How FoodShed Exchange Connects Chefs to Primary Food Sources

 

 

 

James Beard Award winner Jimmy Schmidt wants to disintermediate the current terminal market distribution system.

 

If you’re a chef or a farmer, don’t worry about committing the economic lingo to memory. Schmidt’s vision sounds complicated for a big reason: he’s trying to bring greater efficiency to annual food purchases by chefs, a market that’s in the tens of billions of dollars. And it’s an area that’s very prone to wastefulness.

 

Schmidt’s new project, the FoodShed Exchange (FSX), connects chefs and mindful food producers, creating a reliable and transparent market between them. By removing the intermediaries (the “middle men,” as they are often known), farmers can more nimbly respond to the needs of restaurants while making higher profits, while chefs get to purchase food that’s fresher and vetted by the FSX community. It all takes place on the... Read more >

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The 2015 Cooking Up Change Competition

 

For the fourth year in a row, the James Beard Foundation is the official culinary partner of Cooking Up Change, a nationwide high school competition that invites students to improve school lunches. Administered by the Chicago-based Healthy Schools Campaign, the 2015 competition consisted of nine regional qualifiers, in which high-school teams designed and prepared meals within the real-life constraints of limited ingredient lists and tight prep times. Finalists from each city advanced to compete in the national competition in Washington, D.C. last week.

 

 

Cooking Up Change

 

The teams' meals were judged on originality, taste, texture and appearance. After the votes were tallied, Debra Eschmeyer,... Read more >

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Sponsored Post: Let Enjoy Illinois Be Your Chicago Concierge

The dining room of Best New Restaurant nominee Parachute

 

If you're visiting Chicago and love food, you know the city's Beard Award winners and latest crop of nominees are sure bets for top-notch dining. But the offerings don't end there.

 

The official Enjoy Illinois blog, published by the Illinois Office of Tourism, is a one-stop guide to restaurants, museums, historical sites, and more in Chicago. Head over there now for a roundup of where to eat during JBFA weekend. We also love their inspired Instagram Challenges, with themes like "... Read more >

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Sponsored Happy Hour: The BACARDÍ Gran Reserva Old Cuban

BACARDÍ Brand Ambassador Juan Coronado

 

The Italian tradition of serving a pre-dinner cocktail, or aperitif, dates back to ancient Rome. But like many imbibers, I want that experience to last longer.

 

Thanks to the care and pride that restaurants are putting into their beverage programs, we can now enjoy cocktails throughout an entire meal. When made correctly, cocktails can be extremely food-friendly, and can pair with any style of cuisine. However, some spirits are more versatile than others.

 

Mixologists prize rum for its incredible flexibility. The spirit ranges from light and dry to rich and aged, and can be flavored or spiced. This diversity allows for a broader spectrum of cocktails that can be mixed with infinite ingredients to fully complement a culinary experience.

 

 ... Read more >

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Sponsored Post: HMSHost's Innovative Dining at O'Hare

Chef Susumu Shibata in the O’Hare Urban Garden

 

When the best of America’s culinary industry descends on Chicago for the James Beard Awards Gala next week, they’ll touch down at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, one of the busiest aviation hubs in the country.

 

The 80 million travelers who traverse O’Hare’s terminals daily are no strangers to culinary excellence, thanks to the abundant dining options provided by HMSHost. One of the world’s largest restaurateurs, HMSHost has developed an innovative dining program that’s in step with current food trends, including restaurants that source from local farmers and use fresh herbs from O’Hare Urban Garden, located in Terminal 3.

 

Like the James Beard Awards, HMSHost is invested in nurturing culinary talent. The company’s recent “... Read more >

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Win Two Tickets to the Lexus VIP Experience at the JBFA

The James Beard Awards presented by Lexus

For the 25th anniversary of the Oscars of food, JBF wanted a venue that suited the occasion. The Lyric Opera of Chicago, home to the second-largest opera auditorium in North America and the largest stage in downtown Chicago, fits the bill beautifully.

 

And for our VIP guests, we wanted to craft an exclusive experience unlike any in the culinary world. Thanks to Lexus, the presenting sponsor of the James Beard Awards, we have.
 


Lyric Opera of Chicago 

 

Our VIP attendees will begin their night at the Lexus VIP Reception, featuring passed canapés and Champagne. Then they will be seated at the front of the Lyric Opera balcony, where they will enjoy prime views of our star-... Read more >

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Sponsored Post: Win Tickets to the Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival on May 2

Take Home a Rioja Cellar Contest

 

You already know about the fabulous chefs, wines, and bites at the upcoming Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival, conveniently going down at Chicago’s Union Station on Saturday, May 2, just two days before the Beard Awards festivities. Now we're giving you a chance to attend for free, with VIP status to boot. 

 

Our friends at the Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival are generously giving away two VIP tickets to this not-to-miss event. This privileged entrée will give you access to exclusive VIP areas, as well as the opportunity to sip more than 100 vibrant Rioja wines from 40+ wineries, meet top Rioja winemakers, attend expert-led seminars, and taste delicious tapas from nearly 30 chefs of national renown. Plus, you'll be automatically entered into the "Take Home a Rioja Cellar" contest. The winner will take... Read more >

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Cook with a JBF Award Winner via IfOnly

 

For the novice home cook who's looking to go pro, is there a better opportunity than learning straight from a Beard Award winner? Or, for the avid entertainer who wants to live large, is there anything more impressive than an iconic chef cooking an extravagant meal for your friends? 

 

We think not. That's why we've once again partnered with IfOnly to bring you the food lover's dream shop, filled with experiences and autographed cookbooks from JBF Award nominees and winners from around the country. From a private, multi-course meal prepared in your own kitchen by JBF Award winner and luminary Alice Waters to an afternoon apprenticeship with JBF Award winner Jonathan Waxman at ... Read more >

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Sponsored Post: The Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival on May 2

Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival

 

Make the most of your JBF Awards weekend and celebrate Spain’s most prominent wine region while you’re in Chicago! The Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival will take place on  Saturday, May 2, at the city’s iconic Union Station. Experience more than 100 vibrant Rioja wines from 40 wineries, meet top Rioja winemakers, attend expert-led seminars, and taste delicious tapas from nearly 30 nationally-renowned chefs. Rioja is famous for producing an incredible variety of the world’s finest and most food-friendly wines at amazing values, so while you are sipping away, stop off at the Jamón Galleria and the cheese cave while listening to live music.

 

Start planning your weekend now and make sure to get your tickets for one of the best gastronomic parties of the year! Tickets are $65 and proceeds of the Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival will benefit culinary scholarships the James Beard Foundation. This event is expected to sell out, so get your tickets today!   

 ... Read more >

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Sponsored Post: Meet the New Taste of Waldorf

 

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the culinary legacy of the Waldorf Astoria, you've surely tasted it. Many iconic dishes were invented at this legendary New York City hotel, with the very first eggs benedict, red velvet cakes, and Waldorf salads emerging from its kitchens.

 

Soon guests at Waldorf properties around the world will enjoy what's sure to become a new classic: Celery Risotto alla Waldorf, created for the Taste of Waldorf competition by 2013 and 2014 JBF Rising Star Chef of the Year semifinalist David Posey and Waldorf Astoria Master Chef Heinz Beck. The elegant "risotto"—celery root finely chopped to resemble rice, cooked in a creamy rice stock, and served with Granny Smith apple gelée and shaved truffle—was conceived and fine-tuned at the Rome Cavalieri... Read more >

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