Small Batch Cooking

 

Suzanne Cope is a Brooklyn-based author and food studies scholar whose recent book, Small Batch: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits and the Return of Artisanal Food, gives a history of artisanal food in the United States and looks at the issues surrounding craft food production through conversations with over 50 food entrepreneurs. She talked to us about the inspiration for the book and the future of artisanal food, and gave us a recipe for Mediterranean greens that incorporates one of her favorite small batch foods.

 

(Join Suzanne for a conversation and tasting with local food artisans at the 92nd Street Y in NYC on Wednesday, June 3.)

 

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JBF: How did you become interested in small batch food?

 

Suzanne Cope: Both of my... Read more >

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Bill Telepan, Part II: From Blubber Burgers to Boot Camp

Photo c/o Telepan

 

In part two of our interview with Bill Telepan (read part one here), the celebrated chef tells us how he addresses issues outside the cafeteria, how our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change made him uncomfortable, and why his ultimate goal is to become obsolete. 


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JBF: Wellness in the Schools (WITS) covers more than just than the food served in school cafeterias. What else do you address? 

 

Bill Telepan: Right now, only about three-and-a-half to four hours per year are spent on food and nutrition education in schools. We started WITS Bits, which are 20-minute classes where we teach kids nutrition through real examples. Some things we do include are building a “blubber burger” to show with lard what goes into a fast food cheeseburger, and showing them how much sugar is actually... Read more >

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Bill Telepan: It Started with a Sandwich

Photo c/o Telepan
 

Chef Bill Telepan’s message is simple. We all deserve to eat better. When he’s not personally making sure the customers are well fed at his eponymous Upper West Side eatery, Telepan, he’s in a few unlikely places—New York City public school cafeterias and Capitol Hill—seeing to it that good food is something that everyone grows up with access to. In part one of our series on James Beard Foundation Boot Camp Alumni, we talked to Bill Telepan about how he gets kids to eat salad, how to convince politicians in D.C. to take up a cause, and how some of his famous friends are joining him on the front lines of the city’s school cafeterias. 

 

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JBF: You’re known for your passion for improving school food. How did that issue capture your attention in the first place?

 

Bill... Read more >

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Interview with Chris Gould of Central Provisions, Nominated for Best New Restaurant

Photo: Meredith Purdue

 

It's hard to get more local than Portland, Maine's Central Provisions: the kitchen sources ingredients from regional farmers, foragers, and fishmongers, and the entire restaurant was built and decorated by Maine craftsman. We spoke with chef/co-owner Chris Gould (whose wife, Paige Gould, manages the front of house) to explore how the seasonal restaurant has handled acclaim, the challenges of a Maine winter, and Portland's burgeoning dining scene.

 

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JBF: You’ve both worked in restaurants for many years. What experiences have each of you brought to the table?

 

CG: Attention to detail is the biggest thing. It’s something you only can develop through years of work.
 


JBF: The menu and space feature lots of products and details from Maine-based craftsmen. Can you talk about how local artisans are expressed in the food and... Read more >

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Interview with Ludo Lefebvre of Best New Restaurant Nominee Petit Trois

Petit Trois is a 2015 Best New Restaurant Nominee

 

It's tempting to refer to Ludo Lefebvre's ​Petit Trois as the little sister to his Trois Mec, but this Hollywood spot is a fully formed homage to Parisian bistro culture, from the space's feel-good, lively ambiance to the kitchen's technically precise omelette. Read on for Lefebvre's insights on his 2015 Best New Restaurant nominee. 

 

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JBF: What made you want to open this restaurant? Had you been wanting to do a bistro? It’s a familiar concept—what details did you particularly care about getting right?

 

LL: I really wanted to do a restaurant with classic French food. I miss that a lot, as well as the ambiance. I wanted a little bistro where you know everybody and where you feel like you're in Paris, where life is happening, where there's magic, where there's good energy. No tables, just counters.The food is... Read more >

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Interview with Rajat Parr, Nominated for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

 

Vintner and sommelier Rajat Parr can point to the exact vineyard and vintage of wine that changed his life, setting him on the path toward his nomination for this year's James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional. We spoke with him about that seminal sip and his current adventures in winemaking.

 

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JBF: You've had a multi-faceted career in wine: the wine director for a restaurant group, part owner in a wine bar, and winemaker. How do you balance it all?

 

Rajat Parr: I am a full-time winemaker now. We have two vineyards: Domaine de la Cote in Santa Barbara and Seven Springs in Oregon. I oversee the wine programs within the Mina Group, but do not work on daily operations. The same is for [the San Francisco wine bar and restaurant] RN74. We have a great team that makes sure the restaurants are successful. I live in Santa Barbara now. It's quite a change, but after working in restaurants for 18 years, it's a good change.

 ... Read more >

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Interview with Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable, Nominated for Best New Restaurant

Photo c/o Spoon and Stable

 

After JBF Award winner Gavin Kaysen left his post at Café Boulud to return to his roots in Minneapolis, the long-missed-local received a hero’s welcome, and Twin Cities residents are now flocking to Kayen's Spoon and Stable, a 2015 Best New Restaurant nominee. We spoke with him about his homecoming, his penchant for pilfering flatware, and his vision of Heartland cuisine.

 

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JBF: Your restaurant is called Spoon and Stable. What’s the story behind the name?

 

Gavin Kaysen: The building we took over was a horse stable that was built in 1906, so the stable part comes from that. The spoon part comes from something I’ve been doing for years, which is "collecting" spoons from places all over the world. They come from places that have inspired me, perhaps while eating dinner, or working there. We now sell spoons at... Read more >

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Interview with Markus Glocker of Bâtard, Nominated for Best New Restaurant

Photo c/o Bâtard

 

Using what New York Times food critic Pete Wells called "a sniper's accuracy at the stove," Austrian-born chef Markus Glocker crafts show-stopping prix fixe menus for a range of budgets at Tribeca’s elegant Bâtard. To learn more about the white-hot nominee for Best New Restaurant, we spoke with Glocker about his European pedigree, culinary style, and ultimate springtime dessert.

 

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JBF: How would you describe your culinary style?

 

MG: I’d describe my culinary style as simplicity refined. I try and send a clear, focused message through flavor.

 

JBF: How has your background influenced your food at Bâtard?

 

MG: When you work for influential chefs like Charlie Trotter, you can’t deny the influence that they have on your cooking. That being said, after learning these techniques from great chefs before... Read more >

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Interview with Ted Lemon, Nominated for Outstanding Wine, Beer, Spirits Professional

 

Ted Lemon, founder of Littorai Wines, has worked at wineries the world over, running a Burgundy estate (as the first American to do so) and consulting in New Zealand. His breadth of experience and passion for ethically growing and sourcing his ingredients make him a strong nominee for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional. We spoke to him about the naming of his vineyard, the impact of the California drought, and more.

 

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JBF: Among your 2015 releases, what are you most excited about?

 

Ted Lemon: All of the vineyard-designated 2013 Pinot Noirs. They have muscle, grip, and a sense of place. Pretty is not the descriptor I would use.

 

JBF: Littorai means “coasts” in Latin. What’s the story behind this name?

 

TL: In 1993, [my wife] Heidi and I did not have the money to afford a trademark, so we needed something that was sufficiently obscure that no one would trademark it... Read more >

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Interview with Eli Kaimeh of Per Se, Nominated for Outstanding Restaurant

 

Although Per Se debuted a decade after a certain acclaimed sibling restaurant in California, this fine-dining temple, perched high in New York City's Time Warner building, has enjoyed its own abundant successes. The three-Michelin-starred property is an oasis on every level, beckoning epicureans from all corners of the globe with its unparalleled luxuries and cuisine. Below, we caught up with chef de cuisine Eli Kaimeh to get the inside scoop on the Outstanding Restaurant nominee’s tasting menus, the team's pioneering work with vegetables, and their take on gluten-free substitutions. 

 

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JBF: While some of Per Se’s signature dishes (such as oysters and pearls) remain, we know that the world-renowned menu is constantly evolving. Can you tell us about a dish or two that’s currently on the menu that really captures the restaurant’s point of... Read more >

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