Peter Kump (1937 – June 7, 1995) was a prominent American figure in the culinary arts. The founder of Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School, he also co-founded the James Beard Foundation with Julia Child[1].[2]


Kump was born in Fresno, California in 1937. In 1953, his family relocated to Switzerland. He received a bachelor's degree in speech and drama from Stanford University and a master's degree in fine arts from Carnegie Mellon University.[2]

Initially, his career was based in education, teaching speed reading at Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics Institute in Pittsburgh and to members of President Richard M. Nixon's staff in the mid-1960s. He moved to New York City in 1967, becoming the national director of education for Evelyn Wood.[2]

His involvement in the culinary world began with cooking classes at James Beard's culinary school, taking classes from Beard, Diana Kennedy, Simone Beck, and Marcella Hazan.[3][4] The classes prompted him to open his own cooking school, Peter Kump's New York Cooking School, in 1974.[2] In 1979, the school was relocated from his apartment to 307 East 92nd Street.[4] A few days before his death, Kump sold the school to Rick Smilow who then moved it to 23rd Street, opening a few months later. In 2001, Smilow renamed the school The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE).[4][5]

In the mid-1980s, Kump was president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the New York Association of Cooking Teachers.[2][4]

In 1985, he co-founded the James Beard Foundation with Julia Child. After Beard's death, Kump and Child arranged the purchase of Beard’s Greenwich Village brownstone, converting it to the headquarters of the culinary arts organization. In 1991, he worked with the Foundation to establish the James Beard Awards.[2][5][6] He was the president of the foundation until his death in 1995.[4]

He died June 8, 1995 at his weekend home in East Hampton, Long Island of liver cancer.[2]


  1. ^ "James Beard Foundation". James Beard Foundation. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Miller, Bryan (1995-06-09). "Peter Kump, Expert Chef and Cooking Teacher, Dies at 57". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  3. ^ Sugarman, Carole (1995-06-14). "THE LEGACY OF PETER KUMP". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  4. ^ a b c d e Savoring Gotham: A Food Lovers Companion to New York City. Oxford University Press. 2015-11-11. ISBN 9780190263638.
  5. ^ a b "ICE History & Tradition | Institute of Culinary Education". Retrieved 2015-12-09.
  6. ^ "Foundation History | James Beard Foundation". Retrieved 2015-12-09.