Each year, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates “The Best of America” by issuing limited-edition stamps that highlight quintessential American personalities, passions and milestones. The edition we’ve been waiting for debuted on Friday: celebrity chefs who revolutionized the American culinary experience in postwar America and served as early, ardent champions of modern food trends.
The stamps honor five chefs:
James Beard, 1903-1985, cookbook author, teacher, champion of American cuisine, syndicated columnist and television personality.
Joyce Chen, 1917-1994, a Beijing-born chef, restaurateur, author, television personality and entrepreneur who developed the first line of bottled Chinese stir fry sauces in the U.S. and is credited with popularizing northern-style Chinese cuisine here.
Julia Child, 1912-2004, author and television personality who brought French cuisine to the American public with the first major English-language cookbook of French cuisine, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Edna Lewis, 1916-2006, an African-American chef and author known for her books on traditional Southern cuisine that led some to call her “the South’s answer to Julia Child.”
The new Julia Child stamp. Photo courtesy USPO.
Stamped envelopes are available in addition to sheets of individual stamps. Photo courtesy USPO.
Felipe Rojas-Lombardi, 1945-1991, a Peruvian-born chef who became an American citizen as he helped to bring a Spanish and Caribbean influence into America’s haute cuisine repertory. America’s Bicentennial chef in 1976, he had served as the assistant in James Beard’s cooking school and was the founding chef of the Dean & Deluca gourmet food store.
Something we didn’t now: All stamps sold by the Post Office are now Forever stamps. The days of pairing the old postage with 1¢, 2¢ and 3¢ stamps are over!
So, food fans, you can buy a lifetime supply of chef stamps to add personality to your cards, letters and bills.