Q & A with Ignacio Mattos of Isa

Anna Mowry interviews chef Ignacio Mattos of Isa

 

After years of cooking faithful renderings of authentic Italian cuisine at Il Buco, chef Ignacio Mattos crossed the East River and introduced Brooklyn to his  "modern primitive" aesthetic at Isa. Now that the restaurant is up for a Best New Restaurant award, we caught up with Mattos to talk about his plating philosophy and cooking in Brooklyn.

 

JBF: Smoke and wood play a big role in Isa, from the food to the décor. What’s the weirdest ingredient you’ve ever smoked?

 

IM: One time I smoked some butter, but I can’t remember what it was for. At Isa we have smoked pretty much everything. 

 

JBF: Many of Isa’s desserts are rooted in vegetal and other unexpected flavors. What’s the thought process behind creating a dessert?

 

IM: Pam Yung, our very talented pastry chef, has a very refined and elegant... Read more >

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Q & A with Mark Liberman of AQ

 

At San Francisco's AQ, which is nominated for a Best New Restaurant award, chef Mark Liberman merges Northern California's hyper-seasonal style with a rigorous but discreet use of modernist techniques. We got in touch with him to discuss his cooking philosophy, the best dish on the current AQ menu, and his favorite American foods.

 

JBF: AQ is very devoted to seasonal cooking. Are there particular ingredients at the markets that you can’t wait to get your hands on each year?
 

ML: Right now we’re heading into spring; we’re at the strange seasonal place where it isn’t quite spring yet, but it isn’t winter anymore. I’m looking forward to cooking with purple artichokes and young fava beans.
 

JBF: AQ is clearly a disciple of the California philosophy of cooking, but you’ve also cooked in very technique-driven restaurants, like Daniel and L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. How do you find a balance between the two? What guides you?

 

ML: I think it’s... Read more >

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Q & A with Seamus Mullen of Tertulia

Seamus Mullen of Tertulia, interviewed by the James Beard Foundation

 
 

A Vermont-raised chef may not be the likeliest candidate to serve the most sought-after tapas in New York City, but ever since Seamus Mullen and his slow-grilled turbot scored a rave from the Times, it’s been nearly impossible to score a seat at his restaurant, Tertulia. If you have eaten there, you know why it’s nominated for a Best New Restaurant award. Read on to see what Mullen told us about the lessons he learned while cooking in Spain, the challenges of cooking authentic Spanish cuisine in America, and where he likes to nosh on his days off. 

 
 
JBF: What’s the story behind the name Tertulia?
 
SM: In Spanish a tertulia translates to a chat or a get-together. It's usually accompanied by wine and, inevitably, food. When I was in college studying Spanish literature, we had a weekly tertulia at my

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Q & A with Fiola's Fabbio Trabocchi

Fabbio Trabocchi of Fiola, nominated for the James Beard Foundation's Best New Restaurant award

 

When the Washington, D.C.-based eatery Fiola opened its doors in 2011, it was immediately met with rave reviews for its seasonally driven Italian cuisine—and now it's nominated for our Best New Restaurant award. We got in touch with chef/owner and JBF Award Winner Fabio Trabocchi to discuss what inspired him to become a chef, his favorite spring dish, and what he considers to be the best resource on authentic Italian cuisine.

 

JBF: What’s the significance of the name Fiola?
 
FT: It’s a word from an Italian dialect from the Le Marche region of Italy, which is where I’m from. It’s comparable to "sweetheart" in English.
 
JBF: What’s your favorite dish on the menu right now and why?
 
FT: Anything that involves shellfish, seafood, and spring vegetables. One of my favorite... Read more >

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Order 2012 JBF Award–Nominated Books from our Amazon Store

The James Beard Foundation Amazon store

 

Calling all cookbook fiends! You can now purchase 2012 JBF Award-nominated books from our Amazon store. How is this different from regular old Amazon, you ask? A percentage of each purchase made through the our store, whether it's a book or something completely unrelated to food, will be donated to JBF. So start browsing! You know you can squeeze a few more titles on those bookshelves.

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Q & A with Dave Beran of Next

JBF senior editor Anna Mowry interviews with JBF Award nominee Dave Beran of Next

 

Among Chicago’s strong showing in the JBF Award nominations, Grant Achatz’s massively popular Next boasts two nods: the restaurant itself is up for Best New Restaurant, while its executive chef, Alinea alum Dave Beran, is nominated for our Rising Star Chef of the Year award. We chatted with chef Beran about Next’s future, inspirational cookbooks, and his favorite meal of the past year. 

 

JBF: We’ve heard that there are Sicily and Kyoto menus in the pipeline for Next. Have you guys done any brainstorming about other periods in history or cuisines that you’d like the tackle this year or beyond?

 

DB: So far those are the only historical menus planned for 2012. I’ve been interested in a menu pertaining to pre- and post-Imperialist India—sort of a compare and contrast thing. There... Read more >

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For Another Taste of the Beard Awards, Buy Our Book!

The James Beard Foundation's Best of the Best

 

Now that we've announced our JBF Award nominations, it's going to be a long wait before we all find out who takes home medals on May 4 and 7. In the meantime, get your fill of Awards action by ordering a copy of our new book, The James Beard Foundation's Best of the Best, which features delicious recipes from every winner of our Outstanding Chef Award, from Wolfgang Puck to Tom Colicchio. (For those of you who are keeping track, there wasn't enough time to produce a chapter about our 2011 winner, José Andrés, between last year's ceremony and press time, but we're putting one together that will be published here.) If you order a copy from... Read more >

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Save the Date: 2012 JBF Food Conference and Leadership Awards

The James Beard Foundation Food Conference

 

On October 17 and 18, 2012, please join us for our annual JBF Food Conference and Leadership Awards at the Hearst Tower in New York City. To receive updates and registration information, please send us a note at: foodconference@jamesbeard.org.

 

JBF Food Conference:
Topic: A Crisis in Confidence: Creating a Better, More Sustainable Food World We Can Trust
October 17 and 18, 2012
 

As we converse about our food system, an underlying theme of trust emerges. So much effort on a global scale goes into ensuring that healthy, wholesome, and nutritious food gets to as many people as possible, but all it takes is an E. Coli outbreak or an environmental accident to chip away at consumer faith. What’s more, where people place their trust—in large corporations, in small, local producers, in third-party certification, in government regulation, in scientific research—is... Read more >

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Awards Watch: 2012 America’s Classics Award Honorees Announced

The James Beard Foundation Awards

Today we’re proud to announce the the newest class of America’s Classics inductees, which are listed below. You can read more about them here.

The Fry Bread House (4140 North 7th Avenue, Phoenix, Owner: Cecelia Miller)

Nora’s Fish Creek Inn (5600 West Highway 22, Wilson, WY, Owners: Nora Tygum, Trace Tygum, and Kathryn Tygum Taylor)

St. Elmo Steak House (127 South Illinois St., Indianapolis, Owners: Stephen Huse and Craig Huse)

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner (219 West Louisiana St., Marianna, AR, Owners: James and Betty Jones)

Shady Glen (840 East Middle Turnpike, Manchester, CT, Owners: William and Annette Hoch)

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Awards Watch: Nominations Revealed Today!

 

It's a big day for JBF! In addition to debuting our new look here at jamesbeard.org, we're also revealing nominations for the 2012 James Beard Awards. That means that there are only a few hours left before you find out who will be getting nods for our various Restaurant and Chef; Book; Broadcast Media; Journalism; and Restaurant Design and Graphics awards. If you need a refresher on who made our long list of semifinalists, you can see the full list here.

 

We have a tradition of announcing the nominations in a different major city every year. This year JBF's top brass has assembled in Las Vegas, where they will begin announcing the nominations at the Venetian/the Palazzo at 11:00 PST/2:00 EST. If you want to watch the fun in Sin City, head over to Eater's National edition for a live feed. We will also be revealing the nominations in real time on ... Read more >

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