Throwback Thursday: Marc Vetri, Pasta Machine

Marc Vetri at the 2014 James Beard Awards

 

At this past spring's James Beard Awards Gala, Marc Vetri worked up a flour and egg–induced sweat while feeding fresh pasta to the hungry masses, and we mean fresh: the Philadelphia restaurateur, who was also an Outstanding Chef nominee that night, rolled pasta dough by hand during the entire post-show reception. Read our pre-Awards interview with Vetri here, and keep an eye out for his seventh concept, Lo Spiedo, this fall.

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Throwback Thursday: François Payard on Desserts

Payard

 

In "Wild at Tart," an article from the Winter 1996 issue of Beard House magazine, Erica Cantley interviewed François Payard, the winner of the 1995 James Beard Pastry Chef of the Year award. In their interview they discussed Payard's career in America and his desire to break the proverbial French pastry mold. "Receiving this uniquely American (James Beard) award is an affirmation that I have done the right thing—taken the risks to live in a different way, in a different country, making pastry much different from what I knew growing up," Payard explained. Banana Tart with Passion Fruit Crème Anglaise and Chocolate Tart with Spicy Chocolate Milkshake are just two of the desserts that clinched the Le Bernardin and Daniel pastry chef's elite status.

 

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Throwback Thursday: Happy (Almost!) Birthday, Julia Child!

James Beard and Julia Child

 

Tomorrow, Friday, August 15, would have been culinary icon (and James Beard's dear friend) Julia Child's 102nd birthday. To mark the occasion, we're sharing the cover of the Summer/Fall 1998 issue of Beard House magazine—which happened to be the "Culinary Education Issue"—featuring the duo. After Beard's death in 1985, it was Julia Child who came up with the idea to preserve his townhouse in New York City. "We need such a place as the Beard House in New York, where we can meet and commune and dine and celebrate—and where we can honor our generous patron saint, James A. Beard," she said. For her brilliant idea to preserve her friend and mentor's home, and for her indelible mark on the American culinary landscape, we're grateful to the late chef, author, and television personality. Happy birthday, Julia! 

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Throwback Thursday: James Beard on American Cooking

James Beard

 

In the age of ramen burgers, molecular gastronomy, and other innovations and trends, it can be easy to forget the roots of true American cuisine. As we've prepared for James Beard Foundation's Taste America®, our cross-country food tour celebrating this country's long-standing regional traditions, we dug up this essay from our patron saint's 1982 collection, The Armchair James Beard. Throughout his strikingly evergreen observations (save for calling garlic "very new and chic"), Beard reminds us where American cooking began, and the changes it has endured. It's brimming with his characteristic insight, wit, and charm. And, of course, there's a recipe.

 

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"American" Cooking

(from The Armchair James Beard)

 

People are trying very hard to make American cooking as phony as nouvelle cuisine sometimes... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Tom Colicchio at Chefs & Champagne '91

Colicchio

 

Here's Tom Colicchio at 1991's Chefs & Champagne, where he prepared grilled squab pastrami with caraway foccacia and corn relish. That year's benefit was held at the Water Mill estate on August 24.

 

Chefs & Champagne now takes place at Wölffer Estate Vineyard, but the rest of the formula endures: talented chefs, elegant food, and endless bubbly. Check out pictures from this year's event on our Facebook page

 

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Throwback Thursday: Chefs & Champagne 1998

Chefs & Champagne 1998

 

Chefs & Champagne, our annual summer tasting party in the Hamptons, is a longstanding tradition at the James Beard Foundation. It's an opportunity to gather with friends (and celebrities!) in a spectacular setting, sample food from some of the nation's finest chefs, and, of course, indulge in flowing bubbly. In 1998, our Chefs & Champagne event honored Florence Fabricant, celebrated cookbook author and New York Times columnist. The party's roster was stacked with the most talented chefs from across the country, including: Marcus Samuelsson of Aquavit, who would receive the James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef just a year later; Laurent Gras of the Waldorf Astoria's Peacock Alley; and Michael Lomonaco formerly of Windows on the World. This year's Chefs & Champagne will take place on Saturday, July 26, and the guest of honor is the inimitable Bobby Flay. 

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Throwback Thursday: Dining with James Beard in His Own Words

James Beard

 

In a 1955 letter to his friend and frequent correspondent, Helen Evans Brown, James Beard describes a day in the life of a legendary gourmand. He depicts lavish dinner parties, complete with foie gras and Champagne; days spent cooking with friends; an ambitious use of butter; and a simple meal for one. He demonstrates his fondness for food, appreciation of friends, aptitude for entertaining, and his charming wit—all the qualities he was most loved for. Below, his letter, which was printed in our Winter 1997 issue of Beard House magazine: 

 

Dearest Helen, 

 

I had dinner for the Gottliebs, the Sam Aarons, and Jeanne Stahl of Life magazine last night. Bill Veach had brought me a large selection of a wonderful pâté a foie. I had one can of that with drinks, then mushrooms with snails, which everyone adores more than snails in the shell. My lobster àl’Américaine was about the best one I ever made. I used three lobsters for six people.... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Interesting Ice Cream at the Beard House

Blue Berry Ice Cream

 

From celery sorbet to Thai basil ice cream, unusual frozen treats are all the rage at upcoming Beard House events. In his Spring 1996 Beard House Magazine article, “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for… Crab Ice Cream?”, former JBF associate editor Adam Rapoport, whom we all now know as Bon Appétit's editor-in-chief, reported on a similar phenomena. Check out some of the funky flavors that appeared at Beard House dinners in 1996, then continue reading for a preview of the innovative ice creams at our upcoming events.

 

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Survey the variety of ice creams recently served at the Beard House,... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: An Ode to Brazil's National Dish

Feijoada

 

As hundreds of thousands of soccer devotees flock to Brazil for the World Cup, the global spotlight has never been brighter on the country’s culture and traditions. However, long before FIFA, former JBF director of publications (and current executive vice president) Mitchell Davis, was charmed by Brazil and its national dish, feijoada. For his contribution to the “Galloping Gourmets: Culinary Postcards from Abroad” feature in the, Summer 1996 issue of Beard House magazine, he offered his culinary insight on the savory stew:

 

“Brazil: A National Treasure” 
By Mitchell Davis

 

Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world, so it’s no wonder each of its states has a distinct cuisine—from the succulent braised dishes of Minas Gerias to the palm-nut-oil-and-coconut-rich foods of Bahia. One dish, however, crosses state lines. On almost every Saturday afternoon in almost every inch of the country’s 3.3 million square miles, Brazilians participate in a... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Laura Shapiro's "A Food Lover's Guide to Fat"

Cookies

 

Remember SnackWell's? In the 1990s America's fear of fat was perhaps even more pronounced than the aversion to gluten we have seen in this decade. In her 1995 JBF Journalism award–winning article, "A Food Lover's Guide to Fat," historian Laura Shapiro addressed the anti-fat frenzy:

 

Consider the Oreo: two chocolate discs, a creamy filling, and a tradition going back to 1912. For as long as cookie sales have been tracked, Oreos have been the industry front-runner, occasionally jockeying for first place with Chips Ahoy! or Fig Newtons, but always the sentimental favorite. Until this year. When the cookie-and-cracker bestseller list for 1994 is tabulated, last year’s number six will have flown straight up into first place, with Oreos in a dismal fourth. America’s new passion is SnackWell’s. Introduced by Nabisco only two years ago, SnackWell’s is a line of fat-free and low-fat snacks best known for the Devil’s Food Cookie Cake, a morsel of cake and marshmallow wrapped in a shiny chocolate coat.... Read more >

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