Our Favorite Dishes of 2014

 

At three meals a day, you’ll rack up 1,095 breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in a year (and if you’re anything like us, that might be just the bare minimum). With such a surfeit of sips and snacks, culling our list was almost like picking a favorite child, but we somehow managed to narrow the field to an elite group. So here’s our collection of 2014 standouts, from north to south, coast to coast, and, of course, from our home base at the Beard House.

 

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Pork Chicharrones with Figs, Pearl Onions, and Pomegranate Molasses

 

Pork Chicharrones with Figs, Pearl Onions, and Pomegranate Molasses

Tar & Roses, Santa Monica, CA

 

At Andrew Kirschner’s Tar & Roses, diners gather other ingredient-driven, locally sourced, and ember-roasted fare from the restaurant’s wood-burning oven. Crispy on the outside, rich and juicy on... Read more >

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A Taste of Tomorrow: the 1939 New York World's Fair

 

In honor of our role in Expo Milano 2015, we’re taking a look back at the history of food at world’s fairs. After her whirl through the 1893 Chicago Exposition, JBF assistant editor Maggie Borden is now taking us back to 1939, when the New York World’s Fair ran for six months in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and where a young Mimi Sheraton delighted in new flavors and futuristic sights.

 

General Motor's Futurama Exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair

 

Taylor Pork Roll. That’s what acclaimed food, design, and travel writer Mimi Sheraton remembers from the 1939 New York World’s Fair. 

 

Initially conceived by local businessmen to raise the city (and the nation) out of the depths of the Great Depression, the fair was the first to... Read more >

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Food Rx: Seamus Mullen's Struggles and Triumphs with Food and Health

 

The 2014 JBF Food Conference, taking place October 27–28 in New York City, will explore the intersection of food and health. Our speakers and panelists will discuss the myriad ways in which food supports personal and public health; fails to deliver on the promise of better health; and both drives and responds to other cultural forces in America today.

 

In anticipation of this two-day event, we're holding Health Month here on the JBF blog. Below, JBF Award–nominated chef Seamus Mullen shares his own complicated history with food and its impact on his well-being. Mullen will also be co-creating the menu for our 2014 JBF Leadership Awards dinner on October 27... Read more >

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Carry On

 

Vous êtes professionel du sel?” asked the woman sitting behind the security scanner at Paris’s Charles De Gaulle airport. Am I in the salt business?

 

What her scanner revealed in my hand luggage was a kilo box of fine Italian sea salt, a kilo bag of coarse Sicilian sea salt, a beautiful glass jar of pastiglie di sale (large tablets of sea salt dosed for pasta water), a small container of lemon-flavored Falksalt salt from Sweden, and a container of fleur de sel from La Camargue in France.

 

I am not in the salt business. I am an obsessive shopper of food souvenirs. Who needs a postcard or a snow globe? You can’t eat them. I want ingredients to cook with at home that will remind me of the places I’ve been, the flavors I have enjoyed.

 

In the same carry-on with my salt were five pounds of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano from Peck in Milan, a half dozen green olive breadsticks from Princi bakery... Read more >

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The American Sandwich Landscape

The American Sandwich Landscape

From sea to shining sea, the U.S. is a country of sandwich lovers. Take a peek at the map below for a guide to some of the sandwiches known as beloved hometown favorites. Whether those picks are niche or known across the States, it’s safe to say we are citizens of one nation, under bread.

 

1.    Alaska > Reindeer sausage sandwich

Fresh reindeer sausage with caramelized onions, peppers, spinach, sharp cheddar, and Dijonnaise sauce on a hamburger bun

 

2.    Arizona > Indian (Navajo) taco

Distinct for its base of the Navajo frybread sopaipilla

 

3.    Arkansas > Fried bologna sandwich

“The sandwich of the South,” made on grilled white bread with bologna and cheddar cheese

 

4.    California (L.A.) > French dip

Shaved roast beef on French bread, served au jus

 

5.    Colorado > Denver... Read more >

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Wine Wisdom: Five Rosés to Drink Before Summer Ends

Wine Wisdom: Five Rosés to Drink This Summer

 

Our love for the modern cocktails at the JBF Award–winning Bar at the NoMad is tried and true. But we also think that patrons would be remiss to overlook the restaurant’s globe-spanning wine list, tightly curated by sommelier Tom Pastuszak. Here, he shares some recommendations for what we all want to be drinking this summer: rosé, rosé, and more rosé.

 

 

Ravines Pinot Rosé 2013, $15

"This delicate, aromatic, and super-fresh Pinot Noir–based rosé comes from New York’s up-and-coming, cool-climate Finger Lakes region. Beautiful strawberry and cherry aromatics lead to a citrusy-fresh character on the palate."

 

Chateau Musar Jeune Rosé 2012, $15

"Made from the Cinsault grape, this unique and exotic rosé hails from Lebanon’s high-altitude and... Read more >

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Nancy Silverton, Sandwich Hero

 

“One of the great American arts,” wrote James Beard, “is the art of sandwichmaking.” Were he alive today, Beard would be happy to find that one of his favorite culinary mediums is thriving. And he’d probably thank Nancy Silverton.

 

In the late 1990s Silverton, already well known for her work at La Brea Bakery and inspired by the abundance and creativity of the sandwiches she ate on a trip to Italy, started dedicating Thursday nights to sandwiches at Campanile, the seminal, high-end Los Angeles restaurant that she opened with chef Mark Peel.       

 

“I had always loved a great sandwich,” says Silverton. “But the trip to Italy was eye-opening. It was like, ‘Wow! Here is this great thing that nobody is doing in this country.’”

 

After returning to the States, Silverton launched the weekly sandwich night at Campanile. It was one of the first times that a four-star, award-winning chef had lavished so much attention on the humble... Read more >

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A World of Possibilities

Allan Karl’s three-year tour of five continents led to some delicious discoveries

 

In 2005 Allan Karl began a solo journey around the world by motorcycle. He left behind a successful career in marketing, sold nearly everything he owned (including a wine collection rich in Screaming Eagles, Shaffers, and Harlans), and packed what remained in twin panniers affixed to his bike. As he planned the trip, friends and family tried to dissuade him, fearing for his safety, but he persisted with a smile.

 

“It’s my nature to be open and curious and happy to meet people, and I worked from the perspective of  a goodwill ambassador,” says Karl. “I believed then, and I still believe, that the world is a safe place, full of curious people, open to learning and sharing with each other.” 

 

He left Newport, California, on Independence Day, and came home three years later, having traversed 35 countries on five continents, covering 62,000 miles in total. Drawing on his extensive notes and... Read more >

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Ingredient Spotlight: Labneh

 

Greek yogurt is everywhere. In our granola bars, our hummus, even our shower gel. When a foreign health food becomes the official state snack of New York, you know it’s hit the mainstream. But one unexpected advantage of Greek yogurt’s ubiquity is the piquing of the American palate for thick, tangy spreads, and chefs are constantly looking to regional Mediterranean cuisines for similar ingredients. We noticed labneh, the Middle Eastern iteration of strained yogurt, popping up on Beard House menus this spring and summer, and realized that this spread is on the rise across the country.

 

It turns out that what we think of as "Greek Yogurt" is really just one member of the family of strained yogurts that grace most tables of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and North African countries. In Greece, it’s called straggistó giaoúrti, in Egypt, ... Read more >

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Ingredient Spotlight: Green Strawberries

green strawberries

 

When strawberries arrive at markets in spring, brightening folding tables like rescue flares, they affirm the mantra of the seasonal eater: good things come to those who wait. But some chefs have intercepted the fruits before peak ripeness, and now green strawberries, more tart and acidic than their red elders, are showing up on menus at the Beard House and at high-end restaurants around the country.  

 

Whether it signals a new, more subtle shading on the palate of seasonality, or a more elastic idea of what's edible, the trend itself has been developing for a while: in the first season of The Mind of a Chef, aired in 2012, René Redzepi improvised a dish of raw scallops, pea juice, and raw green strawberry slices for David Chang.

 ... Read more >

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