Chef News

Project Angel Heart Launches a Fellowship in Chef Brandon Foster's Name

Chef Brandon Foster (second from left) was an inspiration to his culinary team at Project Angel Heart.
Chef Brandon Foster (second from left) was an inspiration to his culinary team at Project Angel Heart. Courtesy of Project Angel Heart
Brandon Foster left a lasting impression on everyone he worked with and mentored during his four years as the executive chef at Project Angel Heart, and in his many years as a restaurant chef before that. Foster passed away in July 2020, and Project Angel Heart is now launching a culinary training program in his name.

The Brandon Foster Culinary Excellence Fellowship will provide two years of training and leadership for "new and emerging chefs from underrepresented communities in Colorado," according to the organization. Foster's father, Kenneth Foster, has been working with Project Angel Heart's president and CEO, Owen Ryan, to get the fellowship set up.

"We want Brandon to be remembered for his life, not his death," Foster explains. "The fellowship will represent and embody who he was, his values and what he cared about. Owen and I talked, and we thought this could be something that will last for a long time and will represent what Brandon stood for."

Project Angel Heart's mission is to provide medically tailored meals to people living with life-threatening illnesses. The new fellowship will immerse one, or possibly two, recipients in a program that will include nutrition, kitchen management and food policy; public speaking and networking possibilities will also be offered. The fellowship targets (but is not limited to) BIPOC, immigrant, refugee and LGBTQ chefs, and will be a full-time position in the organization's kitchen, with retirement and health benefits included.

"Brandon was committed to giving people who needed it a leg up," Foster adds. "This will extend his compassion and care to others — people who may not otherwise have the opportunity."

Foster says that the project has been in the works for several months. "We made an initial kick-off contribution of $25,000, and altogether we've raised $60,000 so far," he notes. The overall goal is to raise $150,000 for this year's fellowship, which is now accepting applications.

To learn more about the fellowship, to apply or to chip in, see Project Angel Heart's website.
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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation