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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Hanging with Harris at the Beard House

 

For the second installment of our Hanging with Harris at the Beard House series, Billy is in the dining room with William Grant’s Freddy May as he creates an innovative Triple Happiness cocktail to pair with Peter Chang’s Chinese New Year feast, and then it’s down to the kitchen where Chang shows him the secrets to preparing his Sichuan-style crispy pork belly. 

 

William Grant’s Freddy May with Billy Harris

 

Next week: Tune in to part three of our Hanging with Harris series when Billy is joined in the kitchen by chef Billy Oliva of New York City’s legendary Delmonico’s.

 ... Read more >

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Guilty-Pleasure Tunes

The 2014 James Beard Awards

 

Just like food vices (curly fries, anyone?), everyone has a guilty-pleasure musical treat they indulge in when the mood strikes (and, shhh, more than a few of our staffers copped to Katy Perry). We asked some of this year’s JBF Awards gala chefs to fill us in on their own musical vices—whether closeted or unabashed. Here are their top picks:

 

Jonathan Benno, Lincoln Ristorante, NYC

Notorious B.I.G.

 

Dante Boccuzzi, Dante, Cleveland

Styx

 

Bill Corbett, The Absinthe Group, San Francisco

Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”

 

JBF Award Winner Brooks Headley, Del Posto, NYC

“The Monkees. God, I love the Monkees. But I don’t feel that guilty about it...”

 

Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis

Queen’s “Somebody to Love”

 

Naomi Pomeroy, Beast,... Read more >

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Contractual Cravings

candy

 

What is it about celebrities and their eating habits that make such great tabloid fodder? Media empires have been built around the ridiculous rumors that abound about everyone from old-school crooners to pop princesses—but we couldn’t care less about who has had a nip or a tuck; we’re more interested in what they allegedly like to tuck into while in the greenroom.

 

Jumbo shrimp is an understandable enough request, and has supposedly turned up on the riders of Old Blue Eyes (in addition to an almost-full bar and some Life Savers) and the Beach Boys, who like their crustaceans with sides of fruit, alfalfa sprouts, and peanut M&Ms.

 

Members of Aerosmith reportedly have more internationally inspired cravings, including chicken tikka with yogurt and mint dip. At the other end of the spectrum, Britney Spears is said to request McDonald’s cheeseburgers (sans buns), and some say Axl Rose likes to pair... Read more >

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Hanging with Harris at the Beard House

 

If you’ve attended the JBF Gala auction in November in the past few years, you have been entertained by Billy Harris, our annual auctioneer and the host of the web program Hanging with Harris, in which Harris travels around the country and into the kitchens, bars, and restaurants of some of the country’s most talked-about chefs, bartenders, and restaurateurs. In a recent five-part series, Harris dropped in at the Beard House to visit a few of our featured chefs as they prepared their one-night-only dinners, and also chatted with visiting William Grant & Sons mixologists, who created cocktails inspired by the chefs’ menus.

 

Charlotte Voisey and Billy Harris mixing up an Asian Pear Fizz

 

In his first episode, Harris joins William Grant’s Charlotte Voisey... Read more >

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Mix Masters: How Three ’90s Icons Cooked Up a Funky Fresh Blend of Food and Music

Cibo Matto

 

2 Chainz couldn’t make it to the listening party at the Bon Appétit kitchen—he was delayed by a nine-hour stand-off with police in Oklahoma. Disappointed fans would have to wait to hear the rapper’s latest album and peruse the accompanying cookbook, #MealTime, featuring his favorite tour bus recipes. Those who needed a little something to tide them over could turn to Action Bronson, the culinary school grad and former chef, who made his bones with rhymes like “I’m on the art and the food scene. F*** rap, laying back eatin’ poutine.”

 

You don’t have to be a hip-hop head to notice the worlds of music and food getting hot and heavy lately. You may have read in Saveur about rockers trading their studded leather for chef’s coats. Or perhaps you’ve enjoyed a lick of “cinnamon and lesbians,” a soft-serve collaboration between Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar and indie vet Stephen Malkmus. (Think of it as hipster... 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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JBF to Help Create the USA Pavilion at the Next World’s Fair

USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015

 

The James Beard Foundation is proud to be one of the partners creating the USA Pavilion at the next world’s fair in Italy in 2015. As President Obama announced to Prime Minister Renzi in Rome yesterday, “With our partners we're going to put together an outstanding USA pavilion that showcases American innovation to improve agriculture and nutrition and the health of people around the globe.”

 

Although food has always been an important part of the 160-year history of world’s fairs—from the introduction of the ice cream cone in 1904 in St. Louis to the unforgettable restaurant at the French Pavilion in 1939 in NYC to the first Belgian waffle served in the U.S. in 1964 in NYC—Expo Milano 2015 represents the first time the theme of the entire event will be food. “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” will unite 140-plus countries into action around the challenges and... Read more >

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