Throwback Thursday: Memories from the First Annual Beard Awards

 

The countdown continues: the 2015 James Beard Awards are less than two weeks away! The excitement is contagious and, no surprise, it's all that we can talk about. Not all of us were fortunate enough to hop aboard the extravagant yacht where the very first Beard Awards were held 25 years ago, but for this week's TBT, we chatted with a team member lucky enough to witness the inaugural celebration back in 1991. Here are some of our manager of special projects and student programs Shelley Menaged's memorable moments from the very first JBF Awards: 

 

"I was a student volunteer assisting JBF Award winner Emeril Lagasse in the kitchen. I was fresh out of cooking school, so I was very eager. For me, it was an amazing experience. He made a crayfish étouffée and buttery biscuits. It was my first experience doing large production and we were in the tiniest kitchen.”

 ... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Clothes Make the Chef

 

Before his days as editor-in-chief at Bon Appétit, Adam Rapoport reported to the publications department at the James Beard Foundation. Back in our 1997 Winter issue of Beard House Magazine, he detailed James Beard's glamorous style. Beard topped off his large, patterned suits with his most beloved accessory: the bow tie. Whether Beard was hitting the town or cooking in his kitchen, his appearance was always a sight to feast your eyes on. This year, a fancy pop-out paper bow tie adorned the James Beard Awards invite to honor Beard's signature style. For this week's Throwback Thursday, we're sharing some of our favorite quotes from Rapoport's article on a man who's imaginative style made just as big of an impression as his culinary vision:

 

"He didn't dress like anyone, period. But he did have a certain style."

 

"'My first time with James was, as for so many others, really quite memorable,' writes restaurant consultant Clark Wolf in Barbara's Kafka... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: What We Ate at the First Annual JBF Awards

It's hard to believe that the 25th annual James Beard Awards are less than a month away, but we're already starting to pack our bags for the celebrations in Chicago. In honor of our anniversary theme of a quarter century of culinary excellence, we’re looking back at the very first Awards reception menu from 1991. Take a peek and you might spot some familiar names, along with a few ingredients that continue to capture dining culture to this day. What really drew us in, however, were the dishes just a little outside the ordinary, such as JBF Award winner Charlie Trotter’s "Smoked Eel Beggar’s Purse," and JBF Award–winning pastry chef Jacques Torres's “Mini Manhattan Buildings," which has us wondering what kind of culinary flights of fancy we'll find at this year's festivities.

 

Check out the full menu below, and read all our 2015 Beard Awards coverage... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: JBF Award Winner Daniel Boulud

 

Last week JBF Award winner Daniel Boulud rang in his 60th birthday with an A-list celebration packed with decadent bites and endless toasts. For this week's TBT, we're tipping our hats to this superstar chef who has won his fair share of awards over the years. We're taking it back to a similarly festive moment: the 10th James Beard Awards after party where Boulud reveled with fellow JBF Award winners Tom Colicchio and Thomas Keller at NYC's Esca. Their smiles get us even more excited for the fast-approaching Awards ceremony in May. 

 

Take a look at the full list of 2015 James Beard Award nominees here

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Throwback Thursday: JBF Award Winner Tom Colicchio Brings Home the Bacon

 

With several wins to his name, JBF Award winner Tom Colicchio knows a thing or two about the journey to the podium. These days, the seasoned vet probably has plenty of advice for our recently announced nominees, but we’re throwing it back to one of his early visits to the Beard House kitchen, when all those medallions were dreams on the horizon.

 

Check out the full list of 2015 James Beard Award nominees here.
 

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Throwback Thursday: JBF Award Winner Sherry Yard's Crowning Achievement

 

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but after more than 20 years of Beard Awards ceremonies, some photos are just begging for a caption. This TBT we’re highlighting a snap of JBF Award winner Sherry Yard that has captured our collective imagination. Fortunately, at our recent Chefs Boot Camp on Avery Island, Yard spilled the beans on her regal attire and gave us a little insight into the inner monologue of a winner on awards’ night:

 

 

I had been nominated a bunch of times and I always brought my mom and dad with me. I was sitting in general admission with them instead of in the nominee seat the company had gotten me, so we were in the second to last row, all the way in the corner. Gale Gand had won the Outstanding Pastry Chef award the year before so she was presenting, and I hear her call my name. I was making my way through the row of seats and it was taking forever. I hear Gale say, "I'm not sure... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: 2015 Awards Gala Chef Co-Chair Rick Bayless

 

With less than two weeks to go until our 2015 JBF Awards nominee announcement, the excitement in the air is palpable. For this week's TBT, we've unearthed a retro photograph of JBF Award winner Rick Bayless sporting a groovy hat and some funky specs while cooking at the Beard House. We can't wait for him to suit up as a gala chef co-chair at this spring's main event, coming May 4 to Lyric Opera of Chicago. See the full list of Awards gala chefs here.

 

Curious about the details of JBF's upcoming fête in Chi-town? Watch this clip of JBF president Susan Ungaro's recent interview on Windy City Live!

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Throwback Thursday: Sunday Supper at Chelsea Market

Photo by: Tom Kirkman

 

With the seventh annual Sunday Supper at Chelsea Market mere weeks away, we couldn’t resist reminiscing about the delicious feasts of years past. These family-style benefit dinners at Manhattan's Chelsea Market are prepared by a team of prestigious and innovative chefs from NYC and across the country. This TBT, we're throwing it back to our 2013 Sunday Supper, where the market's main hall was lavishly decorated for more than 300 guests. JBF Award winners Sarabeth Levine, Barbara Lynch, and Jacques Torres were just a handful of the esteemed chefs turning out stunning plates such as goat belly with kimchi and rich chocolate bonbons.

 

Bring your appetites on March 22, 2015, for this year's Sunday Supper, and help raise funds for culinary education initiatives through JBF and the Jamestown Charitable Foundation. It’s sure to be far more fun than your average day at the market.... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Hansen's Sno-Bliz

 

Earlier today, JBF announced the 2015 America's Classics honorees, our award given to regional establishments that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal. As we induct this new class of regional favorites into our ranks, it seemed only fitting to dedicate this Throwback Thursday to one of last year's winners, Hansen's Sno-Bliz.

 

On frosty days like these, we can only dream of licking melted shaved ice off our fingers in the scorching heat of summer. In 1934, Ernest Hansen patented one of the earliest ice shaving machines, and shortly after, his wife Mary started developing her own flavored syrups to use as toppings. On a sweltering New Orleans summer day back in 1939, they debuted their creations as Hansen's Sno-Bliz. Their granddaughter, Ashley Hansen, pictured here standing proudly with her award, has kept this mouthwatering business in the family. She... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Semifinalist Smiles

 

What’s got JBF Award winner Jonathan Waxman so happy? Maybe it’s our 2015 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalist announcement. For the fourth year running, he’s on the long list for Best Chef: NYC. With such a consistent track record, it seems only fitting for a little nostalgic indulgence via the photo above. What’s on your mind, chef Waxman? Already thinking about that nominee announcement on March 24?

 

See the full list of semifinalists here.

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