On the Menu: June 27 through July 3

Walking up the Beard House back stairs Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Monday, June 28, 7:00 P.M. Atlanta’s Rising Star A 2010 JBF Rising Star award semifinalist, Kevin Gillespie gave the Voltaggio brothers a run for their sous vide machines during last year’s Top Chef. The executive chef and co-owner of Woodfire Grill, Gillespie wowed the show’s judges with the same unpretentious, seasonally inspired cuisine with which he regularly impresses Atlanta diners. Tuesday, June 29, 7:00 P.M. Softshell Crab Extravaganza To help us celebrate one of the most precious moments of the culinary calendar year, David C. Felton, pastry chef Jessica Knik, and sommelier Brooke Sabel, of New Jersey’s much-buzzed-about Ninety Acres at Sir Richard

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Eat This Word: Vacherin

The James Beard Foundation on vacherin

WHAT? A very dairy dessert. Several cow’s milk cheeses, both French and Swiss in origin, go by the name Vacherin, which contains the French word for cow, vache. Some are made specifically for fondue; others are so soft they’re eaten with a spoon. To make matters even more confusing, the word is also used for a French meringue dessert. The dessert, it’s true, was named for the cheese, which it’s said to resemble. Rings of meringue are stacked on top of one another to form a basket, which is filled with fruit and ice cream, whipped cream, or crème chantilly, and then prettily decorated.

WHEN? Jean-Marc Boyer and Cedric Tovar's Beard House Dinner

WHERE? June 30, 2010

HOW? Strawberry Vacherin

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Eat this Word: Vol-au-vent

vol-au-ventWHAT? French pot-pie. "This entrée is pretty and good, without a doubt," famed French pastry chef Carême is quoted in Larousse Gastronomique as saying. "It is almost always eaten with pleasure for its extreme delicacy and lightness, but to cook it perfectly demands the utmost care." Carême should know. He is credited with inventing the vol-au-vent, a puff pastry box (with lid) that usually encases a savory mixture of creamed vegetables, meat, fish, or chicken. The name itself means "flying in the wind" and refers to the lightness of the pastry. Not as long ago as you think, it was the height of culinary fashion in America to dine at a stuffy French restaurant run by an enormous French chef who frequently yelled at his staff. What would you have been eating? Vol-au-vent, bien sûr. WHERE? Doug Psaltis and Cedric Tovar's Beard House

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JBF Kitchen Cam