America's Classic: Keens Steakhouse

 

72 W. 36th Street, NYC 
Owner: George Schwarz

 

New York City specializes in new restaurants, not old ones, and local interest in them is generally measured in months instead of years. So it’s nothing short of astonishing that a 120-something-year-old restaurant has managed to stay both relevant and wildly popular in the middle of Manhattan.

 

Albert Keen, a theater producer, opened the restaurant in 1885, when the Herald Square Theatre District thrived. Actors came in for a drink between acts. Today, the walls are decorated with over 50,000 clay pipes, donated by celebrated customers like Teddy Roosevelt and Albert Einstein, souvenirs from an era when smoke clouded many restaurants. George Schwarz, the current owner, took over in the late 1970s, investing much money and sweat equity in reviving the restaurant.

 

What Keens has always done well is to age and grill meat. It was one of the first restaurants to... Read more >

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Gala Chef Q & A: Todd English

JBF Award winner Todd English

 

JBF Award Winner Todd English, Todd English Enterprises, Charlestown, MA

 

What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure food?

I’m a Southern boy and I have to admit I do love fried chicken.

 

What’s your favorite movie, and why?

Midnight in Paris is a great movie—I love the nostalgia of it, and Paris is such a beautiful city.

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

I just had the most delicious steak at Wolfgang’s CUT in L.A. Perfectly seasoned and perfectly cooked.

 

What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

Anything that came off the wood-fire rotisserie I had in my original Olives restaurant in Boston. I used to do this amazing wood-fired whole stuffed rabbit on the rotisserie that was so delicious, there were lines out the door of people wanting to try it.

 

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Peanut M&Ms... Read more >

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Gala Chef Q & A: JBF Award Winner Matt Molina

JBF Award winner Matt Molina

 

JBF Award Winner Matt Molina, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles

 

What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure food?

Ice cream.

 

What’s your favorite movie, and why?

The Natural. It makes me feel nostalgic about my childhood.

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

Bludso’s BBQ. Because it was tasty, and there was beer and— more importantly—my friends.

 

What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

Bucatini alla amatriciana.

 

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Popcorn.

 

What’s your earliest food memory?

Penne with sausage and tomato.

 

What do you eat for breakfast?

Cereal.

 

What was your first job in the culinary world?

Prep cook at a trattoria.

 ... Read more >

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A Chef, an Actor, a Restaurant Critic, a Food Stylist, and a Professor Walk into the Beard House: A Roundtable Discussion on Food and Film

 

The making of the timpano in Big Night. The edge-of-your-seat ending of Kings of Pastry. The food-as-foreplay scene in Tom Jones. As a prop, a plot device, and, more recently, the main subject, food has long played a pivotal role in some of our favorite cinematic experiences (not all of them appetizing: La Grande Bouffe, anyone?).

 

To gain insight into this cultural intersection in anticipation of the film-focused 2013 Beard Awards, our own Mitchell Davis moderated a lively roundtable discussion in the Beard House boardroom between actor and JBF Awards host Oliver Platt, New York magazine restaurant critic (and Oliver’s brother) Adam Platt, chef and film buff Paul Liebrandt, film food stylist and former Martha Stewart Living food editorial director Susan Spungen, and New School food studies professor Fabio Parasecoli.

 

Over the course of several hours—and an excellent dinner prepared by Philly-based chef Joe Cicala—the group discussed... Read more >

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Food in Film: Opening Video

Welcome to the 2013 Beard Awards! This year's theme is Lights! Camera! Taste!: Spotlight on Food & Film. Here are some of our favorite cinematic food moments.

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Ask a Chef: Movie Munchies

 

We asked some of our past JBF Rising Star Chef award winners and nominees what they like to snack on when they’re at the movies. While many stick to the classic buttery, salty popcorn, here are some other options to try if you want to mix it up next time you hit the theater—or curl up on the couch.

 

Marcus Samuelsson
Red Rooster, NYC

“I love a good salty snack when I’m watching movies. Either plain salted peanuts or there’s also a mix of Ethiopian peanuts and barley that is especially satisfying."

 

Gabriel Rucker
Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

“Sour Patch Kids.”

 

Allison Vines-Rusing
MiLa, New Orleans

“Truffled popcorn.”

 

Todd English
Olives, NYC

“Peanut M&Ms.”

 

Michael Mina
Michael Mina, San Francisco

“I love roasted cashews, almonds, and peanuts. And a bowl of salted-caramel popcorn always goes perfectly with a movie!”... Read more >

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Q & A with Beasts of the Southern Wild Producer Josh Penn

Producer Josh Penn explains the use of food sysmbolism in his film, Beasts of the Southern Wild

 

It doesn’t have its own category on the awards circuit, but food often plays a prominent role in the layers of a film. We talked with Josh Penn, a producer of the 2013 Oscar-nominated indie film Beasts of the Southern Wild, to learn more about how food can be a defining instrument on the silver screen.

 

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JBF: Food is often woven throughout the stories we see on the screen. Why do you think it’s such a successful symbolic device in film?

 

Josh Penn: Food carries a lot of cultural and societal indications; it’s at the forefront of most cultures, in general, so you can demonstrate a lot about people and their backgrounds by showing what they eat and how they eat it. It can mark an individual’s place in society, socioeconomic status, and... Read more >

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How to Follow the 2013 Beard Awards

James Beard Awards night at New York City's Lincoln Center


Not joining us for the ceremonies this year? Not to worry! There are plenty of ways for you to get your fill of the Beards online.

 

Our Twitter page will be fired up for this Friday's Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards dinner at New York City's Gotham Hall, as well as for Monday night's gala at Lincoln Center. Winners will be tweeted as they are announced on stage. As always, you can use hashtag #jbfa to participate in Awards-related tweeting.

 

On Monday, here on our blog, we'll be posting videos about the America's Classics inductees, Q &... Read more >

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2013 Publication of the Year

ChopChop is the James Beard Foundation's 2013 Publication of the Year

 

ChopChop demonstrates that a print publication with the right message can still shine: its pages and its lively website, chopchopmag.com, pulse with energy. The magazine features smart recipes and engaging projects that are fun and informative for both the children and the grownups who read it. The photographs are lively, the layout upbeat, and the stories send positive messages about eating right and cooking with healthy ingredients without ever talking down to readers.

 

We applaud ChopChop’s mission: “To inspire and teach kids to cook and eat real food with their families.” And we uphold its philosophy: “We believe that cooking and eating together
as a family is a vital step in resolving the obesity and hunger epidemics.”

 

ChopChop is the brainchild of cookbook author Sally Sampson, who sought a way to use her... Read more >

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2013 Journalism Awards Recap

Here's our final recap from tonight's ceremony: the Journalism Award winners! Stay tuned for Publication of the Year.

 

The 2013 Journalism Award winners:

 

Cooking, Recipes, or Instruction
Matt Goulding, Matthew Kadey with Tamar Adler, and Paul Kita
Men’s Health
The Butcher Is Back!,” “The Six-Pack Foods of Summer,” “Southern Food Rises Again

 

Craig Claiborne Distinguished Restaurant Review Award
Tejal Rao
Village Voice
“Bangkok Pop, No Fetishes,” “The Sweet Taste of Success,”... Read more >

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