Promoting Diversity and Inclusivity in the Culinary World

James Beard Foundation Receives Urgent Call for Proportional Latino Representation on Board of Trustees

Achieving diversity requires a concerted effort to identify and invite individuals who can contribute meaningfully to the Foundation’s mission”

— Lilly Rocha

LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, August 22, 2023/ — The James Beard Foundation, a pioneer in promoting culinary excellence and diversity within the culinary industry, has been urged by concerned culinary professionals and esteemed Latino organizations to enhance its commitment to diversity and inclusion through proportional representation of Latinos on its Board of Trustees.

In a heartfelt letter addressed to Ms. Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation, culinary enthusiast and advocate Lilly Rocha highlighted the need for fair and equitable representation of Latinos in leadership roles. The letter acknowledged the Foundation’s efforts to foster diversity but emphasized that there is room for improvement, particularly with regard to proportional representation of the Latino community.

Latinos are a significant and influential segment of the United States’ population, contributing immensely to the country’s culinary landscape. Their rich tapestry of flavors, techniques, and traditions has left an indelible mark on the culinary world. Ms. Rocha’s letter emphasized that including qualified Latino individuals in leadership positions is not just symbolic but also a practical step toward embracing the diverse perspectives that drive the Foundation’s success.

The letter stated, “Achieving diversity requires a concerted effort to identify and invite individuals who can contribute meaningfully to the Foundation’s mission. By actively seeking out qualified Latino candidates who embody excellence, innovation, and a deep understanding of culinary arts, the Foundation can elevate its impact and relevance within an ever-evolving culinary landscape.” In support of this initiative, several esteemed Latino organizations have expressed their endorsement:

• National Latino Restaurant Association
• Latino Food Industry Association
• Latinx Business Council
• Sabor Latino Restaurant Association
• Antojo Expo
• Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
• Hispanic Coalition of Small Businesses
• National Latina Business Women’s Association

About the Latino Restaurant Association
The Latino Restaurant Association strives to be the number one source for all aspects of the Latino restaurant industry. We are dedicated to promoting, supporting, and serving our restaurant member community. By investing in membership, you will have a platform to share your advocacy priorities, gain access to business-building tools and develop meaningful relationships with your peers.


Lilly Rocha
Latino Restaurant Association
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