Introducing Our New Cookbook, "James Beard's All-American Eats"

 

What makes a restaurant an America’s Classic? The James Beard Awards committee’s official definition is “a restaurant with timeless appeal, beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community.” An America’s Classic also must have been operating for at least ten years and be locally owned. Unofficially, but fittingly, these establishments are often brimming with history and stories; eating at one can transport you to a bygone era. All are worth a detour, some extra miles on the odometer.

 

 

Since 1998, nearly 100 eateries, from Prince’s Hot... 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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The Bookshelf: Baking with the Brass Sisters

 

Marilynn and Sheila Brass are known for their devotion to America’s culinary past, scouring old cookbooks and handwritten recipes to ensure that our nation’s home-baked favorites survive for the next generation. In their latest tome, Baking with the Brass Sisters, the duo compiled recipes that traveled alongside incoming immigrants, as well as favorites that sprouted out of Yankee soil. Last month, the JBF Award–nominated  sisters stopped by the Beard House to discuss their charming and approachable collection of recipes at our latest​ Beard on Books event. Below, the incomparable ... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: Dan Barber's "The Third Plate"

 

This past spring JBF Award winner Dan Barber took the nose-to-tail and root-to-stalk philosophy a step further by transforming his acclaimed Blue Hill restaurant into the high-profile pop-up, wastED. The monthlong project tackled the food waste problem head-on, featuring dishes like monkfish wings and kale-rib stew. Barber credits his inspiration for the concept to the research he did for The Third Plate, which details his vision for the future of food, and won the medallion for Writing and Literature at our JBF Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards this year. Below, Barber digs into how our cultural history shapes our view of food, why wastED was so successful, and what chefs are doing to combat waste in the kitchen and on the table. 

 

JBF: In The Third Plate, you characterize America’s cultural conception of food as being based on everlasting... Read more >

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Buy 2014 Book Award Nominees in the JBF Amazon Store

The James Beard Foundation Amazon Store

 

Isn't it funny how your shelves always seem to have room for just one more cookbook? Good thing we just added this year's batch of JBF Book Award–nominated titles to our Amazon store. Go buy one—or anything else, for that matter—and the James Beard Foundation will get a cut of the purchase. Go on, you know you want to.

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The Bookshelf: Pandora’s Lunchbox

 

From Subway sandwiches that contain more than 100 ingredients to packaged cheese that won’t spoil for eternity, processed food accounts for 70 percent of America’s caloric intake. In Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal, former New York Times reporter Melanie Warner explores the depths of engineered food and its implications for our health and society. We got in touch with the author to learn about her investigation to uncover the truth, her most shocking discovery, and her advice for changing the way America eats.

 

(Join Melanie tomorrow at noon for a special installment of our Enlightened Eaters series at the Beard House.)

 

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JBF: You started out as a business reporter for Forbes and the New York Times. How did you get interested in writing about food?

 

Melanie Warner... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: Vedge

Vedge

 

If there’s anyone who knows his vegetables, it’s chef Richard Landau. His mission to make vegetables that appeal to a carnivore’s palate has been wildly successful—he cooked the first vegan dinner at the Beard House and, along with wife Kate Jacoby, opened the acclaimed vegetarian restaurant, Vedge, in Philadelphia. The duo’s new cookbook, Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking, offers innovative recipes, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and useful tips to help any cook extract the most flavor and satisfaction out of a plant-based diet. Below, Richard shares his advice for taking the veggie plunge.

 

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JBF: What are some essential pantry items for a vegetarian or vegetable-focused home cook?

 

Richard Landau: A great olive oil, fresh herbs, quality spices, and a great stock are essential. But most important, all of your ingredients should be high quality. When cooking without animal products, you don’t have meat fats,... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook

Michael Anthony

 

Every year brings a fresh crop of dazzling, restaurant-driven cookbooks that renew our resolve to soar toward new technical heights in our home kitchens. But whether we actually reach those summits of thermal circulators and immaculate brunoise… well, that’s another story. This year’s batch included the eponymous title from New York City’s Gramercy Tavern, a restaurant anchored by a kitchen that’s never short on solid technique. But lightning-fast knife skills aside, JBF Award winner Michael Anthony says that The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook can actually make the leap from coffee table to kitchen counter. Intertwining two decades of the iconic restaurant's history with 125 seasonally inspired, contemporary American recipes, Anthony has crafted an invaluable resource for... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: What’s a Hostess to Do?

What’s a Hostess to Do? by Susan Spungen (Artisan Books, 2013)

 

Want to entertain flawlessly? So do we, so we enlisted recipe developer, food stylist, and author Susan Spungen to share five tips from her new book, What’s a Hostess to Do?, an invaluable resource chock-full of guidance, recipes, and helpful illustrations to help you become a party-throwing pro.—JBF Editors

 

 

Make It Ahead

Unless you’re a very confident cook, avoid last-minute cooking at all costs. A frantic or absent chef does not put guests at ease. For many of us, salads and stews are saviors.

 

Cook What You Know

The day of your party is not the time to practice something fancy that you’ve never even tasted, let alone cooked. Your tried-and-true pot roast may not seem exciting to you, but a solid dish done well is always better than a flashy one gone awry.

 

Think Like a Chef

Putting all of your ingredients in place... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: The Country Cooking of Greece

Diane Kochilas

 

In her new cookbook, The Country Cooking of Greece, Diane Kochilas offers vibrant recipes inspired by rustic tavernas, her own cooking school, and local artisans. We got in touch with the author to learn about her top picks for authentic Greek food in New York City, the distinct regional cuisines within the Mediterranean mecca, and an underlying philosophy of Greek cooking that everyone should master.

 

(Join Diane tomorrow at noon for a special installment of our Beard on Books series at the Beard House.)

 

JBF: What is your favorite aspect of Greek cuisine?

 

Diane Kochilas: There’s a tremendous variety of main-course vegetables and beans that sets Greek cuisine apart from other... Read more >

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