Eat this Word: Marcona Almonds

marcona almondsWHAT? Sovereign nut. Prized around the world, Marcona almonds are round, flat, and tan, and the trees on which they grow require tender, loving care. Marconas, which come from Spain, are typically eaten peeled, fried in olive oil, and salted. Spanish cuisine may have more uses for almonds than any other cuisine in the world. Although we once read that almonds "exert a relaxing effect and enhance intellectual activity," we suspect the real reason the Spanish eat so many of them is simpler—taste these. It's no wonder they have been called the "queen of almonds." WHERE? Jonathan Krinn and Jon Mathieson's Beard House dinner WHEN? June 23, 2009

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Tastebud: Introducing the Sudachi

Looking to put some pep on your plate? Consider the zesty sudachi, a prized Japanese citrus that remains largely unknown to American diners. Despite its humble size—its average weight hovers between one and one and a half ounces—a sudachi packs more zippy flavor than lemons or limes. The perfume of its skin fades as the fruit matures, so growers harvest the sudachi when still green and unripe. Japanese chefs use it to garnish sashimi and season grilled fish, soups, and hot pot dishes. Sudachi trees thrive in the warm, gentle climate of Tokushima, a prefecture on the southern coast of Japan, where they are a cheap commodity. But throughout the rest of the country sudachi are considered a delicacy and fetch sky-high prices. Beyond Japan’s borders, the fruit is rarely seen.

Fortunately, chefs who cooked at the Beard House this spring gave diners a taste without asking to see a passport: Asiate’s Brandon Kida served sudachi granita, while David Myers and Noriyuki Sugie paired sudachi with fluke sashimi. And next Monday, Shin Thompson of Chicago’s Boinsoirée will serve the citrus with sea beans, pickled radishes, duck skin,... Read more >

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Wild Alaskan Coho Salmon Burger

A wild Alaskan coho salmon burger, part of the seafood-driven dinner prepared by Ben Pollinger and Jansen Chen of Oceana in New York.

June 10, 2009, The Beard House, NYC

(Photo by Geoff Mottram)

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Roasted Heirloom Beets

Roasted heirloom beets with Hudson Valley goat cheese, American black walnut vinaigrette, and micro-herbs—the first course at Philip Campanella's Beard House lunch. June 5, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Erin Gleeson)

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Eat this Word: Bagna Cauda

Bagna CaudaWHAT? A hot soak for your veggies. Bagna cauda, Italian for hot bath, is a very old dish with a Piedmont pedigree. Once considered a poor man's meal, bagna cauda has become one of the region's most popular foods. The "bath" is a tangy sauce made from garlic, olive oil, and anchovy; butter is often added in as well. To keep the sauce hot, it's typically served over a flame. Raw, or sometimes lightly cooked vegetables, cut into bite-size pieces, are dipped into it using a long-pronged fork. In Piedmont, fennel, cauliflower, cabbage, and red peppers are the veggies of choice, but any vegetable that's good to eat raw works well with bagna cauda, too. WHERE? Enzo Fargione's Beard House dinner WHEN? June 17, 2009

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On the Menu: June 14 to June 20

Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: kitchen3akrishnadayanidhi Monday, June 15, 7:00 p.m. New England Summer Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier, Arrows and MC Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, ME / Jim Gallagher, Summer Winter at Boston Marriott Burlington, Burlington, MA / Ian Miller, MC Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, ME / Justin Walker, Arrows, Ogunquit, ME Tuesday, June 16, 7:00 p.m. Kansas City Steak Feast Charles d’Ablaing, Webster House, Kansas City, MO Wednesday, June 17, 7:00 p.m. Cucina Moderna Enzo Fargione, Teatro Goldoni, Washington, D.C. For details and reservations, visit

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Georgia Pecan Panna Cotta

Georgia pecan panna cotta with strawberry–rhubarb jam, the finale of Atlanta chef Carvel Grant Gould's Beard House dinner. May 14, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Michael Johnston)

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On the Menu: June 8 to June 13

Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: kitchen1aeileenmiller Monday, June 8, 7:00 p.m. Boutique Napa Wine Dinner Joel Harloff, Dali Wine Bar, Dallas / Proprietor Kathryn Walt Hall, Hall Wines Napa Valley, St. Helena, CA Wednesday, June 10, 12:00 p.m. Beard on Books Tyler Colman, A Year of Wine: Perfect Pairings, Great Buys, and What to Sip for Each Season Wednesday, June 10, 7:00 p.m. Summer Sail Ben Pollinger and Pastry Chef Jansen Chan, Oceana, NYC For details and reservations, visit www.jamesbeard.org or call 212.627.2308. (Photo by

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Bollito Misto

A bowl of bollito misto gets a spoonful of seasoning during a dinner in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Marc Vetri's eponymous restaurant.

May 28, 2009, The Beard House, NYC

(Photo by Geoff Mottram)

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Potato-Wrapped Octopus

Fried potato-wrapped octopus with avocado and chipotle, one of the many hors d'oeuvre prepared by Brendan McHale of Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar in New York. May 19, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Lisa Ozag)

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