JBF's 25th Anniversary: How We Are Celebrating

JBF
On November 5, 1986, the James Beard Foundation officially opened the James Beard House to provide a center for the culinary arts. We’ll be celebrating our silver anniversary throughout the upcoming year in a number of ways, including the publication of The James Beard Foundation’s Best of the Best: A 25th Anniversary Celebration of America’s Outstanding Chefs, a keepsake book featuring insightful chef profiles, original photography, and more than 60 recipes from JBF Outstanding Chef Award winners like Wolfgang Puck and Tom Colicchio. You can preorder your own copy here.

We’re also hard at work planning a unique series of anniversary dinners featuring America’s greatest chefs, including many of the culinary masters featured in Best of the Best. Make sure to check

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The Bookshelf: Cooking with Italian Grandmothers

Cooking with Italian Grandmothers

While traveling through Italy, chef and author Jessica Theroux met twelve Italian grandmothers, the keepers of the artisanal traditions that make Italy's cuisine one of the most delectable in the world. These humble women shared their kitchens, recipes, and lives with Theroux, who documented the experiences in her book, Cooking for Italian Grandmothers. Part cookbook, part travelogue, her project documents culinary customs that had been verbally transmitted through generations, providing home cooks with a valuable collection of authentic recipes and transporting photography.

You can hear Theroux speak at today's Beard on Books... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: Julia Child's The French Chef

Julia Child's The French Chef

Now that we inhabit a supersaturated food-media world of flawless camera-ready meals, secret ingredients, and down-to-the buzzer cooking, it's no surprise that the pioneers of the genre can be overshadowed by their flashier descendents. So when Dana Polan, professor of cinema studies at New York University, came by last week's Beard on Books to discuss his latest book, Julia Child's The French Chef, we asked him some questions about Child, her groundbreaking cooking show, and the evolution of the medium.   James Beard Foundation: You write that viewers of food television in the 1960s, which was a very volatile era, took comfort in the predictability of cooking shows. Today’s food shows are more suspenseful; we don’t know if the contestants on Chopped will actually finish the dish. What

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The Bookshelf: How to Get a Good Tomato

 

Multiple JBF Award–winning writer Barry Estabrook recently won a 2011 JBF Journalism Award for his blog, politicsoftheplate.com, but it’s his new book, Tomatoland, about how industrial agriculture destroyed our most alluring fruit—and how it can be saved—that has been making headlines. Here, he tells us how to get the best tomatoes anytime of year.

 

Grow your own
Any spot that gets sunshine will do: balcony, patio, deck, or yard. Containers, potting mix, and seedlings are all you need to produce weeks of great-tasting tomatoes.

 

Buy Local
The closer a tomato is grown to your kitchen, the better it will be. The next best options can be found at your farmers’ market. Typically, a farmers’ market tomato has been picked fully ripe a day or two earlier. Supermarket tomatoes are frequently picked green, are gassed with ethylene to turn them red, and have a shelf life of... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: A Bird in the Oven

 

If you’re staying in this Valentine’s Day, what could be better than a delicious, aromatic roast chicken for two? We asked Mindy Fox, author of A Bird in the Oven and Then Some, for tips to make sure you and your lovebird enjoy a meal to remember.

 

1. Start with a good bird

A great roast chicken starts with a great bird. Look for organic, grass-fed, antibiotic-free chickens from local farmers or family-farm brands like Murray’s, in Pennsylvania.

 

2. Rinse and dry the bird

To ensure a crispy bird, rinse the chicken in cold water, then use paper
towels to thoroughly dry all over, including inside the cavity.

 

3. Use good sea salt

The next step in achieving beautifully crisp skin is to season generously with a good-quality, flaky sea salt like Big Tree Farms Coarse Hollow Pyramid Salt, or Maldon.

 

4. Get out your cast iron

A good basic pan makes the... Read more >

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