Daily Digest: April 24, 2014

Soba

 

Soba: it's lighter, it's healthier and producing it is a serious art. Here's what you should know about Japan's unsung noodle. [Food Republic

 

Bitters: good for more than just mixed drinks. Here's how you can cook with them. [WP

 

Ikea will soon release "greener" alternatives to their Swedish meatballs. [LAT

 

Thanks to its natural image, butter is making a comeback. [Chicago Tribune

 

How to choose which... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Jessica Largey of Manresa

 

Epicureans from around the country travel to the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains to get a taste of Manresa, where chef de cuisine Jessica Largey executes thoughtful, inventive, and elegant fare that’s steeped in the rich terroir of Northern California. Below, the 2014 nominee for our Rising Star Chef of the Year Award fills us in on her ideal kitchen playlist, earliest food memory, and thoughts on gender politics in the restaurant industry.

 

JBF: How would you describe your culinary style? 

 

Jessica Largey: I’d say that I have a naturalist approach, which is definitely something I’ve developed while at Manresa. I like using techniques that are purposeful and preserve the integrity of the product.  

 

JBF: What’s... Read more >

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JBF Hosting Fourth Chefs Boot Camp Next Week

JBF Hosting Fourth Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change Next Week

 

Next week, more than a dozen chefs from around the country are gathering for our fourth Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change at Costanoa Lodge in Pescadero, California. The three-day series of workshops, which will focus on sustainable seafood, will provide chefs with policy briefings, advocacy strategies, and other training geared toward food-system causes and campaigns. Attendees will also participate in a group harvest at Green Oaks Creek Farm and a fishing excursion on Half Moon Bay. This session's chefs include:

 

Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA

 

Kathleen Blake, The Rusty Spoon, Orlando, FL

 

Kirsten Dixon, Winterlake Lodge, Anchorage, AK

 

Duskie Estes, Zazu Kitchen + Farm, Sebastapol, CA

 

Ed Kenney, Town Restaurant, Honolulu

 

Michael Leviton, Lu... Read more >

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Interview with Oustanding Chef Award Nominee Marc Vetri

Marc Vetri is a nominee for the 2014 James Beard Award for Oustanding Chef

 

When Marc Vetri opened his eponymous restaurant on Philadelphia’s Spruce Street 15 years ago, he served spicy penne with tomatoes and capers, a daily risotto, and other dishes that might seem light years away from what we see on current modern Italian menus. But today's bucatini-and-budino world remains undeniably linked to his emphasis on quality over quantity. We spoke to the Outstanding Chef award nominee, whose seventh restaurant will open this year, for details about his forthcoming pasta book and his new obsession with wheat.

 

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JBF: You celebrated Vetri's 15th anniversary last year. How has your experience with Vetri influenced how you open new concepts and maintain them?

 

MV: Vetri is its own thing. It can’t be reproduced in another restaurant. It’s way too personal, so I try to not compare any new project to it. It wou... Read more >

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Awards Watch: The 2014 Gala Reception Menu

The 2014 James Beard Awards

 

This year the James Beard Awards theme is “Sounds of the City,” and it celebrates the enduring relationship between music and food. After the medals are handed out, the gala reception at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater will feature chefs from some of America’s beloved musical cities creating dishes inspired by their favorite sounds, whether it’s a local musical act, a special song, or an impactful musician. Here's what's on the menu:

 

Jonathan Benno
Lincoln Ristorante, NYC
Dish: Muffaletta
Musical Inspiration: New Orleans Jazz

 

Dante Boccuzzi
Dante, Cleveland
Dish: The “Beet” of a Different Drum > Beet-Tinted Hamachi and Lemon–Caper Rémoulade
Musical Inspiration: Hard Rock

 

Jean-Paul Bourgeois and Jeffrey Held
Blue Smoke, NYC
Presented by Delta Air Lines®
Dish: Smoked Black Pepper Sausage with Pimento Cheese and Sa... Read more >

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JBF to Celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of Meatless Monday

Peggy Neu and Sid Lerner of the Monday Campaigns

 

When Meatless Monday launched ten years ago, the campaign had a modest goal: encourage Americans to eat slightly less meat. Based on the notion that people are more determined to reprogram their habits at the beginning of the week, the group has steadily racked up victories and adherents: the growing trendiness of plant-based diets, the support of celebrity chefs and other stars, and Sodexo, a major institutional food supplier, designing meat-free programs for its clients.

 

But even in this dawning era of the cauliflower steak, America’s meat-heavy diet an... Read more >

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Daily Digest: April 22, 2014

Swiss cheese

In a new "cheese diplomacy" project, French cheesemakers are training North Koreans to make Emmental. [BBC News]

 

Drought-affected farmers in California's Central Valley have been informed that they will not receive any federal irrigation water. [NPR]

 

The federal government has approved a powdered alcohol product called Palcohol, and it's coming stores this fall. [LAT]

 

A husband-and-wife team are making cheese in an u... Read more >

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Interview with the Violet Hour’s Toby Maloney

The Violet Hour

 

The Violet Hour beckons discerning clientele with many luxuries: a romantic, serene space with floor-to-ceiling curtains, high-backed blue leather chairs, flickering candles and chandeliers; fine-tuned volume levels and elbow room; and an eclectic selection of artisanal cocktails made with painstaking precision. Below, partner/mixologist Toby Maloney tell us how the 2014 Outstanding Bar Program nominee is influenced by its Chicago environs, the poetic inspiration behind its name, and his favorite spring cocktail.

 

JBF: How would you describe the Violet Hour’s mixology style? 

 

Toby Maloney: We’ve been described as minimalist, traditionalist, and culinary-focused. I think we are an amalgamation of all of them.

 

JBF: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the name... Read more >

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JBF to Participate in First-Ever Minority Chef Summit

Minority Chef Summit 2014

The brainchild of pastry chef, chocolatier, and instructor Erika Davis, the inaugural Minority Chef Summit is taking place in Nassau, Bahamas, Thursday, May 1 through Sunday, May 4. Themed "Celebrating Cuisine In Paradise," chef Davis and participants aim to inspire and build community networks among culinary leaders, professionals, and aspirants. Proceeds will be donated to the College of the Bahamas culinary program, where Chef Davis has served as a teacher and mentor. 

 

The Minority Chef Summit will address several aspects of food culture through panels like "What Does Every Ethnic Cuisine Have in Common," moderated by JBF staffer Colleen Vincent; "Vegan, Just a Trend?" with famed vegan chef and author Bryant Terry; and "What Is a Celebrity Chef?,” a discussion about the industry’s overlooked diversity, featuring Top Chef contestant Ron Duprat and Food Network personality Jeff Henderson.

 ... Read more >

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Interview with Rising Star Nominee Katie Button

 

After jumping ship from academia, Katie Button has shot up the culinary ranks at warp speed. With a coveted stage at the late el Bulli under her apron strings, she now showcases her technical prowess and knack for innovation at Cúrate and the new Nightbell, her two family-owned and operated establishments in Asheville, North Carolina. We spoke with Button about her favorite dishes from her menus, her forthcoming cookbook, and why she never wants to stop learning.

 

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JBF: You just opened a new bar called Nightbell. Can you talk about what you're doing there? What’s the menu like? What's the story behind the name?

 

KB: The idea was to create a cocktail bar that offered the whole package: delicious bites, surprising desserts, and well-crafted cocktails. And we didn't stop there: we also handpicked a great variety of large-format, 22-ounce beers, and we offer hi... Read more >

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