Ask a Chef: Paul Shoemaker

 

Trained in the kitchens of the French Laundry, Per Se, and Alain Ducasse, chef Paul Shoemaker brings technique-driven cooking and a Southern California sensibility to Firefly in Los Angeles. On Friday, May 15, he'll bring a taste of his elegant and whimsical fare across the country for a lavish dinner at the Beard House. Below, we've got the scoop on his professional surfing past, what nostalgia tastes like for him, and what inspired his upcoming menu.

 

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What is your inspiration behind the menu for this Beard House event?

 

At my restaurant Firefly, we use California seasonality as our focal point to make playful dishes that support local purveyors, farmers, and ingredients. My Beard House menu reflects what’s fresh in the spring, combining the agriculture available on the East Coast with the flavors of the West... Read more >

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Enter Our #JBFSPRING Contest to Win Dinner at the Beard House

 

Spring has finally sprung, and we couldn't be happier about what lies in our verdant dining destiny: asparagus, artichokes, fava beans, ramps, rhubarb, snap peas, strawberries, morels, and much more. Share your favorite springtime dishes with us between now and June 6, and you could win dinner for two at the Beard House! Here's how:
 
1. Follow @beardfoundation on Instagram
 
2. Post a photo of your favorite springtime dish and tag it with #jbfspring
 
3. You’ll be automatically entered to win a FREE dinner for two at the Beard House in NYC​​
 
Happy spring! 

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Enter Our #JBFSNACKS Contest to Win Dinner at the Beard House

 

We’ll be live-streaming the 2015 James Beard Awards on May 4. What will you be snacking on while you watch? Share your favorite party snacks with us between now and May 5, and you could win dinner for two at the Beard House! Here's how:

 

1. Follow @beardfoundation on Instagram

 

2. Post a photo of your favorite viewing-party snack and tag it with #jbfsnacks

 

3. You’ll be entered to win a FREE dinner for two at the Beard House in NYC​​

 

Happy snacking! 

 

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Reel Food: Behind the Scenes at the Beard House with Chicago’s Jimmy Bannos Jr.

 

Fourth-generation chef and restaurateur Jimmy Bannos Jr. opened Chicago’s acclaimed wine-and-swine bar, the Purple Pig, to rave reviews at the tender age of 25. This winter, the 2014 JBF Rising Star Chef of the Year award winner satisfied eager Beard House diners with his luscious Mediterranean fare, which in his true nose-to-tail ethos, included everything from chicken feet to neck bone gravy. Watch the video above to go behind the scenes at his dinner, learn how growing up in a culinary family pushed him to succeed, and discover about how his cooking philosophy has evolved along the way.

 

To learn more about upcoming events, view our full calendar. For LIVE behind-the-scenes action from the Beard House, watch our JBF Kitchen Cam at ... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Sunchokes

sunchoke

 

WHAT? A member of the sunflower family, this unusual vegetable, native to North America, can grow to be ten feet tall. Sunchokes are also known as Jerusalem artichokes, although they've got nothing to do with the Holy Land and they certainly aren't artichokes. The origins of its etymology are as varied and gnarled as this tuber’s skin. Some suspect that the Italian word for sunflower, girasole, tumbled through a game of telephone to become Jerusalem. A marketing scheme took this confusing nomenclature, combined it with the bulbs’ light artichokey flavor, and the “Jerusalem artichoke” was born. But the eccentric titles don’t end there: the sunchoke has also been nicknamed the “fartichoke.” Julia Child once said, “I just love those Jersualem artichokes. But is there anything you can do about the flatulence?” The sunchoke’s high starch content is the culprit (and also a natural remedy for diabetics).
 
Thankfully, these monikers have been eclipsed by this vegetable’s versatility. Sunchokes can be eaten raw, cooked like potatoes, or... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Beard House Food Pyramid

 

James Beard once said, "It is true thrift to use the best ingredients available and to waste nothing." Ed Kim, cartoonist for Beard House Magazine and other JBF publications, illustrated his rankings of said best ingredients in the October 2000 cover of the JBF Calendar & Newsletter in a comic called “Beard House Food Pyramid." (Click here for full-sized artwork.) Viewed alongside retrospectives of last year’s culinary trends and prognostications of what awaits in 2015, Kim’s vision of the food pyramid à la Beard is remarkably resonant. Hudson Valley foie gras and truffles on the daily; oysters a few times a week; morels, chanterelles and porcini when in season. Fifteen years later, it seems almost nothing has changed. Take a glimpse at a menu for any dinner or event this year at the Beard House and see for yourself.

 

 ... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: The Beard House Latke Cookoff

 

The star is on the tree at Rockefeller Center, Salvation Army bells jingle on every corner, and the scent of pine needles permeates the streets of New York. But while everyone else is trimming their trees and decking their halls, the shorter days and yuletide decorations make us think of an old Beard House tradition—the Latke Cookoff. This annual event of amateurs and professionals ran from 1996 to 2001, and our own executive vice president Mitchell Davis won the inaugural potato playoffs. For this TBT, we’re featuring an artist’s rendering of Mitchell in his moment of victory, along with his winning recipe, which can also be found in his cookbook, The Mensch Chef. The secret to his spuds? His mother Sonny’s ratio of one onion for every two potatoes. And as everyone knows, you don’t argue with a Jewish mother. Check out the recipe here... Read more >

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Celebrate Repeal Day with a Beard House Cocktail Party!

 

Prohibition’s greatest lesson may be that you can’t keep Americans from their cocktails. These days cocktails are more popular than ever, from extensive spirit programs popping up in restaurants and bars across the country, to the rise of the bartender as cult figure, to our own addition of the Bar Program category to the James Beard Awards two years ago.

 

In honor of this era of libation infatuation and to commemorate Repeal Day, which marks the anniversary of the end of Prohibition, on December 5​, we’re celebrating the best way we know how: with a cocktail party! Join us at the Beard House this Friday night to sample treats and tipples from some of the best and brightest bartenders and chefs working in New York City. This impressive lineup of mixologists, including JBF Award–winning PDT’s Jim Meehan and Jeff Bell, will curate an extensive drinks menu that... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Thanksgiving with a Southern Twist

 

Turducken may be old hat at this point, but only at the Beard House could you taste a Turduckgras meatball—that’s turkey, duck, and foie gras. This TBT, we’re looking back at these unusual bird balls that were served as part of our 2012 Thanksgiving with a Southern Twist dinner, where Scott Varnedoe of Baton Rouge’s Stroubes showed us how they properly celebrate below the Mason Dixon. With a menu ranging from Roasted Butternut Squash–Louisiana Jumbo Lump Crab Cappuccino with Red and Green Chili Oil, Allspice Whipped Cream, and Toasted Chestnut Dust to Individual Apple–Pecan Pies with Buttermilk–Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Calvados Caramel, and Dehydrated Apple Baklava Sticks, Beard House diners were treated to a Southern feast that left them with nary a thought of Mom’s candied yams.

 

Check out this year’s Thanksgiving menu.... Read more >

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Reel Food: Behind the Scenes at the Beard House with Pearl & Ash's Richard Kuo and Patrick Cappiello

 

What do you get when you put a wd~50 kitchen alum and former Gilt wine director together? The highly-praised Pearl & Ash. Chef Richard Kuo and wine director Patrick Cappiello showed off the eclectic and exciting fare that's garnered them so much buzz at their recent Beard House dinner, which featured a reception with passed canapés followed by a five-course tasting menu—with a whopping three wine pairings for each course! Watch the video above to go behind the scenes at their dinner, discover the origin of their dynamic partnership, and see how they infused the Beard House with a little renegade style for one epic night.

 

To learn more about upcoming events, view our full calendar. For LIVE behind-the-scenes action from the Beard House, watch our JBF Kitchen Cam at jbfkitchencam.org... Read more >

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