Awards Watch: The Golden Age of Food TV Is Now

 

If you spend your time among food and television journalists, as I do, you may think that food television is over. It isn’t.

 

If you don’t happen to be one of the millions of people who love Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, then change the channel. There’s awesome food content elsewhere. Or turn off the big box and watch a food video on your phone. Have you not seen the gorgeously lush storytelling of Chef’s Table on Netflix? The complex kitchen grit of The Mind of a Chef on PBS? Or the irresistible fluff of Tastemade’s Snapchat channel, where I recently lingered on a clip showing how to make salted caramel brownies? There are so many diverse sources and platforms for distribution, and it's ever-growing.

 

“Having a bad day?” Snapchat host Dzung Duong beckons in a voice gentler than a golf commentator. “Well, I’ve got the ultimate comfort dessert for you.” Yes, please.... Read more >

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James Beard’s All-American Eats

 

In his foreword for our new cookbook, Andrew Zimmern waxes poetic on the appeal and importance of our America’s Classics Award–winning restaurants

 

James Beard once said, “I don’t like gourmet cooking or ‘this’ cooking or ‘that’ cooking. I like good cooking.” 

 

I love grand restaurants. I love seeing what the world’s most highly motivated and inventive culinarians can do, pushing themselves to the outer limits of their potential to produce food that will influence chefs for generations to come. I am one of the few who adore being dazzled for hours, sucking down course after course, getting a food high from 24 plates that all look like children’s portions designed by interior decorators. I want to see what the greatest chefs can do with a foraged matsutake mushroom and a frying pan, or an anti-griddle and immersion circulator. I am guilty. I’m that guy. And yet I would trade all of that in, every tasting menu, every fought-over reservation, every fancy-food feather... Read more >

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Raising the Bar: How to Make Better Cocktails at Home with Audrey Saunders

 

We tapped the Pegu Club owner and 2013 JBF Gala mixologist to share her tips for better at-home mixology.

 

Simple Syrup, Simply Put

When it comes to cocktails, we don’t want to cook simple syrup; that increases its viscosity. There are exceptions, but we generally don’t want heaviness in a cocktail. Fill a bottle halfway with superfine sugar, which is gritless and dissolves instantly. (I like to repurpose 10-ounce glass soda bottles. They’re ideal for home use and a speed pourer fits perfectly into them.) Fill the other half with filtered, room-temperature water. Cap and shake well. The mixture will appear cloudy at first but will quickly settle. Top off with more water... Read more >

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Tips: Better Weeknight Dinners

 

Just because you worked late doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a satisfying, home-cooked dinner. So put away the cereal bowls and take-out menus: JBF staffers have some quick dinner tips that will have you sitting down to the table in a snap.

 

Put an Egg on It

“For Israelis, shakshuka is a breakfast mainstay. For me, it’s a reliably easy and satisfying weeknight dish. You can make a basic version with pantry items: olive oil; a medium onion, chopped; 2 or 3 crushed garlic cloves; a 28-ounce can of peeled whole tomatoes; and eggs. Sauté the onion and garlic in oil, then add the tomatoes. Season with salt, black pepper, and your preferred ground hot pepper. Simmer... Read more >

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Up Your ’Gram Game

 

When pondering how to live better in the new year, we couldn't help but think about improving our food photos—so we consulted an expert. Few people in the industry have greater knowledge of successful food photography than Bon Appétit's creative director, Alex Grossman. The nominee for a 2012 JBF Award in Visual Storytelling (who also happens to have an enviable Instagram account of his own) sat down with us to share his expertise on capturing beautiful food images. Want to improve your skills? Read on! 

 

JBF: Why do you think Instagram has exploded with food photography? ... Read more >

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Edward Behr on How to Eat Better in 2016

 

In his cookbook, 50 Foods: The Essentials of Good Taste, noted culinary expert Edward Behr guides readers on how to select, prepare, and most importantly, enjoy, some of the world’s best foods. To help us get the new year started off right, here are Behr’s top ten tips for a delicious 2016.

 

1. Eat better apples.

Most of the apples in supermarkets have been picked too soon, and even if they were stored well, they’ve spent too long in the distribution pipeline and then sat too long in displays without refrigeration. They’re not at their best. Instead go to a farmers’ market or a store that cares about fruit and offers great varieties with real flavor, such as Ashmead’s Kernel, Duchess of Oldenburg, Esopus Spitzenburg, Newtown Pippin, Wickson Crab, Pink Pearl, and Macoun (the best of the McIntosh family). Any of those are... Read more >

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Our Editors’ Favorite Dishes of 2015

With over 250 events held annually around the country, each year of JBF programming takes the pulse of our national culinary scene. Our favorite dishes of 2015 represent the nibbles ne plus ultra that spiked our collective heart rate. From trendy hors d’oeuvre (an avocado toast par excellence) to hearty mains (a pepper-packed Lone Star State brisket) to genre-bending desserts (sweet English peas and chocolate), the past year proved to be one of unexpected delights, comforting classics, and most of all, ample evidence that American cooking is very much alive and well. Read on for our full list of this year’s standouts.

 

 

Avocado with Toasted Pumpernickel, Smoked Whitefish, and Pink Peppercorns

 

Alon Shaya, Shaya, New Orleans (served at the Beard House)

 

If 2014... Read more >

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James Beard on Keeping Christmas Simple

 

‘Tis the season! The season of James Beard’s favorite foods, that is—the country hams cut into salty slivers, the piping hot oyster stews with plenty of hot buttered toast, the Champagne sipped with a connoisseur’s glee, the caviar he couldn’t get enough of, the homemade pates, the plum puddings, the mincemeat, and, yes, even the fruitcakes. Bits and pieces of Beard’s childhood always emerged at their warmest and most expansive in his writings about the Christmas holidays, but another theme also ran through and true—simplicity. For as much as Beard loved life in the larger-than-life lane that corresponded with his physical scale and theatrical impulses, deep down he never lost sight of the fact that less is genuinely more. Simple flavors. Simple recipes. Simple cooking. In these excerpts from Beard on Food and the December 1994 issue of Beard House magazine, the recurring theme is simplicity. Read on for our namesake's tips for holiday gatherings that require less effort and yield greater reward.... Read more >

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Into the Fire: Giada De Laurentiis on Her Las Vegas Gamble and How She Came Out Smokin'

 

Emmy Award–winning chef Giada De Laurentiis is known for many things: her celebrated Food Network shows, elegant California-inflected Italian cooking, and contagious smile, among them. Now with an eponymous Las Vegas restaurant under her belt, the petite powerhouse’s brand continues to grow ever more fierce—and New York City diners will be treated to an evening of Sin City decadence when the celebrity chef brings her iconic fare to the Beard House at the end of this month. In anticipation, senior editor Elena North-Kelly caught up with De Laurentiis about her favorite recipes, biggest on-screen disasters, how she overcame her greatest personal and professional hurdles, and more.

 

JBF: What inspired the menu for your upcoming Beard House dinner? Are there any particular dishes that you’re most... Read more >

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Doctor’s Orders: Why the Physicians of Tomorrow Need to be Cooks Today

 

The 2015 JBF Food Conference will explore the future of food, from farm to kitchen to table. Featuring experts and thought leaders from across the industry, we'll examine how the choices we make and the steps we take today will impact what we eat, drink, and grow. In anticipation, we're talking to some of the men and women on the cutting edge of our collective food culture.

 

Dr. Tim Harlan may be best known as Dr. Gourmet, the on-air wellness expert and author of multiple books on healthy living, but his main vocation is changing the way American doctors approach diet and health. When he’s not writing or seeing patients, Harlan spends his days as executive director of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine, where he shapes the practices of future physicians and teaches them how to cook. We sat down... Read more >

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