Food Matters: What We Loved in 2009

As we resolve to eat less and exercise more at the start of this new year, we can't help but think of some of the delicious stand-outs we enjoyed in 2009. (Does dreaming burn calories?) Even in such an unsettling year for the industry, there was no shortage of fantastic food. Below are the dishes that left us satisfied, smiling, or even speechless. We can't wait to taste what's in store for 2010.

Sun Gold tomatoes with parsley and olive oil panna cotta / Hugo’s, Portland, ME
JBF Award Winner Rob Evans once worked at the French Laundry, and he masters its philosophy in this sublime appetizer: tasteful creativity paired with ingredients in their prime.

Crispy pig's ear salad with tarbais beans, chicory, tomato confit, truffle vinaigrette, and poached quail egg / Pig and Pinot Feast, James Beard House

2009 may have been an errant year for Ryan Skeen, but memories of his superb Beard House dinner have us... Read more >

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Eye Candy: Jason's Giordano's Triple Treat

plating dessert Jason Giordano (second from left) and his crew plate a dessert trio, which included banana cream pie, chocolate cake, and pumpkin mousse topped with a macaron ice cream sandwich. (See, we told you they were on the rise.) Check out more photos from the Hotel Griffou luncheon. (Photo by Eileen Miller)

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On the Menu: January 10 to January 16

on-the-menu-erin gleeson Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Monday, January 11, 7:00 P.M. Truffles and Banfi Returning Beard House featured chef Jasper Mirabile, Jr., took the reins of his family’s beloved Kansas City restaurant in 1984. More than 25 years later, Mirabile is still turning out impeccable Italian cuisine, which he will serve alongside a selection of fine wines from Tuscany’s renowned Castello Banfi in Montalcino. Tuesday, January 12, 7:00 P.M. A Toast to Chanterelle Chanterelle, David and Karen Waltuck’s groundbreaking Tribeca restaurant, enjoyed an impressive 30-year run, during which it accrued countless accolades, including several JBF Awards. Though the Waltucks recently announced Chanterelle’s

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Recipe: Catfish Court-Bouillon

catfish court bouillon While French court-bouillon is a light poaching liquid made with mirepoix, bouquet garni, and acidic elements like lemon or wine, its Cajun descendant is a hearty fish stew. JBF Award Winner Donald Link uses cornmeal-dredged catfish and jalapeño pepper to ramp up the good ol' New Orleans flavor of this authentic recipe.

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Eye Candy: Cajun-Style Boudin Balls

boudin balls JBF Award Winner Donald Link, Ryan Prewitt, and Stephen Stryjewski passed around these traditional Cajun-style boudin balls—battered and deep-fried globes of pork sausage and rice—during the reception of their Big Easy–style Beard House dinner. Click here to see more images of the meal. (Photo by Tom Kirkman)

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JBF News: Deadline Approaching for NYC Public Schools Recipe Contest

vegetables We've been impressed by the response to our healthy school lunch recipe contest, but there's no such thing as too much delicious and healthy food! We'll continue to accept chefs' recipes for plant-based and meatless entrées through January 15 (that's next Friday), so keep 'em coming! Send your submissions to (You can learn more about the contest rules and recipe guidelines here.) Special thanks to our partners, New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, the NYC Office of SchoolFood, and Candle Café/79, for helping our kids eat well.

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Jobs We Love: Donna Cavato

ESY NOLA Putting down roots in a space that once held Katrina's swelling floodwaters, the Edible Schoolyard of New Orleans launched in 2005 as the first affiliate of Alice Water's garden and kitchen classroom project in Berkeley. With the help of over 300 eager students, the program has become a vital part of the city's community, providing organically-grown food and culinary education. We contacted the program's founding director, Donna Cavato, to hear about her work and why she's optimistic about America's eating habits. Read the interview here. Update: We misreported the number of children who participate in ESY NOLA. The program currently serves over 700 students.

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