Gala Chef Q & A: JBF Award Winner Gabriel Rucker

JBF Award winner Gabriel Rucker

 

JBF Award Winner Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

 

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

In-N-Out cheeseburgers.

 

What’s your favorite movie, and why?

The Last of the Mohicans—the beautiful cinematography and the history.

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

Lunch at our favorite spot: Clark Lewis. Great fresh salads and handmade pastas with the most amazing ragù. I always treat my son with the respect of an adult diner even though he is only one.

 

What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

Right now, scallops with fresh heart of palm.

 

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Sour Patch Kids.

 

What’s your earliest food memory?

Eating sweetbreads at the CIA in Napa. [I had] no idea what they were, but I loved them.

 

What do you... Read more >

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Winner Recap!

 

America’s Classic: Frank Fat’s, Sacramento, CA

 

Outstanding Restaurant Design Award: 75 Seats and Under: Design Firm: Taavo Somer; Designer: Taavo Somer; Project: Isa, Brooklyn, NY

 

Outstanding Restaurant Design Award: 76 Seats and over: Design Firm: Alejandro Barrios Carrero Designs; Designer: Alejandro Barrios Carrero; Project: Juvia, Miami Beach, FL

 

America’s Classic: C.F. Folks, Washington, D.C.

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America's Classic: C. F. Folks

 

1225 19th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 
Owner: Art Carlson

 

Art Carlson’s weekday-only lunch haunt on Dupont Circle, open since 1981, is a 600-square-foot temple of honest cooking and goodwill. (The name combines the initials of Carlson and his business partner, Peggy Fredricksen.) The vibe is loud and scrappy, and the food is delicious. Art Carlson, the ever-present host, is one of the last of a dying breed: a hands-on owner who schmoozes and teases his customers, often at the same time.

 

The place, with its 11 counter stools, is comfortable in its age. Behind the long Formica counter, racks of cookbooks from Julia Child and fellow titans share space with scribbled postcards, a rattletrap stereo system, a collection of old political campaign buttons, and a jumble of knickknacks including a Presidential Barbie and dusty cans of Alpo and Cheez Whiz.

 

The cooking is in the hands of George Vetsch, a veteran... Read more >

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Gala Chef Q & A: JBF Award Winner Aarón Sánchez

JBF Award winner Aarón Sánchez

 

JBF Award Winner Aarón Sánchez, Mestizo, Leawood, KS

 

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

Fried chicken.

 

What’s your favorite movie, and why?

Rocky, because it’s all about the underdog.

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

My last great meal was at chef John Besh’s restaurant August in New Orleans. We had just about everything on the menu, but the real standouts were the potato gnocchi, the seafood, and all the meat dishes.

 

What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

The grilled mahi-mahi tacos at Mestizo.

 

What’s your earliest food memory?

Making tortillas with my mom when I was 12.

 

What do you eat for breakfast?

Eggs Benedict. My favorite is with Swiss chard and smoked bacon.

 

What’s your favorite healthy food?... Read more >

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Gala Chef Q & A: Melissa Perello

Melissa Perello

Melissa Perello, Frances, San Francisco

 

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

Ice cream and doughnuts.

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

Some memorable dishes of late: tiger salad from Mission Chinese, chicory salad with dates and crispy chicken skin at Rich Table, smoked potatoes with pickled ramp mayo at Bar Tartine,a guinea hen dumpling at State Bird Provisions, yogurt at Manka’s Inverness Lodge, and a Meyer lemon semifreddo that my pastry chef made.

 

What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

I like to think that I dominate in the whole soup category.

 

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Salty buttered popcorn (homemade when possible).

 

What’s your earliest food memory?

My grandmother’s peanut brittle.

 

What do you eat for breakfast?

Does coffee count?

 

What’s your... Read more >

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Winner Recap!

Best Chef: Great Lakes: Stephanie Izard, Girl & the Goat, Chicago

 

Best Chef: Midwest: Colby Garrelts, Bluestem, Kansas City, MO

 

America’s Classic: Kramarczuck’s

 

Best Chef: Southeast: Joseph Lenn, The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

 

Best Chef: Southwest: Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja, Denver

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America's Classic: Frank Fat's

 

806 L Street, Sacramento, CA 
Owners: the Fat Family

 

Frank Fat’s is a political landmark in California, once known as the “Third House” and one of Sacramento’s oldest restaurants. It serves Chinese-American food and is renowned for honey- walnut prawns; Frank’s-style New York steak (grilled, sliced, and smothered in sautéed onions and oyster sauce); Fat’s brandy fried chicken; and banana cream pie.

 

Kevin Hefner, writing about the restaurant’s 70th anniversary in 2009 in Capitol Weekly, said: “The restaurant often was the site of political meetings that, according to some, sometimes accomplished more than those in the Capitol. The most notable of these deals was the “Napkin Deal” of 1987, written on the back of a napkin by the participants that defined a multimillion-dollar pact between the lawyers, insurers, doctors, and business interests over tort reform.”

 

Willie Brown, former assembly Speaker and San Francisco mayor, recalls that it was the place... Read more >

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Gala Chef Q & A: JBF Award Winner Gavin Kaysen

JBF Award winner Gavin Kaysen

 

JBF Award Winner Gavin Kaysen, Café Boulud, NYC

 

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

Cheetos.

 

What’s your favorite movie, and why?

Rudy. I love the never-give-up attitude, and when it’s a true story it makes the movie that much more worth watching.

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

I was in Lyon for the Bocuse d’Or this past winter and went to Daniel Boulud’s parents’ house for a visit. It turned into a four- hour lunch with his father’s housemade head cheese, sausages, bread, and a roasted leg of lamb his mom made. We enjoyed a bottle of wine and finished the afternoon off with homemade limoncello. It reminded me why I got into this industry in the first place.

 

What’s your earliest food memory?

Making Christmas cookies with my grandmother at the age of seven. I still use the same roller for the cookies that I make with my... Read more >

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Winner Recap!

 

Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America Inductee: Eric Asimov, Author and Journalist, NYC

 

Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America Inductee: Dorothy Kalins, Editor, NYC

 

Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America Inductee: Barbara Lynch, Chef and Restaurateur, Boston

 

Best Chef: South: Tory McPhail, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans

 

Best Chef: West: Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA

 

Lifetime Achievement Recipient: Cecilia Chiang

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America's Classic: Kramarczuk’s

 

215 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis 
Owner: Orest Kramarczuk

 

Minneapolis is known for its Scandinavian heritage, but for more than a century the city’s northeast neighborhoods have been a vibrant Eastern European enclave. A great deal of that Catholic, blue-collar culture has dissipated during the past 20 years, but some overt traces remain, most notably a dozen or more elaborate churches and Kramarczuk’s, the landmark sausage-making company and restaurant.

 

The business dates to 1954, when Ukrainian refugees Wasyl and Anna Kramarczuk purchased Central Provisions, one of the city’s oldest butcher shops, and renamed it Kramarczuk Sausage Co. It has been at the same address, just across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis, since 1967. Wasyl and Anna’s son Orest joined the business in 1979. He’s now the primary owner. His father died in 1991, and Anna Kramarczuk died in 2008.

 

Kramarczuk’s more... Read more >

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