MemorEATS: Eric Hara

“I was in the middle of service on a Saturday night at David Burke & Donatella and our hood system went off. Then all the electricity and gas also shut down, so we ended up cooking salmon in the dishwasher. The whole dining room had already been sat and we had to feed them with salmon from the dishwasher.” –Eric Hara, The Oak Room, NYC

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The Bookshelf: Betty Fussell Wants You to Eat Your Steak Rare

Raising SteaksThe unflappable Betty Fussell graced us with her presence yesterday at Beard on Books for a rousing discussion of her book Raising Steaks and all things beef. After discussing the history of the beef industry, from small-scale butcher shops to industrialized slaughterhouses to the grass-fed future, Betty moved on to how Americans eat and think about beef. What has been the effect of industrializing the beef industry? A dulled and “timid” American palate, Betty claims. She believes we need to be re-tasting all kinds of beef from Wagyu to grass-fed, declaring that it’s time to “train ourselves to not just eat rib-eyes.” Where should we be doing this training? These days, restaurants and chefs have the best access to the choicest cuts and kinds of meat, because they can demand it. And they also can produce the best tasting meat because they have the heat sources to cook it properly. Betty implores us to order our steaks and other red meats “Rare! Rare!

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Recipe: Beet and Pomegranate Salad

beet and pomegranate salad

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins this Friday at sundown. And if you are tired of the same old sweet dishes like tzimmes, apples, and honey cake, you might want to look to the East…to Israel, that is, where the influences of Jews from around the world meld into a Middle Eastern culinary melting pot. We’ll be adding this beet and pomegranate salad from celebrated Israeli baker and chef Erez Komarovski to our holiday menu. Komarovski created an artisanal bread revolution in Israel with his chain of bakeries called Lehem Erez—they continue, but he no longer owns them. Now he spends a large part of his time in self-exile on a beautiful hillside in the Upper Galilee near the Lebanon border teaching, inventing, and cooking dishes that draw on the local produce and his vast gardens.

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Jobs We Love: Paul Lang

Paul LangHe started out as a film student waiting tables at restaurants like No. 9 Park in Boston and Al Forno in Providence, but eventually Paul Lang set off to travel throughout Italy to learn more about food and wine. Eventually he opened his own company, A Casa, which specializes in bringing exciting, personalized, and delicious wine dinners and events to people’s homes. Recently he has also taken on the role of wine director at NYC’s Il Buco restaurant. We caught up with him to find out how he does it all. James Beard Foundation: What’s your job description? Paul Lang: I create and prepare personalized Italian wine dinners in people’s homes. JBF: How did you get your job? PL: I worked as chef for the Capezzana Estate in Tuscany. Then I served as sommelier at Babbo restaurant in NYC. I left Babbo to start A Casa.

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Chefs with pavlova Three members of Adrian Richardson's crew relax at the end of a night's work and dig into some of the pavlova that diners enjoyed for dessert. In case you missed it earlier this month, we've got the recipe right here. September 2, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Eilon Paz)

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Food Matters: Urban Food Deserts

Urban Food Desert One might assume that fresh produce and other essentials of the human diet are easy to come by in American cities. According to NYU professor Jennifer Berg, however, the United States "is entering a new food crisis, but it’s not an issue of production, it’s an issue of access.” Jamie Feldmar has more on what it's like to live in an urban food desert.

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The Bookshelf: Betty Fussell

Raising SteaksTomorrow’s Beard on Books brings us Betty Fussell, a passionate carnivore who will discuss her new book, Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef. Fussell approaches this tough and proud American industry with an open mind, profiling the many men and women who help bring steaks from the ranch to our plates. She knows her cuts of beef, and that’s why we asked her to tell us her five favorites and how to prepare them. Rib-eye: Why? Because of all that marbling, otherwise known as fat. And because you can get it cut thick and on the bone. Thick means you can cook it crusty on the outside and rare within, and bone means flavor. Put on lots of salt and pepper, throw it on that hot grill or grill

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