Ask a Chef: Mike Lata, What Are Your Favorite Summer Ingredients?

Mike Lata 2009 JBF Award winner Mike Lata is the chef of the celebrated FIG (Food Is Good) restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina. He recently talked to us about his favorite summertime foods.

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America's Classics: Calumet Fisheries, Chicago

America’s Classics Award–winning restaurants have timeless appeal and are beloved in their regions for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting the eateries that earned this prestigious distinction in 2010. Chicago’s 95th Street Bridge, which spans the Calumet River on the city’s South Side, is known for two things. One, in the movie The Blues Brothers, Elwood demonstrated the capabilities of his new car by jumping the bridge. Two, it’s the home of Calumet Fisheries, a stand-alone hutch that has been frying and smoking seafood since 1948, when brothers-in-law Sid Kotlick and Len Toll opened the place. To this day, the Kotlick and Toll families run the joint. It’s strictly carryout. No seating, no bathroom, no credit cards. And, if you believe the ominous street sign, no parking. The place draws a working-class, melting-pot crowd, and a fair number of amateur fishermen. (The murky Calumet is a good place to find bluegill.) Fried perch, smelts, and frogs’ legs are big here, but they also bring in scallops, crab, catfish, and oysters. The fried stuff is very good, but what you really

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America's Classics: Gustavus Inn, Gustavus, AK

America’s Classics Award–winning restaurants have timeless appeal and are beloved in their regions for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting the eateries that earned this prestigious distinction in 2010. Three generations of the Lesh family have welcomed guests to this farmhouse at the edge of a meadow overlooking Alaska's Icy Strait. Jack and Sally Lesh started the inn in 1965, operating it as a drop-in restaurant, grocery store, and hotel. For many years it was also the town’s weather station, airline counter, and radio and telephone contact. From 1976 to '79 their daughter Sal and husband, Tom McLaughlin, continued these services, supporting the crew building nearby Glacier Bay Lodge. Dave and JoAnn Lesh took over as innkeepers in 1980 and raised their three sons and daughter there. Over the years, the town has acquired power, phones, and city status, allowing the Gustavus Inn to rely more on serving tourists to Glacier Bay National Park during the summer months. Supper is served family style and usually features local catches like Dungeness crab, salmon,

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America's Classics: Mary & Tito's Café

America's Classics Award–winning restaurants have timeless appeal and are beloved in their regions for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Over the next few weeks, we'll be spotlighting the eateries that earned this prestigious distinction in 2010. Carne adovada—long-braised pork in red chile sauce—might be the most characteristic of New Mexico’s robust and deceptively simple dishes. New Mexicans argue the merits of various carne adovada preparations statewide, but aficionados nearly always rank Mary & Tito’s tops. The

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America's Classics: Al's French Frys, South Burlington, VT

America's Classics Award–winning restaurants have timeless appeal and are beloved in their regions for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Over the next few weeks, we'll be spotlighting the eateries that earned this prestigious distinction in 2010. Founded by Al and Genevieve Rusterholz in the late 1940s, Al's French Frys was originally housed in a small hut, open to the elements. Many Chittenden Countians encountered Al’s French Frys stand at the Champlain Valley Fair, where it earned a reputation that has endured for more than half a

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Recipe: Basic Pie and Tart Pastry Dough

In his James Beard Award–winning cookbook, Baking, James Peterson presents a number of techniques for mixing pâte brisée, a classic French pastry dough that you have likely experienced as pie dough. Today we're featuring the author's food-processor method, which proves that this appliance is the time-strapped foodie's best friend.

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America's Classics: Totonno’s, Brooklyn, NY

A stone’s throw from the Cyclone, Totonno’s has been serving Neapolitan-style pies for more than 80 years, the sole hiatus beginning just before the restaurant’s owners accepted their 2009 America’s Classics award, when a fire forced Totonno’s to close for nearly a year. But it has finally reopened, much to the relief of Brooklyn regulars and pizza tourists, and early reports say the pies are better than ever. One of New York’s first pizzaiolos, Anthony “Totonno” Pero left his job making pizzas at Lombardi’s in 1924 to open a Coney Island pizzeria. His new enterprise, Totonno’s, has been in his family ever since. Lawrence Ciminieri, the fourth generation to be in charge, has stayed true to the original recipe. Each pizza is made with imported Italian tomatoes, locally made mozzarella, yeast, flour, salt, and not much else. The last—and arguably most important—component is the oven

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Eye Candy: 2010 JBF Awards

Alton Brown, JBF president Susan Ungaro, Lidia Bastianich, and Ted Allen pose for a photo on the red carpet before the 2010 JBF Awards ceremony. Click here to see more images from the big night.

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Marcia "The Tablehopper" Gagliardi: Signing Off

And I’m off to Eleven, with the charming Melissa Perello (Frances). It’s been an honor to be here in New York, surrounded with such friendly, talented, gracious people. What a wonderful industry. Thanks for having me! Cheers and congrats to all--whether there is a medal around your neck, or not--because the food you create, the drinks you pour, the spaces where you host us, and the hours you work are so appreciated by all! Ciao!!

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