About That Query

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I’d like to thank everyone who responded to my query the other day, asking if I had any readers who wanted to go to culinary school but couldn’t afford it. The responses were quite touching and compelling and made me eager to put my idea into action.

What’s my idea? It’s quite simple, really. As long time fans will remember, I used to run Gourmet Survivor competitions on my site. The first time was just a lark, but the second time was a fundraiser and we ended up raising several thousand dollars for Katrina victims.

Several thousand dollars isn’t enough to put anyone through cooking school, but here’s what I’m thinking: if I get a bunch of people involved–bloggers, industry folk and, ideally, someone from an actual culinary school–we might be able to host a competition that’d result in the very thing I hope to provide: the first ever food blog generated culinary school scholarship.

Anyone who wanted to could apply, all the applications would be posted online and then readers can vote on their favorites by donating $5 per vote on the Firstgiving site that was used for Menu for Hope. The top eight contenders would enter a Survivor-like competition (can anyone suggest a catchy name?) where each week they’d be challenged in a different culinary challenge that’d be judged by bloggers, food writers, chefs and anyone else who’d lend their expertise.

Readers would continue to vote by donating $5 per vote; the person with the least votes is eliminated at the end of each week and at the very end, all the money that’s raised goes to the winner towards a scholarship.

That’s the idea, the question remains: is this doable? I’d like to think it is. Instead of bugging blogger friends to help me out, though, I’ll let anyone interested in helping/hosting/organizing/planning to shoot me an email at a newly minted e-mail address: foodblogscholarship AT gmail DOT com.

After this post, I’ll be working behind the scenes to bring this about. In a few weeks you’ll either hear that it all came together or that it was just a pipe dream that fizzled. But I’m hoping we can make it happen… wouldn’t it be cool for food bloggers to put someone through culinary school? I think so! Stay tuned…

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16 comments

  1. What a cool idea! I’d love to see it happen. As for it being doable? I’d like to say it could. Of course this might involve lots of coordination between bloggers, writers etc.

  2. Doable? Hmm. If the goal is a full scholarship, it might be tough, but for some contribution towards the cost sounds likely.

    I’d think that a culinary school would need to be a sponsoring participant as well. Wouldn’t it be great publicity? They could make a large initial contribution (it’s really a discount on tuition). Plus, the school would add credibility… keeping the whole process up-front and honest by making sure that the scholarship is applied to tuition.

  3. I agree with John — the tuition for my culinary education amounted to almost 28Gs. Granted, this covered the cost of my chef coats, pants, shoes, knives, and the food I’d be dealing with daily… but it’s still a hefty amount. I mean, one could buy a brand new car with that kind of money. The help of sponsors would probably be ideal if you’re looking to provide a full scholarship.

  4. I think this is doable. I also agree that a sponsor would be the way to go. Culinary school sponsor would be best. Adam, let me know if I can help you in anyway.

  5. Good for you!I think further stipulating that the scholarship be made available to a deserving Latino (or other person-of-color) would make it even more noteworthy. After all, it’s this and these populations who form the backbone of the restaurant industry in NYC. It would be great to provide one of them the opportunity to move into a cooking position with a good educational foundation.

  6. Like everyone else I would like to think its doable, but culinary school is really expensive. And as it has been mentioned, maybe some sort of sponsorship from businesses that would provide the winner with knives, chef’s coats, the daily type of stuff that can be surprisingly expensive once you add it all up. This way it could be relatively small contributions from a few businesses, instead of asking any one business to do the lion’s share of the contribution. Also, I feel like for a lot of fund raising employers will match their employees contribution, maybe something like this could be worked out with a large food corporation or a culinary school and they could match the money raised? However the logistics work out, I really hope that this happens.

  7. I’m happy to help in any way — online or in real life. I think I live near you in the Slope, so if there are any associated events or things that need people to physically be present rather than simply online, I’m pretty handy.

  8. This is such a good idea. As a highschool senior who’ll be entering The Culinary Institute of America this fall, I’ve come to realize that there really aren’t too many scholarships directed towards Culinary Arts majors. But this one seems fun, much more appealing than writing an essay. Count me in! :D

  9. What a wonderful idea, Adam! Things like Menu for Hope prove that bloggers and readers definitely have real-fire power to create change. Maybe you could get a culinary school to sponsor an “Amateur Gourmet Scholarship”?

  10. What a wonderful idea, Adam. Events like Menu for Hope definitely prove that bloggers and blog-readers definitely have the power to create real-life change. Maybe you could ask a culinary school to host/fund an Amateur Gourmet Scholarship?

  11. That is truly remarkable… I hope this is a success since there is a surprising lack of culinary scholarships available anyway, at least in my area. All the power to you!

  12. That is truly remarkable… I hope this is a success since there is a surprising lack of culinary scholarships available anyway, at least in my area. All the power to you!