Chef Matt Haley Is JBA Humanitarian of the Year 2014By Kelly Dobkin | February 3, 2014 By Kelly Dobkin | February 3, 2014
Delaware-based chef Matt Haley is the recipient of the James Beard Foundation's 2014 Humanitarian of the Year Award, which was just announced today (chef Emeril Lagasse was last year's honoree). The award will be presented on Monday, May 5, 2014 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center in New York City. In a press statement JBF President Susan Ungaro noted, “Matt has an admirable passion for interweaving his culinary work with philanthropic initiatives. His efforts, both on a local and global scale, are helping to educate disadvantaged children and improve the agricultural conditions of countries around the world. His story and charity are an inspiration and we’re excited to see what Matt will continue to do for the culinary world in the future.”
Haley's own personal story fueled his passion for philanthropic work - the chef got into the profession after attending a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in his early 30s. Haley eventually became a Delaware restaurateur, founded SoDel Concepts, and became heavily involved in efforts to help disadvantaged youth.