MemorEATS: Lidia Bastianich

"I was making dinner for 150 people in Napa in a kitchen that was set up like a theater. An assistant started the plating for the first course by inserting a glass pitcher into hot soup. The pitcher cracked and, of course, we couldn’t use any soup from that pot. Luckily, I did have a second, smaller pot going, and after an announcement of what was going on and a little “magic,” everyone got an espresso cup full of soup."

–JBF Award Winner Lidia Bastianich, owner of NYC's Felidia, host and author of Lidia’s Italy, and special guest aboard our exclusive Silversea cruise through the Mediterranean

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On the Menu: Summer's Bounty

Chefs & Champagne The open sky, a beautiful field, and one big tent. Nothing says summer to us like our annual Chefs & Champagne event in the Hamptons. There’s sunshine, lots of bubbly, and of course, the best food of the season. All the usual suspects are there—heirloom tomatoes, strawberries, and plenty of fresh fish—lovingly dressed up by some of the most acclaimed chefs in the nation. What are we looking forward to? Missy Robbins’ ricotta sformato with zucchini, mint, and lemon; Marc Forgione’s watermelon soup with jumbo lump crab and wild clover honey; Craig Hopson’s duck confit and green mango salad with mizuna and honey vinaigrette; and

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Ask a Chef: Grant Achatz

Grant Achatz Grant Achatz, who took home a 2009 Beard Award for his Alinea cookbook, shares his recommendations for Chicago restaurants. Find out where he likes to go for some late night grub, a date, or a lazy Sunday brunch.

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Recipe: Limoncello Cheesecake

Limoncello CakeItalian-born Pino Posteraro’s Mediterranean-inspired meal at the Beard House included this light and delicious cheesecake. Its delightful, refreshing lemon taste comes from limoncello, a lemon-scented digestif from Italy—perfect for warm summer days by the sea. To simplify the recipe, you can serve the cake on its own or with store-bought orange marmalade.

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JBF News: Chefs & Champagne® Online Bidding Ends Tomorrow

Chefs and Champagne Start polishing your Champagne flutes: our annual Chefs & Champagne tasting party and silent auction is only four days away! As we reported last week, for the first time ever we’re offering advanced online bidding on auction items, and thanks to many of our members and friends, over $15,000 has already been raised for the Foundation. There’s still time to get in on the action—online bidding closes at 4:00 P.M. tomorrow afternoon. You can view the available items here, and if you’re interested in attending the real thing, click here.

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Peaches on Daikon This hors d'oeuvre of Georgia sturgeon caviar with pickled peaches, mimosa, and daikon was served by Hugh Acheson and Peter Dale at their Beard House dinner; the meal featured peaches in every course. Want to put a savory twist on peaches for dinner tonight? Try chef Dale's flavorful Roasted Red Pepper, Peach, and Sweet Onion Salad as an accompaniment for fish, pork, or even simple slices of grilled bread. July 9, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Michael Johnston)

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Q & A: Garrett Oliver

Garrett OliverBrewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and author of The Brewmaster’s Table, Garrett Oliver knows his beer, how to make it, and what to eat with it. We got in touch with him to find out which restaurants have the best beer programs and his thoughts on the beer cocktail fad. James Beard Foundation: How did you get involved in beer and brewing? Garrett Oliver: I lived in London for a year in the mid-1980s and fell in love with traditional British beer. Then I traveled all over Europe and had great beers there, too. When I got home, I found that I could no longer drink American beer. It was 1984 and almost all American beers were mass-market concoctions that tasted like water. I started making beer at home so I’d have something nice to drink. It was a slippery slope, and I eventually fell in. JBF: What experience did you have before becoming brewmaster for the Brooklyn Brewery? GO: I went

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