Ask a Chef: Make or Buy Pickles?

 

While it may seem that the scale has tipped toward housemade ​everything, even top toques will admit that the best option sometimes lies outside the restaurant kitchen. We asked chefs from around the country to spill about what they source in and out-of-house. In our first installment, the pros dish on their pickling preferences.

 

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JBF Award Winner Ashley Christensen, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar, and Poole’s Downtown Diner, Raleigh, North Carolina: 

“We make all kinds of pickles in-house. At Chuck's, we do dill cucumber burger pickles, at Beasley's we pickle green tomatoes for the fried chicken thigh biscuits, and at Poole's we have our pickled spring ramps and the fermented beet tops that we use to spike relishes and mayos. With all of the bounty of North Carolina, it’s not a question of to pickle or not, it’s what to pickle next.”

 

 

JBF Award... Read more >

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What We're Reading: March 03, 2015

 

Embrace your inner Pooh bear and discover the wide world of raw honey. [Serious Eats

 

The brave souls at Food 52 try unlikely peanut butter food combinations so you don’t have to. [Food 52

 

The simplest method for baking chicken. [The Kitchn

 

Baskin Robbins has debuted a new ice cream inspired by the SyFy Sharknado franchise. [Impulsive Buy] ... Read more >

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JBF Hosts Sixth Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change

Partiicpants at the James Beard Foundation's Chefs Boot Camp in Bentonville, Arkansas

 

More than a dozen chefs from around the country will convene for the sixth Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change on Avery Island, Louisiana, home of the world-famous Tabasco Sauce. The three-day, multi-faceted program, taking place March 15–17, will provide chefs with the policy and advocacy skills they need to be effective champions for their chosen food-system causes. The chefs will participate in an intensive series of workshops programmed in partnership with the Chef Action Network (CAN), and made possible with support from the Osprey Foundation, the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation and Eric Kessler, JBF Board Member and Managing Director of Arabella Advisors.

 

The upcoming Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change will immerse... Read more >

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Giveaway: Win Two Tickets to the NJ Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting

The Grand Tasting at NJ Wine & Food Festival

 

JBF is giving away two tickets to the Grand Tasting at the NJ Wine & Food Festival! Taking place on Saturday, March 21, this event brings together an exclusive group of more than 30 chefs from top restaurants in New York and New Jersey, along with a selection from premier wineries and distilleries from across the globe. Featuring bites from hot spots like Elements, Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen, Osteria Morini, Ryland Inn, Strip House, and more, diners will sample the cream of the regional crop all in one evening. The NJ Wine & Food Festival benefits the James Beard Foundation.

 

Here's how you can enter to win:

 

1. Make sure you’re following @beardfoundation on Twitter if you’re not already.

 

2. Tweet the bolded text from your Twitter account: I'm tweeting for a chance to go to t... Read more >

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Soup Weather

 

When the temperature is in the negative digits and the snowfall is downright apocalyptic (we're looking at you, Boston), the only thing to do is stay home and make soup. It's a cliché for a reason: nobody's craving a smoothie this time of year. We want warm, comforting bowls of clam chowder or lentils, spicy chicken broth or bourbon-laced onion soup. Make these dishes now—it's going to be a while before those snowbanks melt.

 

Thomas Keller's Clam Chowder with Bacon

Lentil Soup with Chard and Lemon

Sopa Azteca (Tortilla Soup) from Rick Bayless

French Onion and Mushroom Soup with Bourbon and Swiss Cheese

 

 ... Read more >

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What We're Reading: March 02, 2015

 

Banana bread in a pinch: ripen green and hard bananas in just 5 minutes. [Yahoo! Food

 

A flowchart that will help your office eliminate food thieves once and for all. [HuffPo

 

There's no need to throw out those wilted greens and wrinkled red peppers in your fridge. [NYT

 

No longer a cherry on top: police bust Dell’s Maraschino Cherries for drug-trafficking. [Food Beast

 

How to choose the right cut at the butcher’s. [... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of March 2

 

Here's what's coming up at the James Beard House and around the country:

 

Monday, March 2, 6:30 P.M.
Beard Burger 'Bun' Anza 
Burger lovers, this one’s for you: top toques from the New York City area will join forces to create their most indulgent, mouthwatering renditions of the quintessential American dish. A selection of cocktails, wines, and beers will also be served at this crowd-pleasing tasting party.

 

Tuesday, March 3, 7:00 P.M. 
Bern's at the Beard House: Bern’s, Rare and Well Done
For years epicureans across the country have known and loved Bern’s Steak House, home to the world’s largest wine collection and top-notch steak. Now they’re getting to know the team’s fleet of new concepts, which include a wine bar, a pastry shop, and a... Read more >

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Sustainability Matters: February 27, 2015

 

Swaths of new breeding programs are rolling out to combat the growing threat of a global chocolate shortage, but industry experts say we have to be careful about which types of cacao are grown to save quality and flavor. [Smithsonian

 

A look into the history of America’s obsession with vitamins and fortification. [Atlantic

 

Over half of farm workers are undocumented immigrants, but if they gain legal status, will they stay in agriculture? [... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Hansen's Sno-Bliz

 

Earlier today, JBF announced the 2015 America's Classics honorees, our award given to regional establishments that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal. As we induct this new class of regional favorites into our ranks, it seemed only fitting to dedicate this Throwback Thursday to one of last year's winners, Hansen's Sno-Bliz.

 

On frosty days like these, we can only dream of licking melted shaved ice off our fingers in the scorching heat of summer. In 1934, Ernest Hansen patented one of the earliest ice shaving machines, and shortly after, his wife Mary started developing her own flavored syrups to use as toppings. On a sweltering New Orleans summer day back in 1939, they debuted their creations as Hansen's Sno-Bliz. Their granddaughter, Ashley Hansen, pictured here standing proudly with her award, has kept this mouthwatering business in the family. She contin... Read more >

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Awards Watch: Meet the 2015 America’s Classics

Today we're excited to announce the recipients of one of our most popular awards: the America's Classics! This honor is given to regional establishments, often family-owned, that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal. Read on to learn more about our 2015 America's Classics. These awards will be bestowed at the James Beard Awards Gala at Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 4.  

 

Read the full press release here.

 

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Archie’s Waeside, Le Mars, IA (Owner: Robert Rand)

 

Set in what was once a roadhouse bar, Archie’s is a citadel of American beef cookery. Seated in a commodious booth, in a dining room accented with Christmas tchotchkes, regulars drink perfect Manhattans, snack on handmade onion rings and well-curated relish trays... Read more >

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