Dining by Design: Exploring an Often Unsung Ingredient in a Memorable Meal

San Francisco's Bar Agricole, designed by Joshua Aidlin and David Darling


Edison lightbulbs. Communal tables. Open kitchens. Restaurant design trends come and go, but in the 15 years since the James Beard Foundation began recognizing outstanding restaurant design, ambience has become an essential element of the dining experience.


Reflect upon your favorite meal of the past year: whether it involved impeccable flatware, plush upholstery, perfectly balanced acoustics, or regional authenticity, the design and overall ambience are likely to have played a starring, albeit subtle, role in the memory.


The heightened role of design within restaurant culture has grown out of ever savvier diners, a growing awareness of design in everyday life, and food blogs that splash photos of restaurant interiors before the first dish is even plated, setting new standards for the overall dining experience. These days, design can... Read more >

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Opening Today: A Place at the Table

Tom Colicchio didn't live-tweet this week's Top Chef finale, but he had a decent excuse: the JBF Award winner was attending the premiere of A Place at the Table, a new documentary about hunger in America, co-directed by his wife, Lori Silverbush, and Kristi Jacobson. The film, which was shown at Sundance, follows three individuals who struggle with food insecurity, and includes commentary from Colicchio, actor Jeff Bridges, author Raj Patel, nutrition policy expert Marion Nestle, and others. A Place at the Table opens today, so have a look at the list of theaters that are showing this important work. Watch the official trailer below:


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America's Classic Update: Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe

Boston's Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe, a James Beard Foundation America's Classic


For more than 15 years, the James Beard Foundation has honored some of the country’s most beloved regional restaurants with its America’s Classic Award. These establishments, often family-owned, are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal.


To coincide with our announcement of the 2013 inductees, we’re unlocking the America’s Classics vault and checking in on some past winners. Today's update: Boston's Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe, which received the award in 2005.




Since Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe opened more than 80 years ago, a member (or four) of the Manjourides family has manned its counter. The restaurant still proudly owns a secondhand icebox from 1927, and the same historical memorabilia lingers on its walls. As co-owner Arthur... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of March 3

Chefs assemble in the kitchen at the Beard House.


Here's what's on deck at JBF next week:


Sunday, March 3, 12:00 P.M.

Great Neighborhood Brunch

A protégé of Marc Vetri, Pat Szoke is swiftly earning his own laurels for his innovative approach at the Industry, the aptly named Philadelphia gastropub where local chefs and restaurateurs flock during their time off. This delightful brunch will highlight chef Szoke’s whimsical, modern twists on familiar comfort fare.


Monday, March 4, 7:00 P.M.

Philippe Chin and Friends

Philippe Chin first gained acclaim as the JBF Award–nominated chef of Philadelphia’s Chanterelles, and over the years he has brought his inventive Asian cooking to restaurants along the eastern seaboard. At this reunion dinner, some... Read more >

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JBF Kitchen Cam