Award-winning cookbook author, culinary historian, and filmmaker, Grace Young is the recipient of this year’s annual Julia Child Award, given by the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts to individuals who have had a significant impact on the way people in the United States cook, eat, and drink.
Young has dedicated her career to demystifying the ancient cooking equipment for use in modern kitchens, earning her the title of “poet laureate of the wok” from food historian Betty Fussell.
She has been fighting for the survival of Chinatowns and AAPI mom-and-pop businesses across the country, and her efforts have been chronicled in the Washington Post, Smithsonian, Vogue, Huffington Post, and Food & Wine. She intends to use the $50,000 grant from the foundation to help Chinatowns and traditional Chinese restaurants.
In 2021, she teamed up with Welcome to Chinatown for the Grace Young’s Support Chinatown Fund, a campaign that raised over $40,000 to help four historic NYC Chinatown eateries distribute meals to low-income, food-insecure, and at-risk senior people.
She donated some of her family’s rare porcelain from Shanghai and an heirloom wok to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, which contains a recreation of Julia Child’s kitchen.
Young currently serves on the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History Kitchen Cabinet Advisory Board to help the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. define and grow its food and beverage history research, collections, and programming.