2014 America’s Classics: Olneyville New York System

 

Olneyville New York System
20 Plainfield Street, Providence, RI 
Owners: Stephanie Stevens Turini and Greg Stevens

 

Olneyville New York System, despite its name, serves food that is distinctive to Rhode Island. Slathered with mustard, topped with meat sauce, sprinkled with celery salt and onions, and served in a steamed bun, the hot wiener is signature, as are the salt-and-vinegar French fries. The preferred drink is coffee milk, made in Rhode Island by flavoring milk with a sweetened coffee concentrate called coffee syrup.

 

Olneyville has been a family affair since Anthony Stavrianakos, a Greek immigrant, opened the diner in 1946 with his son, Nicholas. (Nicholas later anglicized the family name to Stevens.) Nicholas’s son Peter took over from him. Peter’s son Greg started as a dishwasher at age 13. Now he and his sister Stephanie are fourth-generation owners. 

 

Olneyville was once the... Read more >

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Winner Recap!

 

Lifetime Achievement: Sirio Maccioni, Le Cirque, NYC

 

Best Chef: Northwest: Naomi Pomeroy, Beast, Portland, OR

 

Best Chef: Northeast: Jamie Bissonnette, Coppa, Boston

 

Who’s Who Inductees (Part 1 of 2): Ed Behr, John Besh, David Chang

 

Best Chef: Southwest: Chris Shepherd, Underbelly, Houston

 

Best Chef: West: Daniel Patterson, Coi, San Francisco

 

America’s Classic: Perini Ranch Steakhouse, Buffalo Gap, TX

 

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2014 America’s Classics: Perini Ranch Steakhouse

 

Perini Ranch Steakhouse
3002 FM 89, Buffalo Gap, TX 
Owners: Tom and Lisa Perini

 

Cowboy cook and rancher Tom Perini made a bold decision in 1983. With oil and cattle prices depressed, he turned a hay barn on his family spread into a restaurant, hoping to draw folks from nearby Abilene. Serving Texas standards with genuine hospitality, he has created a signature rural roadhouse. 

 

Grilled steaks are the heart of the menu. Tom knew that if he opted for prime beef, he’d price himself out of the local market. He chose instead to grill the best choice rib-eyes, strips, and filets. The appeal of those steaks owes much to mesquite. The scrubby, thorny trees grow everywhere in this arid terrain. And their coals yield a pungent smoke that perfumes the air. 

 

Comfort foods and chuckwagon favorites... Read more >

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Winner Recap!

 

Rising Star of the Year: [TIE] Jimmy Bannos Jr, The Purple Pig, Chicago; and Blaine Wetzell, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Lummi Island, WA

 

America’s Classic: Sokolowski’s University Inn, Cleveland

 

Outstanding Bar Program: The Bar at the NoMad Hotel, NYC

 

Outstanding Wine Program: The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

 

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional: Garrett Oliver, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY

 

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2014 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Sirio Maccioni

 

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America.

 

Sirio Maccioni’s father once said that the only reason to go into a restaurant was to show off the beautiful woman on your arm. But if his father could have peeked into the future to see his son become the top restaurateur in New York City, he might have changed his stance. 

 

The owner of the legendary Le Cirque, which won JBF’s Outstanding Restaurant Award in 1995 and is approaching its 40th anniversary, Maccioni is a fixture of Manhattan fine dining, having introduced a benchmark for hospitality and launched the careers of many celebrated chefs. “Le Cirque was the first buoyant, fun, four-star restaurant we have ever known,” notes JBF trustee Michael Lomonaco, who says that the greatest highlight of his career was nabbing a spot on the line at Le Cirque working under chefs Alain Sailhac and Daniel... Read more >

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2014 America’s Classics: Sokolowski’s University Inn

 

Sokolowski’s University Inn
1201 University Road, Cleveland 
Owners: Bernard Sokolowski, Mary Balbier, and Michael Sokolowski

 

In 1923 Victoria and Michael Sokolowski founded a Polish restaurant on a bank of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. Today, Sokolowski’s University Inn serves edible homages to the city’s immigrant-driven industrial past, dishing sturdy comfort foods like the cabbage rolls that once fueled the city’s growth. 

 

Pierogis, stuffed with whipped potatoes, bathed in butter, and drenched in caramelized onions, are everyday specials. The Sokolowski family does right by Midwestern dishes, too. They beer-batter and fry Lake Erie perch. They craft their own bratwurst and smoked kielbasa. 

 

Originally a tavern when the Tremont neighborhood was flush with blue-collar steelworkers, Sokolowki’s expanded to cafeteria-style service in the 1950s, and has evolved more recently into a touchstone... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Jimmy Bannos Jr. of the Purple Pig

 

With his sights set on running his own eatery while he was practically still in diapers, fourth-generation chef and restaurateur Jimmy Bannos Jr. opened Chicago’s acclaimed Purple Pig at the tender age of 25. Below, the 2014 Rising Star Chef of the Year nominee fills us in on his go-to Windy City restaurant, his dream culinary travel destination, and the valuable lessons he learned while growing up in restaurant kitchens.

 

JBF: When did you know that you wanted to get into the business? And how has your family’s career, particularly your father’s, pushed you towards success? 

 

Jimmy Bannos Jr.: I always knew this was what I wanted to do, even when I was a toddler. There was no question; it was just automatic. One of the biggest advantages I’ve felt as a child of a culinary family is that I always knew what kind of... Read more >

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Interview with Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common

Anna Mowry interviews Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common, a nominee for the 2014 James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program

 

Clyde Common's drink list may be inspired by the classics, but don't expect the ordinary at this Portland gastropub. Its bar manager, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, was an early adopter of barrel aging and bottled cocktails, concepts that are now de rigeur in the industry. Below, Morgenthaler tells us his "trifecta" of indispensable cocktail books and what you should be ordering from the Clyde Common menu.

 

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JBF: How would you describe Clyde Common’s mixology style?

 

JM: We focus on simple and elegant cocktails that are intended to pair well with the beautiful food that comes out of our kitchen. Our drinks are rooted in the classics. We tailor them to fit our style and make them our own.

 

JBF: You guys do... Read more >

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Guilty-Pleasure Tunes

The 2014 James Beard Awards

 

Just like food vices (curly fries, anyone?), everyone has a guilty-pleasure musical treat they indulge in when the mood strikes (and, shhh, more than a few of our staffers copped to Katy Perry). We asked some of this year’s JBF Awards gala chefs to fill us in on their own musical vices—whether closeted or unabashed. Here are their top picks:

 

Jonathan Benno, Lincoln Ristorante, NYC

Notorious B.I.G.

 

Dante Boccuzzi, Dante, Cleveland

Styx

 

Bill Corbett, The Absinthe Group, San Francisco

Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”

 

JBF Award Winner Brooks Headley, Del Posto, NYC

“The Monkees. God, I love the Monkees. But I don’t feel that guilty about it...”

 

Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis

Queen’s “Somebody to Love”

 

Naomi Pomeroy, Beast,... Read more >

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The 2014 Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards Recap

 

 

Thanks for joining us for the 2014 Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards! Here's the full list of tonight's winners. Congratulations to all! 

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