Throwback Thursday: James Beard Takes It Outside

Photo by Ron Callvert

 

Pull out your grills and dust off your wicker baskets: it's almost Memorial Day. Here at JBF, we're always looking for an excuse to escape the confines of the kitchen and cook delicious food outside. For this TBT, we're honoring James Beard's own appetite for al fresco fare. Whether gallivanting off to a picnic or hosting an outdoor soirée, Mr. Beard was always game for a thermos of Bloody Mary, delicately charred scallops, or barbecued steak. With the grilling season upon us, we're taking his expert advice to heart:


"The delicate turning of a pit over, or in front of, a fire is certainly a most delectable way to roast a prime joint or a tender bird. The resulting crispness of skin and juiciness of flesh is inviting to the eye, tantalizing to the nose, and an unbounded joy to the palate."—James Beard's Treasury of Outdoor Cooking (Gallery Press, 1960)

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Throwback Thursday: Chefs & Champagne®, Then and Now

Photo by Tom Kirkman

 

Recognize this fresh face behind the focaccia? It's none other than James Beard Award winner Mario Batali, prepping for our annual summer shindig Chefs & Champagne® way back in 1996. Back then, the tasting party and auction took place in August at the Ladies Village Improvement Society in East Hampton, NY. While the date and the venue may have changed, one thing about Chefs & Champagne® has remained constant: a knockout lineup of chefs serving up some of the best of America's culinary offerings. See what's in store for our 2015 fête, honoring Daytime Emmy Award–winning chef and cookbook author Carla Hall.

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Throwback Thursday: Mr. Beard's Mother

 

With Mother's Day just around the corner, it seems only fitting to honor one of the most vivacious women in the eyes of James Beard, his own mother, Elizabeth. As Beard's trusted cooking confidante, Elizabeth was an adventurous soul with a passion for food and travel that she passed on to her son. The Beard kitchen was always abundantly stocked, whether with his mother's canned white asparagus or succulent Dungeness crabs fresh from the Oregon Coast. This TBT, we're dipping into Beard's memoir, Delights and Prejudices (Atheneum, 1964), to share some of his cherished memories of a woman whose appetite was easily comparable to his own:

 

"Mother had an uncanny sense of food and the talent to show others how to prepare it. She loved to cook, eat, and talk food more than almost anyone else I have known. At the turn of the century she had an international approach to food that would have been considered revolutionary in the last ten years. She was ahead of her... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Italian Roots at the James Beard Awards

Photo by Kent Miller Studios

 

With a scant four days before the 25th Annual James Beard Awards in Chicago, we’re busy packing our bags, prepping our hair and makeup, and prognosticating about which nominees will grab the coveted medallions. The Awards are always full of surprises and singular moments, so for this week’s TBT we’re looking back at an unlikely pairing of pasta and percussion from last year’s ceremony. This dynamic duo of drumstick wielders is the kind of flavor combination you’ll only find at the Beard Awards. Tune in to our livestream Monday night to see what’s on the menu for this year.

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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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