Throwback Thursday: Jack Daniel's Birthday at the Beard House

 

It’s officially fall. It’s the end of bikini season, it’s time to go apple-picking, and you can’t go two feet without stumbling over a pumpkin-spiced something.

 

In a nod to the season of spiked cider and hot toddies, here's a look back at Hill Country Barbecue’s 2009 Beard House dinner celebrating the birthday of Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel, known by some as the founder of the Jack Daniel's distillery. Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes was on hand for a very special dessert: a 60-pound cake in the shape of the birthday boy, complete with a whiskey barrel and a bottle of the eponymous liquor. In perfect fall form, the food was decadent, the cocktails flowed, and the cake’s flavor? Pumpkin, of course.

 

Take a peek at the video below to watch Duff ceremoniously cutting the cake:

 

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Throwback Thursday: State Bird Provisions at Taste America SF

 

James Beard Foundation's Taste America®

 

A sweet treat for today's TBT: the lemon–poppy seed ice cream sandwich prepared by the State Bird Provisions team at last year's Taste America San Francisco. (Those are hazelnuts and honey on top.) You can see the complete set of photos from that event here.

 

This year's Taste America tour heads to Seattle and Dallas next weekend. Check out the full ten-city schedule... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Richard Blais at Taste America Chicago

Richard Blais at James Beard Foundation's® Taste America in 2013

 

For today's Throwback Thursday, here's a snapshot of our cooking demos at last year's Taste America Chicago, where Richard Blais showed us how he makes a margarita. Naturally, his technique involves a hulking tank of liquid nitrogen.

 

The 2014 reboot of James Beard Foundation's® Taste America kicks off this weekend in Atlanta and Phoenix! Head over to jbftasteamerica.org to see what's in store for this year's ten-city tour.

 

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Throwback Thursday: In the Classroom with James Beard

James Beard at CIA

 

With school back in session, it seems only fitting that we turn to our favorite teacher, James Beard. From television shows to women’s clubs to cooking schools across the country, when he wasn’t writing cookbooks, James Beard was in the kitchen, guiding everyone from the humble home cook to the nation’s top toques. For this week’s #TBT, we look back at the 1998 Summer/Fall issue of Beard House Magazine, where Maria Rabat delves into Beard’s role as an educator in her article Beard at the Head of the Class

 

Rabat points out that despite an early yearning for “stardom and all that went with it,” Beard's turn to culinary education ultimately brought him far more acclaim that his stage career. Beard was a natural teacher, his culinary curiosity and vast knowledge of cooking history and technique combining with endless enthusiasm and patience. Above all, he strove to “‘make people realize that cooking is primarily fun, and the more they know about what they are doing,... Read more >

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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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