Interview with Rising Star Nominee David Posey

 

Now nearly 17 years old, Blackbird isn’t just one of Chicago’s most dependable fine restaurants; it’s still striving and innovating under the confident vision of chef de cuisine David Posey. A repeat nominee for Rising Star Chef of the Year, chef Posey tells us what to order on the current menu, his favorite new Windy City spots, and more.

 

 

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JBF: Dana Cree, Blackbird’s pastry chef, is also a nominated for a Beard Award this year. How do you two work together? Does she have total autonomy over the dessert program? What do you like about her desserts?

 

DP: Dana and I work and collaborate very well together. We bounce ideas off one another, share inspiration, and test dishes on each other. Both Dana and I, for the most part, have complete autonomy over our menus. However, executive chef Paul Kahan has the final say. I like seeing the evolution of her pastries from inception to the final plated... Read more >

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A Soundtrack to Savor

2014 JBF Award nominee Matt Jennings gives us his ideal playlist

 

A JBF Award nominee and self-professed music geek, Matt Jennings gave us his ideal playlist for a day in his life as chef of Farmstead, Inc., an acclaimed farm- and artisan-driven restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

Morning

City and Colour: The Hurry and the Harm (2013)

“Dallas Green, the former singer for the now defunct post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, has completely come into his own with this release. He croons. He swoons. His falsetto spreads like butter over low-reverb toast. A perfect wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee album.”

 

Daytime Prep

Sparta: Wiretap Scars (2002)

“During prep, it’s important that the crew keeps moving and pushing hard right up to service. I’m a hardcore and punk fan, and this album has the kind of driving sound that keeps you on track and... Read more >

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Interview with Outstanding Chef Award Nominee Suzanne Goin

Anna Mowry interviews Suzanne Goin, a nominee for the James Beard Foundation's 2014 Outstanding award

 

On the family tree of California restaurant empires, Suzanne Goin’s branch is sturdy, and still forming rings. Over the past decade and a half, along with business partner and fellow Beard nominee, Caroline Styne, she has built one of the most respected and acclaimed restaurant groups in Los Angeles. She also authored Sunday Suppers at Lucques, an essential title for many home cooks, and, last year, The A.O.C. Cookbook. In the following interview, Goin gets us up to speed on her latest venture and her last great meal.

 

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JBF: In February you and master baker Nathan Dakdouk opened ... Read more >

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How to Follow the 2014 Beard Awards

The 2014 James Beard Awards

 

Not joining us for the ceremonies at Lincoln Center 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 David H. Koch Theater. Winners will be tweeted as they are announced on stage. As always, you can use hashtag #jbfa to participate in Awards-related tweeting.

 

Also on Monday, we'll be streaming the ceremony live at jamesbeard.org/awards. And... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Jessica Largey of Manresa

 

Epicureans from around the country travel to the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains to get a taste of Manresa, where chef de cuisine Jessica Largey executes thoughtful, inventive, and elegant fare that’s steeped in the rich terroir of Northern California. Below, the 2014 nominee for our Rising Star Chef of the Year Award fills us in on her ideal kitchen playlist, earliest food memory, and thoughts on gender politics in the restaurant industry.

 

JBF: How would you describe your culinary style? 

 

Jessica Largey: I’d say that I have a naturalist approach, which is definitely something I’ve developed while at Manresa. I like using techniques that are purposeful and preserve the integrity of the product.  

 

JBF: What’s... Read more >

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Interview with Oustanding Chef Award Nominee Marc Vetri

Marc Vetri is a nominee for the 2014 James Beard Award for Oustanding Chef

 

When Marc Vetri opened his eponymous restaurant on Philadelphia’s Spruce Street 15 years ago, he served spicy penne with tomatoes and capers, a daily risotto, and other dishes that might seem light years away from what we see on current modern Italian menus. But today's bucatini-and-budino world remains undeniably linked to his emphasis on quality over quantity. We spoke to the Outstanding Chef award nominee, whose seventh restaurant will open this year, for details about his forthcoming pasta book and his new obsession with wheat.

 

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JBF: You celebrated Vetri's 15th anniversary last year. How has your experience with Vetri influenced how you open new concepts and maintain them?

 

MV: Vetri is its own thing. It can’t be reproduced in another restaurant. It’s way too personal, so I try to not compare any new project to it. It... Read more >

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Awards Watch: The 2014 Gala Reception Menu

The 2014 James Beard Awards

 

This year the James Beard Awards theme is “Sounds of the City,” and it celebrates the enduring relationship between music and food. After the medals are handed out, the gala reception at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater will feature chefs from some of America’s beloved musical cities creating dishes inspired by their favorite sounds, whether it’s a local musical act, a special song, or an impactful musician. Here's what's on the menu:

 

Jonathan Benno
Lincoln Ristorante, NYC
Dish: Muffaletta
Musical Inspiration: New Orleans Jazz

 

Dante Boccuzzi
Dante, Cleveland
Dish: The “Beet” of a Different Drum > Beet-Tinted Hamachi and Lemon–Caper Rémoulade
Musical Inspiration: Hard Rock

 

Jean-Paul Bourgeois and Jeffrey Held
Blue Smoke, NYC
Presented by Delta Air Lines®
Dish: Smoked Black Pepper Sausage with Pimento Cheese and... Read more >

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Interview with the Violet Hour’s Toby Maloney

The Violet Hour

 

The Violet Hour beckons discerning clientele with many luxuries: a romantic, serene space with floor-to-ceiling curtains, high-backed blue leather chairs, flickering candles and chandeliers; fine-tuned volume levels and elbow room; and an eclectic selection of artisanal cocktails made with painstaking precision. Below, partner/mixologist Toby Maloney tell us how the 2014 Outstanding Bar Program nominee is influenced by its Chicago environs, the poetic inspiration behind its name, and his favorite spring cocktail.

 

JBF: How would you describe the Violet Hour’s mixology style? 

 

Toby Maloney: We’ve been described as minimalist, traditionalist, and culinary-focused. I think we are an amalgamation of all of them.

 

JBF: Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the... Read more >

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Interview with Rising Star Nominee Katie Button

 

After jumping ship from academia, Katie Button has shot up the culinary ranks at warp speed. With a coveted stage at the late el Bulli under her apron strings, she now showcases her technical prowess and knack for innovation at Cúrate and the new Nightbell, her two family-owned and operated establishments in Asheville, North Carolina. We spoke with Button about her favorite dishes from her menus, her forthcoming cookbook, and why she never wants to stop learning.

 

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JBF: You just opened a new bar called Nightbell. Can you talk about what you're doing there? What’s the menu like? What's the story behind the name?

 

KB: The idea was to create a cocktail bar that offered the whole package: delicious bites, surprising desserts, and well-crafted cocktails. And we didn't stop there: we also handpicked a great variety of large-format, 22-ounce beers, and we offer... Read more >

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Interview with Outstanding Chef Award Nominee David Kinch

David Kinch of Manresa

 

Critically acclaimed for his inventive, Michelin-starred California cuisine at Manresa, David Kinch has followed his 2010 Best Chef: Pacific win with three straight Outstanding Chef semifinalist nods. Here, the 2014 JBF Award nominee tells us about his new cookbook, a recent food-filled jaunt to Japan, and where he finds his inspiration to continue evolving as a chef.

 

JBF: What’s your favorite item on the current Manresa menu?

 

David Kinch: Our menu changes before you can get really comfortable with any particular item. However, at the moment, we have these tiny, sweet carrots served in an Asian-style beef broth with toasted buckwheat and breadcrumbs that I’m very fond of.

 

JBF: Can you tell us about... Read more >

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