The World According to Chris Bianco

Chris Bianco

 

Earlier this month, we published our Q&A with JBF Award winner Chris Bianco. Today our favorite pizzaiolo shares some cooking (and life!) tips.

 

 

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Using a passport should be your first cooking lesson.

 

Go out and get inspired. Then come back and use that technique with your local products.

 

 

 

Free yourself from trying to invent something.

 

I’ve never invented anything and I’ve never met anyone who has. Everyone is deeply inspired by something that came before. If you free yourself from trying to invent something, you become part of that great lineage of burnt tarts.

 

 

 

Consider the source.

 

Don’t make fresh pasta with flour from the deli that’s been... Read more >

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Chris Bianco Never Runs Out of Gas

 

To kick off our celebration of artisans around the country, here's an interview with Beard Award winner Chris Bianco, who tells us how his work is powered by his relationships with staff and local producers.

 

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JBF: You’ve mentioned that you wound up in Phoenix because you ran out of gas on your journey from the Bronx to California. What would you be missing out on if you’d ended up somewhere else? 

 

Chris Bianco: Well, then that would have been the place I was supposed to be. Hopefully I would have connected to it in the way that I’ve connected to Phoenix. That was the reason I ended up staying, because I felt that connection. Somewhere else it would have been for that same feeling. The outcome might have had a slightly different flavor, but I am confident you would have been able to recognize it.

 

JBF: You’ve said that you’re in the business of relationships. What do you mean by that... Read more >

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The In Crowd at Dessert High

A writer, illustrator, baker, and self-proclaimed "dessert detective," Jessie Oleson Moore is the mind behind the delightful CakeSpy, an award–winning blog dedicated to everything sweet and sugary. For our final post of this month's dessert coverage, we asked Moore to dream up a scene filled with her signature anthropomorphized sweets.

 

The result? Lunchtime at Desserts High, where dainty macarons rule the school and half-eaten cookies belong to the yearbook club. (Click here for full-sized artwork.)

 

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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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