JBF on the Air: Food Safety and Sustainability

Urvashi Rangan on Taste Matters

Buying natural, sustainable, and healthy food has become increasingly confusing in our hyper-marketed world. On yesterday's powerful episode of Taste Matters, JBF's Mitchell Davis got some straight facts from Urvashi Rangan, executive director of the Food Safety and Sustainability Center operated by Consumer Reports. Learn all about the truth behind "natural" labels, the dangers of food marketing, and the growing problem of "green noise" below:

 

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Q & A with JBF Award Nominee David Wondrich

Anna Mowry interviews JBF Award Nominee David Wondrich

 

After Prohibition virtually extinguished America’s rich cocktail culture, mixology entered a bleak age of sour mix, cranberry juice, and abuse of the “-tini” suffix. But thanks, in part, to cocktail historian David Wondrich, many of the recipes from bartending’s Golden Age are alive and well once more. Below, Wondrich, who is a nominee for our Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional award, tells us about his latest project, favorite new bars, and first non-liquid food memory. 

 

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JBF: You've been tapped to write The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails. How is that going? Is there an ETA?

 

DW: It's a huge job, that's for sure, but I'm already learning a great deal. We're trying to bring all kinds of Asian and African spirits into the discussion, from arrack to akpeteshie, baijiu to bukha. I've really just begun working on it—I've got a list of headwords and we're figuring out who... Read more >

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Q & A with Alex Stupak of the JBF Award–Nominated Empellón Cocina

Anna Mowry interviews Alex Stupak of Empéllon Cocina, a 2013 nominee for the JBF Best New Restaurant awards

 

Whether you initially thought that Alex Stupak’s decision to hang up his pastry chef hat and open his own taqueria was a brilliant move or a madcap experiment, everyone can now agree that the detour has paid off. His two young ventures, Empellón Taqueria and Empellón Cocina, have earned raves from local and national media, and the latter is one of our 2013 Best New Restaurant nominees. Below, the freshly minted Food & Wine Best New Chef tells us about the future of his restaurants, a regional Mexican cuisine that deserves more attention, and his favorite unwieldy Mexican dish in New York City.

 

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JBF: Empellon Cocina is about a year old now. What are you and your team focusing on over the course of the next year?

 

AS: Right... Read more >

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Q & A with JBF Award Nominee Dominique Ansel

Anna Mowry interviews JBF Award–nominated pastry chef Dominique Ansel

 

Hopes were high when Daniel alum Dominique Ansel launched his eponymous bakery in New York’s Soho neighborhood in November of 2011. On its opening day, the store sold out by 3:00 P.M., and the enthusiasm has only barely waned ever since. Now a nominee for our 2013 Outstanding Pastry Chef award, Ansel chatted with us about the unexpected success of his most popular item, the other pastry chefs he admires, and a perfect glass of milk.

 

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JBF: What is your favorite item from the current menu at Dominique Ansel? Which creation are you most proud of?

 

DA: Well, the DKA, a.k.a. Dominique’s Kouign Amann, changed my life. The kouign amann is a pastry from Brittany that’s been described as a “caramelized croissant”.  I remember first making it back at Fauchon, and later I baked some for the manager’s meetings at Daniel. Never once did I think that... Read more >

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Andrew Zimmern to be JBF's Chefs & Champagne® New York Guest of Honor

Andrew Zimmern will be the guest of honor at the James Beard Foundation's Chefs & Champagne this summer

 

Even though spring has only just settled in, we've already got summer on our minds. That's because one of our favorite events of the year, Chefs & Champagne® New York, is on for Saturday, July 20, at the always picturesque Wölffer Estate Vineyard on Long Island's North Fork. What's more, we've booked multiple James Beard Award-winning TV personality Andrew Zimmern as this year's guest of honor. The creator, host, and co-executive producer of Travel Channel’s hit series, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Bizarre Foods America, will be be joined by a talented corps of more than 35 chefs from around the country. As always, flowing Champagne, Wölffer wines, and Stella Artois® Belgian lager will also be on offer.

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Recipe Roundup: Mediterranean Seafood Supper

Recipe for Braised Octopus Salad with Capers and Preserved Lemon, adapted by the James Beard Foundation

 

Perfect for a weeknight dinner party, this four-course, fish-focused dinner is impressive and surprisingly easy to pull off. 

 

Basque-Style Steamed Clams with Chorizo 

Serve this fragrant bowl of brothy clams with a hunk of crusty bread for dipping. 

 

Braised Octopus Salad with Capers and Preserved Lemon 

The secret to preparing perfectly tender octopus? Many cooks believe adding a wine cork (or four) to the braising liquid does the trick. 

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