On the Menu: December 26 through January 1

Walking up the Beard House back stairsHere’s what’s happening at the Beard House next week: Tuesday, December 28, 7:00 P.M. Tennessee Pearl Deemed “first class” by the New York Times, Chattanooga’s St. John’s Restaurant is as timeless and elegant as the state’s gemstone, the pearl. We’re pleased to welcome executive chef Daniel Lindley, a Gramercy Tavern alum and two-time JBF semifinalist, and winemaker Chris Bratcher to their Beard House debuts. Friday, December 31, 9:00 P.M. New Year’s Eve Celebration Ring in the New Year with good cheer and great food at our annual New Year’s Eve dinner! With L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon alum André Marrero and fellow FCI talents in the kitchen, this year’s party promises to be the most festive yet. For details and

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On the Menu: Gala Dinner and Auction

2010 James Beard Foundation Gala Auction and DinnerAnywhere in the world the names Ducasse, Payard, Robuchon, Savoy, and Vongerichten are synonymous with the best of modern French cuisine. Tomorrow evening these giants of gastronomy are joining forces in the Four Seasons kitchen for an unforgettable celebration, a tribute to the interconnectedness of French and American food cultures, and a fundraiser for the James Beard Foundation. Here's what's on the menu: Larry Finn and Pecko Zantilaveevan of the Four Seasons Foie Gras Lollipops with Quince Gelée Cucumber-Wrapped Citrus-Cured Hamachi Tuna and Santa Barbara Sea Urchin Ravioli Charred Eggplant with Harissa and Pappadam Chips Baby Lettuce and Herb Hand Rolls Corn Pudding with Chanterelles and Black Truffles Beef Tartare with Caviar and Pommes Gaufrettes Forest Mushroom Tartlets with Crème Fraîche and Fines Herbes Duck Burgers with Sun-Dried

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Eye Candy: Tony Mantuano and Friends

Tony Mantuano and his Spiaggia crew pose for a photo with student volunteers from the French Culinary Institute and the Institute of Culinary Education in the Beard House kitchen. The chef, who will compete in the champions round of Top Chef Masters next month, prepared a dinner to celebrate Spiaggia's 26th year in the business. To see more photos from Mantuano's event, click here. Want to rub elbows with the best and brightest of the culinary world? Click here to find our student volunteer application.

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The Bookshelf: Dorothy Cann Hamilton

Love What You DoAt yesterday's Beard on Books, our friend Dorothy Cann Hamilton sat down for a discussion of her new book, Love What You Do: Building a Career in the Culinary Industry. The founder of the French Culinary Institute (which turned 25 this year) and a self-described "educator," Hamilton has boundless advice and wisdom about breaking into the culinary industry, and she's managed to distill that guidance into easy-to-read and encouraging manual. After a Peace Corps stint in Thailand that left her well-fed but unemployable in the United States, Hamilton went to work as a receptionist for her father's technical school. She didn't expect to care for the job, but soon discovered that she had a natural drive for teaching and education. "I loved it. The students there were the most dynamic, vibrant

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