On the Menu: Porkapalooza

Tomorrow night we're bringing pigging out to a whole new level. For a special Greens event—part of our ongoing programming for foodies under 40—Sara Jenkins, Anita Lo, Nick Morgenstern, and Ryan Skeen are preparing a dinner that will feature pork in every course. The menu includes such porcine morsels like tête de cochon sandwiches, a baby pig tasting, and apple pie with a pork lard crust—and there will be plenty of premium beer and wine pairings to wash it all down. See the complete Porkapalooza menu here.

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Tastebud: An Encore for the Intermezzo

Intermezzi make a comeback at the James Beard House

Italian for “interval,” an intermezzo is an icy interlude, a small dish to be consumed between courses, rejuvenating the palate and prepping it for the rest of the meal. Also known as palate cleansers, intermezzi tend to be sorbets, granitas, or other icy treats that are usually flavored with fruit, especially highly acidic citrus. While the fat and salt of previous courses deaden your taste buds, acidity perks them up; following a couple of savory dishes with a spoonful of lemon sorbet is like hitting a “reset” button on your tongue. Auguste Escoffier encouraged chefs to serve sorbets or other ices between courses, which helped popularize the intermezzo in 19th-century Europe. (The French legend himself was fond of Punch Romaine, an alcoholic lemon–orange ice that refreshed the tongues of diners aboard the Titanic.)

Over the past year intermezzi have popped up on an unusually high number of Beard House menus. We've seen a wide range of

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Eye Candy: Beard House

A Voce Pasta

Taleggio-filled handmade pasta with peas and speck, part of Missy Robbins's ingredient-driven Italian dinner.

April 22, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Geoff Mottram)

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At the Beard House: May 24 to May 30

Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week:

kitchen1aeileenmiller Wednesday, May 27, 7:00 p.m. Vérité Wine Collection Dominic Zumpano, Umami Moto, Milwaukee Thursday, May 28, 7:00 p.m. 10th Anniversary Celebration Special Guest JBF Award Winner Marc Vetri / Brad Spence, Vetri, Philadelphia Friday, May 29, 6:30 p.m. Beard on Film Harry Hawk, Water Taxi Beach, Long Island City, NY, and South Street Seaport, NYC / Festival Co-director George Motz, Brooklyn, NY / Festival Mixologist Marshall Altier, 2009 NYC Food Film Festival, NYC For details and reservations, visit... Read more >

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Eat this Word: Watermelon Radish

Watermelon RadishesWHAT? A radish by any other name... Also known as Rose Heart, Beauty Heart, Shinrimei, Misato, Asian Red Meat, or Xin Li Mei, this mild, slightly sweet radish is deceptive. The root’s dull greenish-white exterior belies its vibrant interior—at its heart, this baby boasts bright magenta flesh. When you slice into the greenish outer rind to reveal the pink center, it’s clear how this blushing bulb got its Western name, watermelon radish. But don’t let the name and size (they can grow to be the size of a grapefruit) scare you—this is no genetically engineered melon-radish hybrid, it’s an heirloom variety of daikon radish. During watermelon radish season (from spring into summer), you’ll find them adding color and crunch to salads and sandwiches. WHERE? Brian Lewis's Beard House dinner WHEN?

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Soy-Cured Scottish Salmon with Chive–Green Apple Slaw and Crème Fraîche

Soy-cured Scottish salmon with chive–green apple slaw and crème fraîche, prepared by Richard Garcia and Matthew Maue of Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro in Foxboro, MA.

April 4, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Tom Kirkman)

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At the Beard House: May 17 to May 23

Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: kitchen3akrishnadayanidhi Tuesday, May 19, 7:00 p.m. Taste of Luxury Brendan McHale, Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar, NYC Wednesday May 20, 7:00 p.m. Tel Aviv’s 100th Anniversary Meir Adoni, Catit, Tel Aviv, Israel For details and reservations, visit www.jamesbeard.org or call 212-627-2308. (Photo by Krishna Dayanidhi)

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Beignets Caramelized garden onion beignets, prepared by Jason Robinson and his team from the Inn at Dos Brisas in Washington, TX. April 28, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Lisa Ozag)

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Eat this Word: Sea Beans

Sea Beans WHAT? Nautical haricots verts. Popeye may have had spinach, but a seafaring vegetarian's delight is the sea bean. The American sea bean is a type of samphire [SAM-fy-uhr] known as salicornia. Its other aliases are glasswort (it was used to make glass at one time), marsh samphire, and sea pickle. Sea beans proliferate on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. Some have spiky green leaves that make the plant look like a skinny miniature cactus without the needles. Others look surprisingly similar to Chinese long beans. The crisp leaves and stems smell and taste like sea salt. Fresh sea beans can be found from the summer through the fall, and are best when used fresh or pickled. When cooked, sea beans have a tendency to taste salty and even fishy. WHERE? Dominic Zumpano's Beard House dinner WHEN?

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Alain Allegretti's hors d'oeuvre Tuna niçoise with sliced cucumbers, quail eggs, and tapenade, part of Alain Allegretti's Provençal dinner at the Beard House. May 6, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Geoff Mottram)

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