Q & A with JBF Award Nominee Danny Bowien

Anna Mowry interviews JBF Award nominee Danny Bowien

 

When Danny Bowien moved to New York City last spring, he had Szechuan peppercorn–scented winds at his back. His pilot location of Mission Chinese in San Francisco was an undisputed triumph. Meanwhile, the upcoming Lower East Side sequel was already New York's most discussed opening of the year, well before the kitchen had sent out its first mapo tofu. Could the Oklahoma City native recreate his success in a town that doesn’t always warm to outsiders? We all know how the rest of the story goes. Below, the two-time nominee for our Rising Star Chef of the Year award tells us about his recent trip to Paris and reveals a surprising favorite movie pick.

 

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JBF: You recently got back from Paris. Where did you eat... Read more >

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Q & A with JBF Award Nominee Ken Forkish

Elena North-Kelly interviews Ken Forkish of Ken's Artisan Bakery in Portland

 

Most Pacific Northwest epicureans are familiar with the creative, crave-worthy baked goods at Ken's Artisan Bakery in Portland. They may not, however, know that the bakery’s owner (and 2013 Outstanding Pastry Chef award nominee), Ken Forkish, had a twenty-year career in the tech industry before trading in his suit and tie for an apron. Read on to learn about his JBF Award–nominated cookbook, favorite local eateries, and his early-onset obsession with doughnuts.

 

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JBF: Before you opened your wildly popular bakery, you had a twenty-... Read more >

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Q & A with Curtis Duffy of JBF Award–Nominated Grace

Elena North-Kelly interviews Curtis Duffy of Chicago's Grace Restaurant

 

After coming up the ranks in some of Chicago's most prestigious kitchens, Curtis Duffy opened his own restaurant, Grace, to rave reviews. A 2013 nominee for Best New Restaurant, Grace attracts diners from all over the country who are seeking a taste of Duffy's thoughtful, sophisticated cuisine. In our interview below, he fills us in on his progressive approach to cooking, the dish that took years to come to fruition, and the unconventional tasting menu devoted almost entirely to flora.     

 

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JBF: Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration and philosophy behind Grace?

 

Curtis Duffy: My inspiration for Grace... Read more >

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JBF on the Air: The Art of Fermentation

Sandor Katz on Taste Matters

 

On last week's episode of Taste Matters, JBF's Mitchell Davis explored all things fermentation with author, activist, and self-described "fermentation revivalist" Sandor Katz. The pair discussed the nature of the process, the growing trend of home fermentation, and the war on bacteria. Listen below to find out why fermented foods are so safe and learn about the history behind the transformative action of microorganisms:

 

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Q & A with JBF Award Nominee Sam Calagione

James Beard Award nominee Sam Calagione

 

When it first opened in 1995, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery was the smallest commercial brewery in the United States. Now, thanks to its line of quirky, small-batch beers, the company pulls in a cult-like following. We got in touch with Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head’s founder, president, and a 2013 nominee for our Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional award. Read on for his thoughts on collaborations between chefs and brewers, the ancient ale he cultivated with a molecular archeologist, and a beer that was like “tongue-kissing Mother Nature.”

 

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JBF: We’ve read that you strive to create beers so unique that they can’t be judged by ordinary standards. Can you tell us a bit more about the philosophy behind Dogfish Head?

 

Sam Calagione: We brew beers that are beyond stylistic borders and far outside the modern tradition of using just barley, water, yeast,... Read more >

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Q & A with Evan and Sarah Rich of the JBF Award–Nominated Rich Table

Evan and Sarch Rich of San Francisco's Rich Table

 

When Evan and Sarah Rich opened the doors at San Francisco’s Rich Table, they presented a refined sensibility gleaned from combined backgrounds at high-end restaurants like Bouley, Quince, and Michael Mina with a convivial, relaxed environment. We caught up with the husband-and-wife team behind the Best New Restaurant nominee to learn about the inspiration behind their concept, their favorite cookbooks, and the unusual recipe that launched a culinary career.

 

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JBF: What is your favorite item on the menu at Rich Table right now?

 

Evan Rich: Asparagus with pork belly and sorrel. I love this dish because it really represents what we do here. At first glance, it seems very simple but there's a lot of complexity of flavor and texture—and a great deal of work that goes into both the preparation and the pickup of the dish. It was inspired by sweet-and-sour... Read more >

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Q & A with Mike Lata of the JBF Award–Nominated The Ordinary

Anna Mowry interviews Mike Lata, the chef behind Best New Restaurant nominee the Ordinary in Charleston

 

No discussion about Charleston’s on-fire food scene is complete without a nod
to Mike Lata. His first solo project, FIG, was a pioneer of the city’s latest generation of eateries, while the Ordinary, his follow-up concept and a 2013 Best New Restaurant nominee, is a reconsideration of the classic seafood restaurant. In the interview below, Lata discusses how he applies nose-to-tail philosophy to seafood, the Carolinas’ unique “merroir," and his favorite dishes at the Ordinary.

 

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JBF: Your menu celebrates the “merroir” of the coastal Carolinas and the East Coast. How would you describe the merroir of the Carolinas? What's unique about it?

 

ML: What's unique to the Carolinas is pluff mud and the high salinity content of our ... Read more >

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JBF on the Air: Food Safety and Sustainability

Urvashi Rangan on Taste Matters

Buying natural, sustainable, and healthy food has become increasingly confusing in our hyper-marketed world. On yesterday's powerful episode of Taste Matters, JBF's Mitchell Davis got some straight facts from Urvashi Rangan, executive director of the Food Safety and Sustainability Center operated by Consumer Reports. Learn all about the truth behind "natural" labels, the dangers of food marketing, and the growing problem of "green noise" below:

 

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Q & A with JBF Award Nominee David Wondrich

Anna Mowry interviews JBF Award Nominee David Wondrich

 

After Prohibition virtually extinguished America’s rich cocktail culture, mixology entered a bleak age of sour mix, cranberry juice, and abuse of the “-tini” suffix. But thanks, in part, to cocktail historian David Wondrich, many of the recipes from bartending’s Golden Age are alive and well once more. Below, Wondrich, who is a nominee for our Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional award, tells us about his latest project, favorite new bars, and first non-liquid food memory. 

 

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JBF: You've been tapped to write The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails. How is that going? Is there an ETA?

 

DW: It's a huge job, that's for sure, but I'm already learning a great deal. We're trying to bring all kinds of Asian and African spirits into the discussion, from arrack to akpeteshie, baijiu to bukha. I've really just begun working on it—I've got a list of headwords and we're figuring out who... Read more >

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Q & A with Alex Stupak of the JBF Award–Nominated Empellón Cocina

Anna Mowry interviews Alex Stupak of Empéllon Cocina, a 2013 nominee for the JBF Best New Restaurant awards

 

Whether you initially thought that Alex Stupak’s decision to hang up his pastry chef hat and open his own taqueria was a brilliant move or a madcap experiment, everyone can now agree that the detour has paid off. His two young ventures, Empellón Taqueria and Empellón Cocina, have earned raves from local and national media, and the latter is one of our 2013 Best New Restaurant nominees. Below, the freshly minted Food & Wine Best New Chef tells us about the future of his restaurants, a regional Mexican cuisine that deserves more attention, and his favorite unwieldy Mexican dish in New York City.

 

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JBF: Empellon Cocina is about a year old now. What are you and your team focusing on over the course of the next year?

 

AS: Right... Read more >

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