeds from the benefit dinners goes to create a culinary scholarship in each city.
  • Oversaw the design and programming of a custom microsite, including ticketing platform, event promotion, and photo and video highlights.
  • Produced a kick-off event each summer, welcoming key media, sponsors, and All-Star chefs to the Beard House to announce the tour.

Photography: Brad Armstrong Photography, Eliesa Johnson, Galdones Photography, Gamma Nine, HughE. Dillon, Jeff Schear Visuals, JIPSY CASTILLO, Phototainment, Stello Photography