On the Menu: Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Here’s a taste of what’s on tap today at the Beard House.

Bay Area Seafood Sophisticate, 7:00 P.M.
Matthew Dolan, Twenty Five Lusk and Tap [415], San Francisco

At his pair of superb San Francisco eateries, chef and co-owner Matthew Dolan combines his classic European technique with Northern California ingredients and sensibilities. For his Beard House reprise, Dolan will delight seafood lovers with a decadent and sustainability-minded feast, featuring dishes like Organic Beef Short Rib Pop Tarts with Cherry Tomato Candy; Cinnamon-Smoked Halibut with Crispy Fig Leaves, Pickled Avocado, Ramps, Uni, Goat Butter Powder, and Rye Crisp; and Sous Vide New York Strip Steak with Potato Waffle, Black Pepper–Tomato Jam, and Savory Maple Reduction that prove just how delicious conscious consumption can be.
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Overheard at the 2016 James Beard Awards

Photo: Eliesa Johnson


Carla Hall moonwalked, there were backstage dance parties, adorable children accompanied a winner on stage, and Leah Chase charmed us all. And, as always, the acceptance speeches were heartfelt, humble, and hilarious. Here are some of our favorite lines from last night’s James Beard Awards. See the complete list of winners here




“I want to thank my parents —every year I’ve been nominated they think I’ve won, so this year I can finally tell them I did.”—Outstanding Baker Award Winner Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Boston


“I didn’t think I was gonna win—I would have shaved.”—Best Chef: Northeast Winner, ... Read more >

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2016 America's Classic: Al Ameer Restaurant


Al Ameer Restaurant
12710 W. Warren Avenue, Dearborn, MI

Owners: Khalil Ammar and Zaki Hashem


With its rows of floral print booths, this restaurant is a bedrock institution in Dearborn, Michigan, and one of the nation’s most welcoming introductions to the pleasures of Lebanese cuisine. Khalil Ammar, Zaki Hashem, and their families opened this community-minded spot in 1989. Unfailingly warm servers explain the fine points of maza (a spread of dishes that might include falafel and hummus) and define the differences between fattoush and Lebanese salad. The owners also run a halal butcher shop nearby. Accordingly, Al Ameer is the place to savor sujuk sausage, vivid with paprika and cumin, or a feast of tender shredded lamb rich with almonds, yogurt, and rice.


The America's Classic award is given to restaurants with timeless appeal, each beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community. Esta... Read more >

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Recipe: Meyer Lemon, Ricotta, and Spinach Gnudi with Green Garbanzo Bean Hummus, Tomato Jam, and Spiced Almonds


It’s not often that gnudi is considered light fare, but under the erudite and worldly eye of chef Hari Pulapaka, this Italian staple takes a trip around the Mediterranean, incorporating greens, beans, and meyer lemon to balance its indulgent base. Served at Pulapaka's recent Beard House dinner, the dumpling itself is infused with herbaceous spinach, creamy ricotta, and the bright meyer lemons, with the addition of a green garbanzo hummus, earthy tomato jam, and spicy almonds. Complex and intriguing as a plated dish, the components are also stars in their own right. Get out of your Bolognese rut with this vegetal variation, brimming with enough green goodness to make you feel just a bit virtuous. Get the recipe.


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The 2016 James Beard Award Winners!


The Winners of the 2016 James Beard Awards.



The 2016 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards

Best Chef: Great Lakes
Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago


Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Aaron Silverman, Rose’s Luxury, Washington D.C.


Best Chef: Midwest
Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis


Best Chef: New York City
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto


Best Chef: Northeast
Zak Pelaccio, Fish & Game, Hudson, NY

 ... Read more >

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2016 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year: Father Greg Boyle


This award is given to an individual or organization working in the realm of food who has given selflessly and worked tirelessly to better the lives of others and society at large. 



When Father Gregory Boyle was appointed pastor of Los Angeles’s Dolores Mission Parish, just two years after being ordained, the city was on the brink of its “decade of death,” when gang-related violence was at an all-time high. “It was just horrific—traumatizing for everybody. We’d have shootings morning, noon, and night,” Boyle recalls. 


He began burying kids from his community with alarming frequency and realized that he was at the nucleus of a global crisis. “Los Angeles was the gang capital of the world, and my parish was the gang capital of Los Angeles,” says Boyle, whose church was located among the largest grouping of public housing west of the Mississippi River, where eight gangs were at war. “When you’re in a parish like that, you have two choices:... Read more >

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2016 James Beard Foundation Design Icon Award: The Four Seasons Restaurant, New York City


In August of 1959, Craig Claiborne extolled The Four Seasons Restaurant in his New York Times review:


There has never been a restaurant better keyed to the tempo of Manhattan than the Four Seasons… Both in décor and in menu, it is spectacular, modern, and audacious. It is expensive and opulent, and it’s perhaps the most exciting restaurant to open in New York within the last two decades.


Design stands alongside food, service, and location as an asset that can make a restaurant exceptional. This year the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Committee established the Design Icon Award to recognize restaurants that have withstood the test of time to become standard-bearers of design excellence and innovation. Our inaugural recipient is The Four Seasons Restaurant, one of the nation’s best examples of a restaurant whose design has inspired and remained relevant for decades. 


When it opened, The Four Seasons redefined fi... Read more >

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2016 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award: Leah Chase


The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America.



Trailblazers don’t always intend to beat a new path. When Leah Chase first moved to New Orleans in 1940, she chose not to follow her aunts to work in a factory. Instead she applied for a job as a waitress in the French Quarter. It was a humble entrée into hospitality, but also the first step toward her groundbreaking role as the chef at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, a position that she has held for seven decades. She has fed politicians and civil rights leaders, celebrities and bus drivers, all while amassing an influential collection of African-American art. As New Orleans–born food historian Lolis Eric Elie says, “Mrs. Chase is an icon of American cooking, of Creole cooking, and of African-American cooking.” 

In 1946 Leah Lange married Edgar Dooky Chase Jr., a big-band leader whose famil... Read more >

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It's the culinary industry's biggest night! Join us this evening for the 2016 James Beard Awards Gala, taking place in the great city of Chicago for the second year in a row.


Not joining us at Lyric Opera of Chicago? That's okay—it's easy to follow along at home. You can tune into our live broadcast at jamesbeard.org/awards starting at 6:00 P.M. Central. JBF executive vice president Mitchell Davis and Kat Kinsman will be covering the chef-studded red carpet on Facebook Live starting at 5:00 P.M. Central. As always, we'll be live-tweeting the ceremony @beardfoundation. Make sure you're following us on ... Read more >

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Interview with Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske of Best New Restaurant Nominee Wildair


With its unfussy food and vibe, it's no surprise that Wildair, the second effort from Contra's Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone, has become both a critical and industry favorite. In our final interview with chefs who oversee our 2016 Best New Restaurant nominees, the duo discusses Wildair's origins, broad appeal, and signature dishes. 




JBF: Wildair is named after an 18th-century prize-winning racehorse that lived in the neighborhood. First of all, how did you find out about this random historical fact? How much is the neighborhood’s history reflected in the menu and atmosphere?


JS and FvH: Jeremiah found the name while looking on Wikipedia. We liked that it had a historical connection to the Lower East Side. We... Read more >

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JBF Kitchen Cam