Izabela Wojcik is the Director of House Programming for the James Beard Foundation, a national New York City-based charitable organization that showcases the culinary arts, awards annual recognition for chefs, restaurants, and writers, and hands out scholarships to the next generation of aspiring food enthusiasts.
In her role as chef wrangler, Izabela is responsible for the monumental task or organizing over 200 annual events held at the historic James Beard House; a program which celebrates regional cuisine by featuring chefs, pastry chefs, and winemakers from across the Unites States, and occasionally abroad.
In her daily context, Izabela engages food professionals in a dialogue concerning trends in fine dining, food preparation and ingredients, the latest in equipment and technology, the issue of locally and seasonally produced food stuffs versus global access and long distance transportation, and wine trends.
Izabela frequently moderates and appears on panels concerning food and cooking.
She was a moderator at Yosemite National Park Chefs’ Holiday program at The Ahwahnee Hotel for three consecutive years. She has also been a judge at numerous cooking competitions including the Viking Celebrity Chef Cook-Off in Boston, the International Tapas and Pinchos Competition in Valladolid, Spain, Johnson & Wales High School Student Chef of the Year contest in Miami, the Cochon 555 competition in New York (twice), and the Nickel City Chef competition in Buffalo.
Izabela is a guest host on Taste Matters, an online program of the Heritage Radio Network.
Izabela writes on food occasionally and even penned an article on the “Value of Service” that is used in the Cornell University Hotel School curriculum, her alma mater.
Prior to the James Beard Foundation, Izabela was the Marketing Director for Hudson Valley Foie Gras, where she committed selfless acts of foie gras overconsumption, in the name of research, of course!
Izabela resides in Brooklyn, NYC with her journalist husband, and son.
A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, Victoria completed coursework in viticulture and vinification through the American Sommelier Association and spent the first 15 years of her career working in restaurants, working in both front and back of house. She has been the general manager of the E. U. restaurant in the East Village and previously, a floor manager at Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto.
As the Director of House Operations and House Events for the James Beard Foundation, Victoria deals with the physical upkeep of the James Beard House, a 1800’s era, 4-story brick townhouse in the West Village that James Beard called home the last 15 years of his life. She also works with many of the chefs who come to cook at the Beard House, planning the logistics for those events and managing the waitstaff and porter team.
She grew up on a farm in Warren County, New Jersey where her father raised pheasants and she had a pony named Macaroni. She now lives in Jersey City with her husband Robert.