Ask a Chef: Make or Buy Bread?

While it may seem that the scale has tipped toward housemade everything, even top toques will admit that the best option sometimes lies outside the restaurant kitchen. We asked chefs from around the country to spill about what they source in and out of house. They share their thoughts on bread in our final installment.

 

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JBF Award Winner John Besh, Besh Restaurant Group, New Orleans: 

“I always said I would not make bread in my restaurants until I could make it as well as the bakers down the street. Now I have chefs that are able to do that, and I'm even opening a bakery, Willa Jean, with Kelly Fields and Lisa White.”

 

 

JBF Award Winner Ashley Christensen, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar, and Poole’s Downtown Diner, Raleigh, North Carolina:

“Bread is currently a split for us. We supplement house-baked breads with Tribeca Oven par-baked baguettes. We have a very talented pastry chef... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: Make or Buy Charcuterie?

While it may seem that the scale has tipped toward housemade ​everything, even top toques will admit that the best option sometimes lies outside the restaurant kitchen. We asked chefs from around the country to spill about what they source in and out of house. Today we hear their stances on charcuterie.

 

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JBF Award Winner John Besh, Besh Restaurant Group: 

“We started raising hogs, and even went to the extent of buying a slaughterhouse, so that we would have access to the best pork to use for the sausage we make in our restaurants. “

 

 

JBF Award Winner Ashley Christensen, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar, and Poole’s Downtown Diner, Raleigh, North Carolina:

“We make all of our fresh sausages in-house. It’s a really neat means of harnessing specific flavors and bringing out unique characteristics in the various meats by way of ingredients, grinds, textures, and fat content. And... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: Make or Buy Pickles?

 

While it may seem that the scale has tipped toward housemade ​everything, even top toques will admit that the best option sometimes lies outside the restaurant kitchen. We asked chefs from around the country to spill about what they source in and out of house. In our first installment, the pros dish on their pickling preferences.

 

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JBF Award Winner Ashley Christensen, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar, and Poole’s Downtown Diner, Raleigh, North Carolina: 

“We make all kinds of pickles in-house. At Chuck's, we do dill cucumber burger pickles, at Beasley's we pickle green tomatoes for the fried chicken thigh biscuits, and at Poole's we have our pickled spring ramps and the fermented beet tops that we use to spike relishes and mayos. With all of the bounty of North Carolina, it’s not a question of to pickle or not, it’s what to pickle next.”

 

 

JBF Award Winner Maria... Read more >

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Ask the Chefs: What's Your Favorite Holiday Dessert?

crème caramel

 

It’s no secret that chefs tend to have a sweet tooth. Here, some of our 2014 regional Best Chef award winners share their all-time favorite desserts, and where to get them. From Paris to Boston, we’ve got your cravings covered.

 

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Justin Aprahamian / Sanford, Milwaukee

One of my favorite desserts is the simplest: my grandfather always ate brick cheese and watermelon for dessert. The refreshing, sweet melon and the salty cheese is an enduring taste memory.

 

 

Dave Beran / Next, Chicago

It’s a tie. Jordan Kahn did a carrot, yogurt, and violet dessert at Red Medicine in Los Angeles that was incredible. Each bite brought more to life. And last year at Alex Stupak’s Push Project, Lauren Resler made a traditional apple pie. It was one of the most perfect pies I have ever had: flaky crust, delicious, not too sweet, and the filling had great structure. I could eat a slice of it for breakfast every day.

 ... Read more >

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Chef Op-Ed: How to Feed the World, Hari Pulapaka

 

From health professionals and farmers to chefs and activists, it seems like the food system is on everyone's minds lately. How can we channel this widespread concern into meaningful action? Below, Katherine Miller of Chef Action Network, our partner organization behind our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change, and chef and Boot Camp alum Hari Pulapaka propose a more collaborative approach to debating policy.

 

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Can every person in the world be fed? Yes. But only if the conversation and actions about food are realigned.

 

Later this week, leaders from over 190 governments will gather at the International Conference on Nutrition in Rome to debate, consider and, hopefully, commit to finding ways to provide healthy, delicious, sustainable and just food for all.... Read more >

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Eat Your Vegetables Twitter Chat on Wednesday, November 5

Swiss Chard

 

Want to learn more about cooking vegetables from some of the world's most renowned culinary icons? To celebrate our recently launched recipe app, we're hosting a live Twitter chat to discuss everything from inspiring recipes to helpful techniques to seasonal tips with a panel of some of the JBF Outstanding Chef award winners featured in the app. Join us on Wednesday, November 5th at 2:00 P.M. EST and ask the experts for advice! 

 

Panelists: 

 

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Ask the Chefs: Healthy Eats

 

For kitchen pros, it can’t be all foie and filet mignon all the time. Below, attendees at our recent Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change share their favorite healthy eats. 

 

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What’s your favorite healthy snack?

 

Anthony Lamas,  Seviche Restaurant, Louisville, KY
“I love to make a Mexican fruit salad of watermelon, jicama, and pineapple seasoned with a squeeze of lime, chile powder, and salt."

 

Jordan Lloyd, Bartlett Pear Inn, Easton, MD
“Anything fresh from the garden or sliced charcuterie—I feel that feeding the soul is a healthy decision.”
 

Ana Sortun, Oleana, Boston
“My favorite organic, sugar-free chocolate bar with a spoonful of sunflower butter, or a frozen banana and almond milk in the blender to make a quick soft-serve.”

 

 

When you give in to an... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: What’s Your Favorite Sandwich?

sandwich

 

While we were pondering the art of sandwichmaking, it seemed only natural to tap our All-Star Chefs—who will be traveling around the country as part of the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America culinary tour this fall—for their picks. Below, our top toques fill us in on their favorite sandwiches.

 

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Grant Achatz (Chicago / October 17-18)
“A Potbelly sandwich works. I like the vegetarian with everything on it. It’s fresh, warm, delicious, and inexpensive.”

 

Daniel Boulud (NYC / October 10-11)
“My favorite is a Provençal pan bagnat. It’s focaccia-style bread with cucumbers, avocado, eggs, olive oil–poached tuna, tomatoes, lemon zest, basil, and olive oil, and then it’s pressed. With it I would drink rosé!”

 

Ludo Lefebvre (Boston / October 24-25)
“As a French chef, I think the croque monsieur is the king of sandwiches. It’s crispy... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: Mike Isabella's Culinary Travel Inspiration

 

For our travel issue of JBF Notes, we asked top toques about their favorite international locales for culinary inspiration. Below, chef Mike Isabella of Kapnos, Graffiato, and G Sandwich in Washington, D.C., shares his picks for Lima, Peru:

 

Some of the vegetables and seafood in Peru are unlike anything you can get anywhere else in the world. It's so fresh and unique.

 

Chef Gaston Acurio's La Mar is a really special place. Gaston is one of the most talented chefs in the world, and La Mar was so successful in Lima he opened locations in New York and San Francisco. Memorable dishes include the sea urchin ceviche and the black clam ceviche.

 

Ayacucho for the coy (guinea pig). Trying it is a really unique experience. It's marinated, then deep-fried for twenty minutes. It's flavorful and falls off the bone. 

 ... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: Where to Eat in Hong Kong

For our travel issue of JBF Notes, we asked top toques about their favorite international locales for culinary inspiration. Below, 2014 JBF Outstanding Pastry Chef award winner Dominique Ansel shares his picks for Hong Kong:

 

Lamma Island (photo by Andy Enero)

 

Seafood

Taking a little ferry from Hong Kong to Lamma Island for seafood was an unforgettable experience. Something as simple as shrimp was so sweet and tender and worked perfectly with sliced fresh chiles and soy sauce. And don’t forget to try the mantis prawn, or “pissing shrimp,” which comes with a mountain of fried garlic.

 

Dim Sum

Whether you try one of the aged institutions like Lin Heung Tea House, choose a crowd favorite like Maxim’s City Hall, or go for the fine-dining Michelin star–rated dim sum in the Four Seasons’ Lung King Heen, I really believe that trying fresh-made dim sum can be such an inspiration. Every... Read more >

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