Call For Applicants: 2019 Ment’or Grant Applications For Aspiring Chefs

©Ment’or; Photo credit: Ken Goodman Photography

Ment’or, the prestigious culinary organization founded by chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jérôme Bocuse, provides access and ongoing education to professional cooks in the United States and is now accepting applications for its annual grant program.

The Ment’or Grant Program provides recipients with the opportunity to be mentored by some of the profession’s leading chefs who open their doors and provide a fully immersive culinary internship. To date, over 75 of the world’s most renowned restaurants have opened their doors to welcome the grant recipients. Ment’or awards recipients with fully-funded grants to cover housing, transportation and salary during the duration of the stage, which they otherwise would not be able to access or afford on their own. Grantees are able to learn new techniques and gain exposure to different ingredients, as well as understand different kitchen cultures and novel approaches to food and cooking.

The Grant Program is integral to the Ment’or organization’s mission of building the pipeline of aspiring, young American chefs, and continuing to establish the U.S. as a leader in the global culinary community. The program started in 2014 and has awarded nearly $1.4 million in grants since then. To date, over 120 grantees across America have been awarded this truly invaluable experience.

“This internship was an extraordinary experience that I will never forget. As a cook, knowledge and experiences shape the chefs we become. Not only did my actual time in the kitchen teach me many new techniques and materials, but I was also exposed to different restaurants in the area, and tried produce from a new region. Before receiving the Ment’or grant, I had never staged anywhere before, and this experience helped me to become a better chef de partie,” said Melissa Kuhn, who staged at the three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Benu, in San Francisco, CA under chef Corey Lee.

Ment’or is also pleased to announce that Sysco, the multinational food distribution company, has joined in the Foundation’s efforts and will provide $100,000 toward growing the Grant Program. Sysco, which lives at the heart of food and foodservice, recognizes the importance of enhancing culinary skills and reinvigorating creativity in developing chefs.

“Sysco is excited to be a sponsor of the Ment’or Grant Program to help aspiring chefs expand their training and skills. At Sysco, we are committed to being our customers’ most valued and trusted business partner, and that commitment includes empowering the future leaders of the restaurant industry,” said Tom Bené, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Ment’or Executive Director, Young Yun explains the importance of the program. “Inspiring and educating the next generation is at the heart of our mission. Through the Grant Program we have successfully placed over one hundred recipients in restaurants around the world and exposed them to new mentors and training that they would not have otherwise been able to access or afford on their own. Immersing themselves in a new role and environment, our recipients are motivated and further energized to continue building their careers.”

Applications are being accepted now through Friday, November 29, 2019Additional details about The Ment’or Grant Program for continuing education can be found at


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About VSheree

V. Sheree Williams is the publisher of Cuisine Noir Magazine, the country's first digital and print culinary magazine that connects the African diaspora through food, drink and travel. For more, in-depth stories, visit
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