Tune into the Beard Awards Gala on Monday, May 4

Lyric Opera of Chicago

 

Time to unroll the red carpet and polish the Champagne flutes: next Monday is the culinary industry's biggest night. What's more, it's the 25th anniversary of the Beards, and, for the first time ever, we're bringing the show to the great city of Chicago.

 

Not joining us at Lyric Opera of Chicago? That's okay—It's easy to follow along at home. And why not invite a few friends over for a JBF Award viewing party? Just tune into our live broadcast at jamesbeard.org/awards. The ceremony begins at 6:00 P.M. Central. We'll also be covering the chef-studded red carpet on our Periscope account (username "Beard Foundation") starting at 5:00 P.M. Central. As always, we'll be live-tweeting the ceremony @beardfoundation and, here on our blog, posting videos from the show, winner recaps, and great reads about the America's... Read more >

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Sponsored Post: HMSHost's Innovative Dining at O'Hare

Chef Susumu Shibata in the O’Hare Urban Garden

 

When the best of America’s culinary industry descends on Chicago for the James Beard Awards Gala next week, they’ll touch down at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, one of the busiest aviation hubs in the country.

 

The 80 million travelers who traverse O’Hare’s terminals daily are no strangers to culinary excellence, thanks to the abundant dining options provided by HMSHost. One of the world’s largest restaurateurs, HMSHost has developed an innovative dining program that’s in step with current food trends, including restaurants that source from local farmers and use fresh herbs from O’Hare Urban Garden, located in Terminal 3.

 

Like the James Beard Awards, HMSHost is invested in nurturing culinary talent. The company’s recent “... Read more >

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Viewing Party Recipe: Monferrato Cocktail

 

Snacks by JBF Award–winning chefs? Check. Entertaining tips from a consummate host? Check. Your viewing party plan for the James Beard Awards this coming Monday, May 4, is almost complete. But what about some tipples to tip your hat to our beverage nominees? Don't worry, we've got you covered there, too. Leo Robitschek, of the 2014 JBF Outstanding Bar Program Award–winning NoMad Bar, developed the Monferrato Cocktail to equal parts celebratory and refined. This Champagne-anchored drink is the perfect way to toast all the winners on Awards night. Get the recipe here.

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Interview with Ted Lemon, Nominated for Outstanding Wine, Beer, Spirits Professional

 

Ted Lemon, founder of Littorai Wines, has worked at wineries the world over, running a Burgundy estate (as the first American to do so) and consulting in New Zealand. His breadth of experience and passion for ethically growing and sourcing his ingredients make him a strong nominee for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional. We spoke to him about the naming of his vineyard, the impact of the California drought, and more.

 

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JBF: Among your 2015 releases, what are you most excited about?

 

Ted Lemon: All of the vineyard-designated 2013 Pinot Noirs. They have muscle, grip, and a sense of place. Pretty is not the descriptor I would use.

 

JBF: Littorai means “coasts” in Latin. What’s the story behind this name?

 

TL: In 1993, [my wife] Heidi and I did not have the money to afford a trademark, so we needed something that was sufficiently obscure that no one would trademark it... Read more >

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Interview with Eli Kaimeh of Per Se, Nominated for Outstanding Restaurant

 

Although Per Se debuted a decade after a certain acclaimed sibling restaurant in California, this fine-dining temple, perched high in New York City's Time Warner building, has enjoyed its own abundant successes. The three-Michelin-starred property is an oasis on every level, beckoning epicureans from all corners of the globe with its unparalleled luxuries and cuisine. Below, we caught up with chef de cuisine Eli Kaimeh to get the inside scoop on the Outstanding Restaurant nominee’s tasting menus, the team's pioneering work with vegetables, and their take on gluten-free substitutions. 

 

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JBF: While some of Per Se’s signature dishes (such as oysters and pearls) remain, we know that the world-renowned menu is constantly evolving. Can you tell us about a dish or two that’s currently on the menu that really captures the restaurant’s point of... Read more >

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Entertaining Tips from Carla Hall

 

To help you prep for a stellar Beard Awards viewing party, we tapped the chef, television personality, and host of our 2015 Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards, Carla Hall, for some sage advice. Below, the former caterer shares her top tips.

 

Turn Down the Volume

 

I want background music at a cocktail party, not something that will take over the conversations. The playlist depends on the crowd you’re entertaining, but jazz is always a good place to start.

 

Make It Ahead

 

I like to prep and cook as much as I possibly can in advance. I want to enjoy my guests! Plus, as a recovering caterer, I can’t help but think that way. Even the hot... Read more >

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Overheard at the 2015 JBF Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards

 

The winners of last weekend's 2015 Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards were as eloquent in their acceptance speeches as they were in their winning bodies of work. We couldn’t help but note some of the most inspiring, hilarious, and quotable lines of the night to share, below. 

 

“Is that Rick Bayless right there? That’s the coolest thing ever.”

— Keith Schroeder, Focus on Health Book Award winner for Cooking Light Mad Delicious: The Science of Making Healthy Food Taste Amazing​

 

“Anyone can butcher—which also sounds like the sequel to Ratatouille.”

— Adam Danforth, Reference and Scholarship Book Award winner for Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering

 

“I hope this book can inspire people to tread more lightly and compost.”

— Amy Chaplin, Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian Book Award... Read more >

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Interview with Stuart Brioza of the Progress, Nominated for Best New Restaurant

 

San Francisco power duo Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski are no stranger to the James Beard Awards: in 2013, the pair took home our Best New Restaurant medallion for State Bird Provisions, and now, just two years later, they’re nominated in the same category for their newest concept, the Progress, located just next door. Read on for Stuart Brioza's insights on the restaurant's unique shared-plates format, its organic environs, and where he plans to chow down in Chicago.

 

JBF: We’ve been asking all of the chefs behind our Best New Restaurant nominees to tell us the stories behind the restaurants’ names. Can you share yours?

 

Stuart Brioza: ​The Progress was actually the name of the theater that our restaurant’s building was originally built as in 1911.

 ... Read more >

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Recipes for Your LIVE Beard Awards Viewing Party​

 

The culinary industry's biggest night goes down this weekend, so start planning a gathering with your food-loving friends for a screening of the James Beard Awards! On Monday, May 4, the 2015 ceremony will be streamed live from Lyric Opera of Chicago, where your favorite food world stars and hometown heroes will take the stage to claim their silver medallions. No viewing party would be complete without a selection of decadent and crowd-pleasing canapés, so whip up these elegant bites from past Beard Award winners, and you’ll be voted Outstanding Chef in your own circle. 

 

Easiest Chicken Liver Mousse

 

Every party spread needs a luxe, spreadable treat. This one comes from Jamie Bissonnette, our 2014 Best Chef: Northeast and co-... Read more >

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Interview with April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig, Nominated for Outstanding Restaurant

April Bloomfield

 

For ten years, the Spotted Pig has assuredly upheld an egalitarian ethos while also basking in enviable cultural cachet—no easy feat in one of the world’s most fickle and fastidious dining cities. Now that the restaurant has earned its first Outstanding Restaurant nomination, we discussed the Pig's enduring appeal, its under-the-radar best dishes, and more with executive chef April Bloomfield.

 

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JBF: Congrats on your nomination! All of our Outstanding Restaurant nominees have been operating for at least ten years. We’d love to hear your thoughts on why the Pig has been successful for an entire decade, and why New Yorkers continue to love to dine there.

 

AB: Thank you so much! We are thrilled to be nominated. It is such an honor to be recognized for this restaurant that means so much to me. I think people like the Pig because it offers a welcoming, comfy space where you can get delicious, consistent... Read more >

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