Throwback Thursday: Highlights from the 2015 James Beard Awards

 

Roll out the red carpet: with the announcement of Oscar nominations today, it's officially awards season! Our 2016 Restaurant and Chef award semifinalists will be announced on February 17, 2015. To make sure you get your JBFA fix until then, we’re looking back at last year's bash, full of stars, songs, sips, snacks, and lots of celebration. Check out the video above for highlights from the 2015 Beard Awards, and start dusting those mothballs off your gowns and tuxedos for this year's fête.

 

Get more information on the 2016 James Beard Awards.

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Caul Me Maybe: Jimmy Bannos Jr.'s Charred Cauliflower with Toasted Bread Crumbs, Cornichons, and Parsley

 

“I always bust my sous-chefs' chops and ask them, 'Do you have the balls to come up with a vegetable dish?'" That would be Jimmy Bannos Jr., the fourth-generation restaurateur who may be best known for his "Cheese, Wine, and Swine" menu at the Purple Pig on Chicago's Magnificent Mile. Believe it or not, when he starts talking about in-season produce, he lights up like a kid in a (dirt) candy store. "We laugh about this all the time," Bannos says. "There isn't even a spring here in Chicago. You can enjoy something for like three weeks, and it's gone. That's the beauty and the curse."

 

For the James Beard Award winner for... Read more >

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Why is Boka Chef Lee Wolen Still Searching for a Favorite Mexican Restaurant in NYC?

 

Chef Lee Wolen knows New York dining—after all he spent three years as the sous chef at the city’s acclaimed Eleven Madison Park. But the Ohio native moved back to his Midwest home turf and now works as executive chef/partner at Chicago’s Michelin-starred Boka (1729 N. Halsted St., Chicago, 312-337-6070). This past week, Wolen returned to NYC for his Michelin Star dinner at the James Beard House. We asked Wolen for his NYC dining picks, and found out why he has yet to find a favorite Mexican spot in NYC.

 

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What is your favorite place to... Read more >

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Video: JBF Award Winner Mark Ladner's Appetizing Advice

 

Hot off his win for Best Chef: New York City at last year’s Beard Awards, Del Posto's Mark Ladner made a triumphant return to Chicago earlier this fall as one of our JBF Taste America All-Stars. After leaving guests swooning the night before with a one-of-a-kind collaborative dinner, Ladner appeared at Sur La Table to prove that his lauded Italian fare can be translated to the home kitchen. Demonstrating two Italian-inspired canapés, lobster and mayonnaise tramezzini (classic Venetian tea sandwiches) and chickpea fritters with truffles and fontina cheese, Ladner advocated for the innate power of a gooey, molten cheese center, and advised starting all your parties as he does—with sparkling wine... Read more >

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Chef Mark Ladner and Windy City Chefs Join Forces for the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® Events in Chicago

Mark Ladner's pork and veal agnolotti

 

This past weekend the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® tour landed in Chicago. For the third year in a row, the Foundation has been traveling to ten cities across the country to host one-of-kind fundraising dinners that highlight local cuisine and are headlined by a visiting All-Star chef and a Local Star chef. Each stop on the tour also includes cooking demos, artisanal tastings, and book signings. This was the Foundation’s second major event in Chicago this year, with the prestigious James Beard Awards gala taking place at the Lyric Opera of Chicago this past May.

 

Held at... Read more >

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James Beard Foundation's Taste America® Preview: Chicago

 

The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® national epicurean tour continues this weekend with two days of star-studded events in Chicago, featuring Taste America All-Star and JBF Award winner Mark Ladner and Local Stars Johnny Clark and Beverly Kim. Friday night kicks off with a tasting reception from some of Chicago's finest, followed by an exclusive four-course dinner prepared by Ladner, Clark, and Kim. On Saturday the action moves to Sur La Table for cooking demos and book signings from Ladner and lauded chef Tanya Baker.

 

For tickets and more information about the chefs and vendors appearing, check out jbftasteamerica.org.... Read more >

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What We're Reading: September 28, 2015

 

The real story behind mold: get the scoop on your cheese plate’s origins.​ [NYT]


Hot dog lovers, rejoice: Chicago's food carts are legalized! [Thrillist]

 

Back to the grind: the surprising reasons why you should a meat grinder to your kitchen wish list. [Bon Appétit]​


Don't have a chance to go apple picking this fall? With this apple pie–flavored sidecar, you'll forget you never stepped foot in an orchard. [... Read more >

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Video: How to Make the Violet Hour's Hush and Wonder

Photo: Cassandra Stadnicki

 

We've partnered with Simmer, a new app that allows you to generate step-by-step recipe videos that you can create, watch, and share from your very own kitchen. In the coming weeks and months, we'll continue sharing instructional videos that will teach you how to create tantalizing dishes from JBF Award winners, Beard House chefs, and even Beard himself, all prepared in James Beard's historic New York City kitchen.

 

At the... Read more >

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Happy Hour: The Violet Hour's Stone Cold Fox

Photo by Jenna Liberman

 

The Violet Hour, an elegant Chicago mixology mecca and our 2015 Outstanding Bar Program award winner, beckons discerning clientele with many luxuries: a romantic, serene space with floor-to-ceiling curtains, high-backed blue leather chairs, flickering candles and chandeliers; fine-tuned volume levels and elbow room; and an eclectic selection of artisanal cocktails made with painstaking precision. One shining example is the Stone Cold Fox, a vernal marriage between a Pisco punch and a Mai Tai. As bartender Alyssa Heidt puts it, "Carefree and whimsical, she's the kind of girl who knows how to party." Get the recipe here.

 

Elena North-Kelly is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and ... Read more >

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'Gram Worthy: Roast Chicken with Egg, Thyme​, and Crispy Chicken Skin

 

If you love to see what happens behind the scenes in restaurants, drool over gorgeous food photography, and creep on your favorite chefs (we're majorly guilty of this!), then be sure to follow us on Instagram, where our editors deliver eye-catching dispatches from the Beard House and beyond. The photo above shows the clever, delicious, and artfully composed Roast Chicken with Egg, Thyme​, and Crispy Chicken Skin canapés served at the 2015 James Beard Awards by JBF Award–winning​ chef Dave Beran of Chicago's acclaimed Next. For more tasty snaps, come play with us on ... Read more >

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