Interview with 2014 JBF Award Winner Barbara Lynch

Interview with 2014 JBF Award Winner Barbara Lynch by Anna Mowry

 

The winner of this year’s Outstanding Restaurateur award, Barbara Lynch has forged one of the country’s most acclaimed restaurant groups, Barbara Lynch Gruppo, which includes fine dining and casual concepts, a butcher shop, and a demonstration kitchen. The Boston native also runs a nonprofit, the Barbara Lynch Foundation, and has cultivated young chef talent like Kristin Kish and Colin Lynch (no relation).

 

Now that the JBFA dust has settled, we got in touch with Lynch to talk about her empire’s coming attractions, the cookbook that clicked her cooking philosophy into place, and where she ate during Beard Awards weekend.

 

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JBF: Two months ago the New York Times ... Read more >

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JBF on the Air: David Sax

Taste Matters

 

How do flavors become trends? Who determines these trends, and how do they catch on in the mainstream? On the season finale of Taste Matters, JBF's Mitchell Davis seeks to answer these questions with the help of David Sax, a freelance writer specializing in business and food. His writing appears regularly in the New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Saveur, The Grid Toronto, and more. David's latest book, The Tastemakers, uncovers the world of food trends: where they come from, how they grow, and where they end up. Click here to listen to the full episode.

 

Taste Matters is a radio program dedicated to taste: as a... Read more >

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Interview with Laurie David and Stephanie Soechtig of "Fed Up"

 

 

Eat a balanced diet. Get plenty of exercise. The tenets of achieving a healthy body and life are so ingrained in American culture that kindergartners can recite them. But, as the alarming rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes prove, this long-accepted formula is failing. The culprit? It’s the widespread presence of sugar in processed food, or so says Fed Up, the new documentary produced by Laurie David and Katie Couric. In anticipation of the film’s release on May 9, we got in touch with David and Fed Up director Stephanie Soechtig to discuss how this epidemic became so dire, what can be done, and their new campaign to get Americans to cut down on the sweet stuff.

 

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JBF: Your documentary follows the lives of a group of American families as they try to make a healthier and more active lifestyle for themselves. How did you find your participants? ... Read more >

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JBF on the Air: Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl on Taste Matters

 

What happens when one of the country’s most celebrated restaurant critics and non-fiction food writers decides to switch genres? Ruth Reichl is about to find out, as her first novel, Delicious!, was just released on May 6. On last week’s episode of Taste Matters, JBF’s Mitchell Davis chats with Ruth about her move into fictional storytelling, the writing process behind the novel, and Ruth’s candid thoughts on American cuisine and food culture. Click here to listen to the full episode.

 

Taste Matters is a radio program dedicated to... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Jimmy Bannos Jr. of the Purple Pig

 

With his sights set on running his own eatery while he was practically still in diapers, fourth-generation chef and restaurateur Jimmy Bannos Jr. opened Chicago’s acclaimed Purple Pig at the tender age of 25. Below, the 2014 Rising Star Chef of the Year nominee fills us in on his go-to Windy City restaurant, his dream culinary travel destination, and the valuable lessons he learned while growing up in restaurant kitchens.

 

JBF: When did you know that you wanted to get into the business? And how has your family’s career, particularly your father’s, pushed you towards success? 

 

Jimmy Bannos Jr.: I always knew this was what I wanted to do, even when I was a toddler. There was no question; it was just automatic. One of the biggest advantages I’ve felt as a child of a culinary family is that I always knew what kind of... Read more >

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Interview with Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common

Anna Mowry interviews Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common, a nominee for the 2014 James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program

 

Clyde Common's drink list may be inspired by the classics, but don't expect the ordinary at this Portland gastropub. Its bar manager, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, was an early adopter of barrel aging and bottled cocktails, concepts that are now de rigeur in the industry. Below, Morgenthaler tells us his "trifecta" of indispensable cocktail books and what you should be ordering from the Clyde Common menu.

 

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JBF: How would you describe Clyde Common’s mixology style?

 

JM: We focus on simple and elegant cocktails that are intended to pair well with the beautiful food that comes out of our kitchen. Our drinks are rooted in the classics. We tailor them to fit our style and make them our own.

 

JBF: You guys do... Read more >

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Interview with Outstanding Chef Award Nominee Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza

Elena North-Kelly interviews Nancy Silverton, a nominee for the James Beard Foundation's 2014 Outstanding Chef award

 

After proving her pastry chops at Campanile and La Brea and taking home the JBF Outstanding Pastry Chef award in 1991, Nancy Silverton set out to open her own restaurant in Los Angeles, which bloomed into a celebrated empire and a mecca for serious Italian food lovers. Here, the 2014 Outstanding Chef award nominee tell us about the most spectacular pizza crust she’s ever tasted, her favorite flavor combination, and the moment she knew she wanted to become a chef.

 

JBF: What item on the current Pizzeria Mozza menu are you most proud of?

 

NS: I’d have to say our pizza dough, the quality of the crust. It’s the heart and soul of our pizzeria, and what I believe sets us apart. There’s no secret ingredient, just the subtle nuances of the method that we use to achieve a crust that’s... Read more >

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Interview with Outstanding Chef Award Nominee Michael Anthony

Michael Anthony

 

An enduring staple of New York City’s dining landscape, Gramercy Tavern has held court with its masterful cuisine, warm atmosphere, and unparalleled hospitality. Below, the restaurant’s esteemed chef Michael Anthony, a 2014 Outstanding Chef Award nominee, fills us in on his earliest food memory, the springtime ingredients he stocks up on at the greenmarket, and his favorite local haunts.

 

JBF: How would you describe your culinary style?

 

Michael Anthony: I’d describe my culinary style as regional, contemporary American with vibrant seasonal flavors.

 

JBF: What item on the current Gramercy Tavern menu are you most proud of?

 

MA: I’m really proud of our spring onion flatbread with duck... Read more >

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Interview with Eric Johnson of Bar Agricole

Anna Mowry interviews Eric Johnson of Bar Agricole, a nominee for the 2014 James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program

 

At San Francisco’s Bar Agricole, ingredients are only used at peak condition and spirit producers are closely vetted. Even the bitters in the bar’s version of an Old Fashioned had to earn the team’s stamp of intensely discerning approval. We talked with Eric Johnson, bar manager and co-owner of this Outstanding Bar Program nominee, about his new spinoff, favorite watering holes, and more.  

 

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JBF: How would you sum up Bar Agricole's approach to making drinks to someone who has never had one there? 

 

EJ: We are an ingredient-driven bar that uses traditional recipes as our inspiration. We look for spirits that have a sense of place and tradition in how they are made, without added flavors or colors to make them more appealing to the heavily commercial spirits market. A... Read more >

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Interview with Rising Star Nominee David Posey

 

Now nearly 17 years old, Blackbird isn’t just one of Chicago’s most dependable fine restaurants; it’s still striving and innovating under the confident vision of chef de cuisine David Posey. A repeat nominee for Rising Star Chef of the Year, chef Posey tells us what to order on the current menu, his favorite new Windy City spots, and more.

 

 

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JBF: Dana Cree, Blackbird’s pastry chef, is also a nominated for a Beard Award this year. How do you two work together? Does she have total autonomy over the dessert program? What do you like about her desserts?

 

DP: Dana and I work and collaborate very well together. We bounce ideas off one another, share inspiration, and test dishes on each other. Both Dana and I, for the most part, have complete autonomy over our menus. However, executive chef Paul Kahan has the final say. I like seeing the evolution of her pastries from inception to the final plated... Read more >

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