As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed. No reopening date has been announced; see our website and social media channels for updates.

The Smithsonian Food History Gala from Home

The sixth annual 2020 Smithsonian Food History Gala from Home
featured the presentation of the Julia Child Award by
The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts


Danielle Nierenberg


Our annual Smithsonian Food History Weekend kicked off on Thursday, October 15, 2020 with our first-ever virtual Gala from Home, FREE celebration open to the public. We honored the 2020 Julia Child Award recipient Danielle Nierenberg, co-founder of Food Tankglobal convener and research organization. Our past award recipients all participated, including Jacques Pépin (2015), Rick Bayless (2016), Danny Meyer (2017), Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (2018), and José Andrés (2019), as we recognized NierenbergSpeakers also included Kathleen Merrigan, Frances Moore Lappé, and award presenter Dan Barber. During the weekend's programming, we explored the historical roots of food justice advocacy and head from community-based leaders on strategies for a more equitable food system in the future.   

Julia Child Award


Though the 2020 Gala is over, we hope that you will help support food history programming at the National Museum of American History. By becoming a donor, you will be supporting the important new initiatives of the Smithsonian Food History Project, which will help us to establish a paid internship program to provide mentoring and professional learning experiences to candidates from communities that are underrepresented in the museum and food history fields. Internships are an important way to build inclusive museums in the future. 

  • "The Food History Curatorial internship gave me the opportunity to learn about the many facets of museum work, build relationships with fellow interns and staff, collect oral histories, and contribute to museum programming, such as Cooking Up History and Food History Weekend. What I learned from during my time at NMAH continues to support my passion for telling stories through food!" -Marsha Ungchusri (2019 Intern)


Created by Julia Child, The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts is one of the leading grant-giving private foundations solely dedicated to supporting the field of gastronomy and the culinary arts. The Foundation established the Julia Child Award in 2015 to foster Julia's legacy, while also honoring an individual (or team) who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats, and drinks.

For more information on the Julia Child Award, please visit the website of the Julia Child Foundation.