Eat This Word: Huitlacoche


WHAT? Fancy fungus. A bulbous grey or black fungus that grows on ears of corn, huitlacoche used to be considered a nuisance by American farmers, who routinely destroyed crops "infected" with the blight and lobbied to make imports illegal. But in the late 1980s, chefs like Josephina Howard of NYC's Rosa Mexicano began promoting huitlacoche for its earthy, smoky flavor and its role in traditional Mexican cuisine. On September 12, 1989, Howard headlined a celebratory All Huitlacoche Dinner at the James Beard Foundation. Today, the delicacy is so savored that it is commonly referred to as the Mexican truffle.

WHERE? Inspired Mexican


WHEN? Wednesday, November 18, 2015


HOW? Corn with Huitlacoche and Epazote Flan


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On the Menu: Week of November 16


Here’s what’s coming up at the James Beard House and around the country:


Monday, November 16, 7:00 P.M.

Road Trip: Montreal

With numerous New York Times raves under his belt, David DiBari has been praised for his creative energy and boundary-pushing menus at his two Westchester hot spots. This brazen culinary charmer will use his soulful, lusty cuisine to take Beard House diners on a journey inspired by his passion for Montreal's decadent food scene.


Tuesday, November 17, 7:00 P.M.

An Edible Expedition

Known among epicureans and Sex and the City fans the world over for its trailblazing Japanese, Brazilian, and Peruvian fare, the SushiSamba empire is once again forging new territory. Be there when the... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of November 2


Here's what's coming up at the James Beard House and around the country:


Monday, November 2, 6:30 P.M. 

From Scratch Sessions: French Cheese and Rosé at Le District

Join the JBF Greens (foodies under 40) for an exploration of French cheeses and rosé wines at the chic new French food hall, Le District. Le District’s Elena Santogade, an ACS certified cheese professional, and Gabriella Macari from Château d’Esclans will introduce guests to some of France’s most delicious cheeses, and will explain how best to pair them with Provencal rosés. Guests will sample wines from Château d’Esclans, named Wine Enthusiast’s 2014 European Winery of the Year, including cult favorites Garrus, Les Clans, Rock Angel, and Whispering Angel.


Monday, November 2, 7:00 P.M.

... Read more >

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What We're Reading: October 26, 2015


Take coffee out of the cup and onto the plate with these recipes. [Saveur]


JBF Award winner Rick Bayless denounces television barbecue as “frat-boy food." [FWF]


Redefining the Mediterranean diet: the lifestyle is just as important as the food. [NYT]


Break out your sweatpants: Ben & Jerry's unveils new boozy caramel brownie flavor just in time for winter. [HuffPo]


It’s not all pie and cider doughnuts: a look into the secret lives of apple pickers... Read more >

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What We're Reading: September 10, 2014


The case for refrigerating tomatoes. [Serious Eats


Take a peek at the new PBS show, Food Forward. [Civil Eats


The man who brought cotton candy to the masses was … a dentist? [Priceonomics


Before it gets too cold outside, try a Champagne popsicle. [FoodBeast


From chicken tikka to General Tso’s, “ethnic”... Read more >

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JBF on the Air: Alex Stupak

Alex Stupak on Taste Matters with Mitchell Davis


On this week’s episode of Taste Matters, host Mitchell Davis welcomed Alex Stupak, the chef/owner of New York City’s Empellón Cocina and Empellón Taqueria, for a discussion of his unique approach to cross-cultural cooking. At his popular restaurants, Alex has garnered widespread acclaim for his progressive, innovative spin on Mexican cuisine. By staying dedicated to the fundamental culinary techniques and applications that are native to Mexico, but often using unconventional ingredients, his approach yields unexpected interpretations of authentic flavors. Listen below to learn more!


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Q & A with Alex Stupak of the JBF Award–Nominated Empellón Cocina

Anna Mowry interviews Alex Stupak of Empéllon Cocina, a 2013 nominee for the JBF Best New Restaurant awards


Whether you initially thought that Alex Stupak’s decision to hang up his pastry chef hat and open his own taqueria was a brilliant move or a madcap experiment, everyone can now agree that the detour has paid off. His two young ventures, Empellón Taqueria and Empellón Cocina, have earned raves from local and national media, and the latter is one of our 2013 Best New Restaurant nominees. Below, the freshly minted Food & Wine Best New Chef tells us about the future of his restaurants, a regional Mexican cuisine that deserves more attention, and his favorite unwieldy Mexican dish in New York City.




JBF: Empellon Cocina is about a year old now. What are you and your team focusing on over the course of the next year?


AS: Right... Read more >

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Recipe: Guacamole with Pistachios

Alex Stupak's recipe from guacamole with pistachios, adpated by the James Beard Foundation


When it comes to guacamole upgrades, we used to think that we had seen it all, but we were happily proven wrong at Empellón Cocina, where the house guacamole comes loaded with pistachios. Chef and wd~50 veteran Alex Stupak, who tells us that his favorite flavor is "crunchy", gently toasts the nuts in olive oil, then folds them into a minimal mix of avocado, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. A little toasting oil, infused with flavor of the pistachios, is spooned over the dip before serving.


Get the recipe here. The guacamole will also be on offer when the Empellón team cooks at the Beard House on... Read more >

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JBF Kitchen Cam