Ask the Chefs: Matt Jennings, Tracy Obolsky, and Mike Poiarkoff Talk Maple Syrup and More

Matt Jennings, Tracy Obolsky, and Mike Poiarkoff

 

Hailing from Canada and the Northeast, this syrup-savvy team is on a mission to prove that maple deserves a grander role in the kitchen than simply as a waffle topper. On March 23, this exceptional culinary crew joins us at the Beard House for an ambitious dinner as they tap the savory and sweet potential of this beloved regional and seasonal ingredient. In anticipation of the event, we spoke to Matt Jennings, Tracy Obolsky, and Mike Poiarkoff about how maple syrup defines New England, their favorite places to chow down in Boston and New York, and why eating pizza four times a week should be the norm.

 

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Ask a Chef: Josh Brown Talks Burgers and More

 

A shining star in the Annapolis food scene, Fox’s Den is a cozy gastropub where Josh Brown’s modern comfort fare is complemented by the innovative beverage program curated by Tommy Burns. Next week, the two will craft a hearty supper brimming with early spring flavors, Maryland brews, and inspired cocktails at the Beard House. In anticipation of this event, we spoke to Brown about his love for classic diner burgers, the best advice he's ever received, his last great meal, and more.

 

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What is your inspiration behind the menu for this Beard House event?

My inspiration for the menu is comfort food flavors in a more modern style. Since... Read more >

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JBF Award Winner Hugh Acheson’s Seed Life Skills: Home Ec for the Digital Age

Photo by Jason Hales

 

Despite a to-do list that includes overseeing his string of lauded Georgia restaurants, guest-judging on Top Chef, and writing best-selling cookbooks, JBF Award winner Hugh Acheson recently launched a nonprofit, Seed Life Skills, which aims to teach middle schoolers how home economics can prepare them for healthier and happier futures. We spoke with Acheson about his work-life balance, what the next generation of Americans really needs to know, and what home ec means in the information age.

 

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JBF:  Between your restaurants, cookbooks, and television appearances, you’re a pretty busy guy. How do you balance all of your responsibilities? What’s a typical day in the life of Hugh Acheson?

 

Hugh Acheson: I work from home and on planes, at restaurants, at coffee shops, in Delta... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: Iron Chef America Winner Peter Armellino

 

An alum of Gramercy Tavern and Gotham Bar & Grill, chef Peter Armellino now helms the kitchen at Northern California’s splurge-worthy Plumed Horse. For one night only, the Iron Chef America winner returns to the Big Apple for an elegant evening of Michelin-starred food at the Beard House. In anticipation of Armellino's upcoming dinner, we spoke to the acclaimed culinarian about the Bay Area's top pizza joint, ramen, and why clam chowder will always be a mainstay of his menu.

 

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What is your inspiration behind the menu for this Beard House event?

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Ask a Chef: Cassie Piuma on Breakfast Sandwiches and Boston's Best Eats

 

After years of honing her craft at JBF Award winner Ana Sortun’s Oleana, Cassie Piuma opened the meze mecca Sarma to rave reviews. Piuma heads to New York on International Women’s Day to treat Beard House diners to a feast honoring the culinary contributions of women across the globe. In anticipation of her dinner, we spoke to the Massachusetts native about her memorable sushi date with her newborn daughter, her ultimate breakfast sandwich, and her comprehensive list of New England's best eats.

 

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What is your inspiration behind the menu for this Beard House event?

This Beard House dinner is inspired by... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: Beard Award Nominee Chris Cosentino

 

Winner of Top Chef Masters and a longtime San Francisco favorite, Chris Cosentino is also a leader of the nose-to-tail movement, which leaves no tail or trotter uncooked. For his much awaited Beard House dinner, the king of offal will treat guests to the full monty: a lavish, waste-less menu featuring dishes like chicken heart skewers with fish sauce glaze, pig skin spaghetti alla puttanesca, and smoked beef breast with scallops and horseradish. In anticipation of this whole-animal feast, we caught up with Cosentino about his favorite Bay Area spots, the last great meal he ate (think: crispy-skinned goose), and why he'll never be a guilty eater.

 

 

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Ask a Chef: Beard Award Semifinalist Paul Fehribach

 

A three-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes, Paul Fehribach has earned critical acclaim at Chicago's Big Jones for his Southern heirloom cooking. For his upcoming Beard House dinnerFehribach will lead guests on a time-traveling sojourn to the winter of 1840 with a tavern-inspired menu as American as apple pie. We chatted with the insightful culinarian about what American cuisine really means, legendary chef Edna Lewis, and why he stopped second-guessing himself.

 

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What is your... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: Vegetarian India with JBF Award Winner Madhur Jaffrey

 

It’s no exaggeration to call Madhur Jaffrey the “Godmother of Indian Cooking.” The actress, chef, and multiple JBF Award–winning author has been guiding natives and Indophilic foreigners through the subtleties of the Subcontinent’s edible empire since her first cookbook was published in 1973. Last week, she visited the Beard House to share stories and insights from her latest work, Vegetarian India (Knopf), for our monthly Beard on Books series. During his introduction, JBF executive vice president Mitchell Davis explained that this was, in fact, a triumphant return—Jaffrey was the very first author to kick off our Beard on Books series, and even before that, was a friend “when there was no James Beard Foundation, only a James Beard.”

 

Read on for some of our favorite snippets... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: New Hampshire Native Brett Cavanna

 

After coming up the ranks at FIG and Café Boulud, chef Brett Cavanna returned to his native New Hampshire to helm the kitchen at Louie’s, where he offers up comforting, handcrafted pastas and rustic Italian fare. For his upcoming Beard House dinner, Cavanna will serve a delicious, stick-to-your-ribs winter feast—the perfect antidote to mid-February doldrums. In anticipation of his comfort-fare fête, we spoke to the chef about his love affair with agnolotti, his Beard House menu inspiration, and why chicken tenders are still great at any age.

 

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Ask the Chefs: Sarah Simmons and Aaron Hoskins

 

Sarah Simmons has won many admirers through the elevated Southern dishes at her lauded hot spots City Grit and Birds & Bubbles. For her upcoming Beard House dinner, Simmons and partner Aaron Hoskins will create a Southern sweetheart feast to satisfy the heart and the soul. In anticipation of their event, we spoke to the two about the pleasures of gummy candies, the New York City meal they still dream about, and why they're eerily excited about beef stew.

 

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What is your inspiration behind the menu for this Beard House event?

Sarah: Aaron and I are opening a restaurant together next year and this menu pretty much encapsulates our vision for the new... Read more >

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