Interview with April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig, Nominated for Outstanding Restaurant

April Bloomfield


For ten years, the Spotted Pig has assuredly upheld an egalitarian ethos while also basking in enviable cultural cachet—no easy feat in one of the world’s most fickle and fastidious dining cities. Now that the restaurant has earned its first Outstanding Restaurant nomination, we discussed the Pig's enduring appeal, its under-the-radar best dishes, and more with executive chef April Bloomfield.




JBF: Congrats on your nomination! All of our Outstanding Restaurant nominees have been operating for at least ten years. We’d love to hear your thoughts on why the Pig has been successful for an entire decade, and why New Yorkers continue to love to dine there.


AB: Thank you so much! We are thrilled to be nominated. It is such an honor to be recognized for this restaurant that means so much to me. I think people like the Pig because it offers a welcoming, comfy space where you can get delicious, consistent... Read more >

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Interview with Beverly Kim and Jon Clark of Best New Restaurant Nominee Parachute

Beverly Kim and Jon Clark of Parachute


At Parachute, a 40 seater in Chicago's Avondale neighborhood, husband-and-wife team Jon Clark and Beverly Kim present a unique vision of Korean-American cuisine, borrowing flavors from France, China, Morocco, and elsewhere. Read on to learn more about the duo and their Best New Restaurant–nominated venture.




JBF: Your website describes the cuisine as globally inspired Korean-American. What inspires you when you’re developing your dishes and menu?


JC + BK: There are several different inspirations to our dishes. The product themselves inspire us to create dishes that highlight the seasons. We're also inspired by our food memories.


JBF: What’s the story behind the restaurant’s name? 


JC + BK: To us, Parachute is a personal story of turning negatives to positives. It also represents having an open mind, being free flowing, and safety. ... Read more >

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Interview with David Chang of Outstanding Restaurant Nominee Momofuku Noodle Bar


When David Chang opened his first restaurant in 2004, he lit a ramen-noodle fuse that set off a New York sensation and a launching pad for an international empire. Now that Momofuku Noodle Bar is an Outstanding Restaurant nominee, we caught up with the culinary icon—a winner of nearly every Beard Award (and non-Beard Award) out there and one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People—to discuss why he considers himself a “normavore,” the inspiration behind Momofuku’s cult-favorite culinary lab, and the unsung heroes of his business.




JBF: You won the Rising Star Chef award while you were at Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2007, Outstanding Chef in 2013, and now the restaurant itself is up for Outstanding Restaurant this year. Can you tell us anything about Noodle Bar’s evolution during this time?


... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Ron Cooper of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal


The revival of mezcal as a celebrated spirit was anything but an overnight success. Ron Cooper, nominated for the Award for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits professional, has worked tirelessly for the last two decades to bring the traditions of Oaxaca to the global market through his company, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal. Read on to learn more about Del Maguey’s humble origins, Cooper’s devotion to tradition, and how the dedication to highlighting and supporting the local Mexican distillers has transformed mezcal into the darling of craft bartending. 




JBF: It's written that your work as an artist is what led you to make mezcal. How does your background in art continue to inform your products?


Ron Cooper: For everyone at Del Maguey, these Single Village mezcals... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Harlen Wheatley of Buffalo Trace Distillery


Harlen Wheatley is an undisputed whiskey authority: at Buffalo Trace Distillery, one of America’s most acclaimed and historic bourbon producers, the man has worked on every aspect of the business, from sourcing raw materials to barrel-aging. We got in touch with the 2015 Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional award nominee to get the scoop on his standard drink order, how his chemistry background has informed his product, and the lowdown on the cult-like Pappy brand. 




JBF: Buffalo Trace is one of the oldest distilleries in the county, having crafted bourbon whiskey for over 200 years and counting. How would you sum up the philosophy of the distillery and your products? 


Harlen Wheatley: The philosophy is to honor our legacy while embracing change.  We focus on delivering authentic products that consumers can have confidence in while balancing innovation... Read more >

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Our Favorite Quotes from Beard on Books with JBF Award Winner Mindy Segal


Our Beard on Books program invites people to the Beard House to listen to chefs and authors share their insights on the captivating food world. Last Wednesday, we showcased JBF Award winner Mindy Segal, who recently released her first cookbook, Cookie Love. This beautiful tome provides innovative techniques and fun interpretations of classic recipes from a self-professed “cookie nerd.” Segal exposes the reader to unexpected ingredients and creative flavor combinations in her recipes. 


Here are some of our favorite insights from Mindy:


1) "I chose cookies because they are a much better gift than a bundt cake. You get a tin of cookies and you’re really excited about it. There’s a cookie for everybody. If you like crispy cookies, you can have chocolate chip cookies. If you like soft cookies you could have rugelach cookies with fresh jam. Instead of just raspberry jam, you can put smoked almond streusel and... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery



Craft beers have never been hotter, but despite all the up-and-coming brewing bon vivants, the veteran Dogfish Head Craft Brewery continues to draw in hopheads with its quirky and innovative small-batch beers. This is due in no small part to the drive and creativity of Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head and two-time nominee for JBF's Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional award. We sat down with Calagione to pick his brain on the latest trends in the brewing scene, his recommendations for Chicago suds, and more.



JBF: When you were first nominated, you named Sixty-One as your favorite of Dogfish Head’s beers. Does it still hold that title, or do you have a new favorite?


Sam Calagione: I am still enjoying the heck out of Sixty-One, our Syrah grape–infused IPA, but now that the weather is warming up, I’m having a lot more of Namaste, which is our wheat beer brewed... Read more >

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Interview with Enrique Olvera of Best New Restaurant Nominee Cosme

Chef Chef Enrique Olvera of Cosme


At Cosme, located in New York City's Flatiron neighborhood, chef Enrique Olvera fuses Mexican and local ingredients, creating dishes that feel at once credible and novel. We spoke with Olvera about the past, present, and future of this Best New Restaurant nominee.


JBF: It’s been a huge year for Cosme. What’s your vision for the restaurant in the coming year?


EO: We are trying to get better every day and make customers and our staff happy. We want to earn the trust of our community and be active in our role.


JBF: Cosme is named after a Mexico City market you went with your grandfather. Why did you name the restaurant after that market? What was so memorable about those trips?


EO: I’ve always liked the name, so much that I even (unsuccessfully) tried to name one of my sons after it. At San Cosme I had some of my first... Read more >

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Interview with Dan Barber of Oustanding Restaurant Nominee Blue Hill at Stone Barns


Located just 30 miles north of New York City, Blue Hill at Stone Barns feels worlds away, sourcing its ingredients from the vast surrounding landscape and spinning them into dishes served in an idyllic, rustic-chic setting. Beyond the acclaimed cuisine, this Outstanding Restaurant nominee is also a staunch advocate for better food-system choices. We recently caught up with co-owner and executive chef Dan Barber for a look at what’s happening at the restaurant this season, his team’s experimental pop-up featuring food waste, and how we should rethink farm-to-table fare.


JBF: Can you tell us about a dish or two currently on your menu at Blue Hill at Stone Barns that really speaks to the restaurant’s perspective or philosophy?


Dan Barber: The farm director at Stone Barns Center, Jack... Read more >

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Making Your Diet #dessertworthy: Q & A with JBF Award Winner Emily Luchetti

Photo by Eric Wolfinger


JBF Award winner Emily Luchetti is known for satisfying sweet tooths of all ages at the Cavalier, Marlowe, and Park Tavern in San Francisco. But last month Luchetti launched #dessertworthy, a social media campaign aimed at revolutionizing the way we view and value our cakes, cookies, and ice cream. JBF sat down with Luchetti to discuss the motivation and philosophy behind #dessertworthy, along with her hopes for realistic change for the average American, one passed-over Pop Tart at a time. 




JBF: You’ve said before that you feel like it’s your duty as someone who works with desserts all day to be a good role model. Can you tell us a little bit about your relationship with sugar and dessert over your career and your life?


Emily Luchetti: When you’re surrounded by dessert all day, and I would say most pastry chefs would attest... Read more >

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