Gala Chef Q & A: JBF Award Winner Gabriel Rucker

JBF Award winner Gabriel Rucker

 

JBF Award Winner Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

 

What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure food?

In-N-Out cheeseburgers.

 

What’s your favorite movie, and why?

The Last of the Mohicans—the beautiful cinematography and the history.

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

Lunch at our favorite spot: Clark Lewis. Great fresh salads and handmade pastas with the most amazing ragù. I always treat my son with the respect of an adult diner even though he is only one.

 

What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

Right now, scallops with fresh heart of palm.

 

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Sour Patch Kids.

 

What’s your earliest food memory?

Eating sweetbreads at the CIA in Napa. [I had] no idea what they were, but I loved them.

 

What do you... Read more >

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America's Classic: C. F. Folks

 

1225 19th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 
Owner: Art Carlson

 

Art Carlson’s weekday-only lunch haunt on Dupont Circle, open since 1981, is a 600-square-foot temple of honest cooking and goodwill. (The name combines the initials of Carlson and his business partner, Peggy Fredricksen.) The vibe is loud and scrappy, and the food is delicious. Art Carlson, the ever-present host, is one of the last of a dying breed: a hands-on owner who schmoozes and teases his customers, often at the same time.

 

The place, with its 11 counter stools, is comfortable in its age. Behind the long Formica counter, racks of cookbooks from Julia Child and fellow titans share space with scribbled postcards, a rattletrap stereo system, a collection of old political campaign buttons, and a jumble of knickknacks including a Presidential Barbie and dusty cans of Alpo and Cheez Whiz.

 

The cooking is in the hands of George Vetsch, a veteran... Read more >

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Gala Chef Q & A: JBF Award Winner Aarón Sánchez

JBF Award winner Aarón Sánchez

 

JBF Award Winner Aarón Sánchez, Mestizo, Leawood, KS

 

What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure food?

Fried chicken.

 

What’s your favorite movie, and why?

Rocky, because it’s all about the underdog.

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

My last great meal was at chef John Besh’s restaurant August in New Orleans. We had just about everything on the menu, but the real standouts were the potato gnocchi, the seafood, and all the meat dishes.

 

What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

The grilled mahi-mahi tacos at Mestizo.

 

What’s your earliest food memory?

Making tortillas with my mom when I was 12.

 

What do you eat for breakfast?

Eggs Benedict. My favorite is with Swiss chard and smoked bacon.

 

What’s your favorite healthy food?... Read more >

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Gala Chef Q & A: Melissa Perello

Melissa Perello

Melissa Perello, Frances, San Francisco

 

What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure food?

Ice cream and doughnuts.

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

Some memorable dishes of late: tiger salad from Mission Chinese, chicory salad with dates and crispy chicken skin at Rich Table, smoked potatoes with pickled ramp mayo at Bar Tartine,a guinea hen dumpling at State Bird Provisions, yogurt at Manka’s Inverness Lodge, and a Meyer lemon semifreddo that my pastry chef made.

 

What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

I like to think that I dominate in the whole soup category.

 

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Salty buttered popcorn (homemade when possible).

 

What’s your earliest food memory?

My grandmother’s peanut brittle.

 

What do you eat for breakfast?

Does coffee count?

 

What’s your... Read more >

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America's Classic: Frank Fat's

 

806 L Street, Sacramento, CA 
Owners: the Fat Family

 

Frank Fat’s is a political landmark in California, once known as the “Third House” and one of Sacramento’s oldest restaurants. It serves Chinese-American food and is renowned for honey- walnut prawns; Frank’s-style New York steak (grilled, sliced, and smothered in sautéed onions and oyster sauce); Fat’s brandy fried chicken; and banana cream pie.

 

Kevin Hefner, writing about the restaurant’s 70th anniversary in 2009 in Capitol Weekly, said: “The restaurant often was the site of political meetings that, according to some, sometimes accomplished more than those in the Capitol. The most notable of these deals was the “Napkin Deal” of 1987, written on the back of a napkin by the participants that defined a multimillion-dollar pact between the lawyers, insurers, doctors, and business interests over tort reform.”

 

Willie Brown, former assembly Speaker and San Francisco mayor, recalls that it was the place... Read more >

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Gala Chef Q & A: JBF Award Winner Gavin Kaysen

JBF Award winner Gavin Kaysen

 

JBF Award Winner Gavin Kaysen, Café Boulud, NYC

 

What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure food?

Cheetos.

 

What’s your favorite movie, and why?

Rudy. I love the never-give-up attitude, and when it’s a true story it makes the movie that much more worth watching.

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

I was in Lyon for the Bocuse d’Or this past winter and went to Daniel Boulud’s parents’ house for a visit. It turned into a four- hour lunch with his father’s housemade head cheese, sausages, bread, and a roasted leg of lamb his mom made. We enjoyed a bottle of wine and finished the afternoon off with homemade limoncello. It reminded me why I got into this industry in the first place.

 

What’s your earliest food memory?

Making Christmas cookies with my grandmother at the age of seven. I still use the same roller for the cookies that I make with my... Read more >

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America's Classic: Kramarczuk’s

 

215 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis 
Owner: Orest Kramarczuk

 

Minneapolis is known for its Scandinavian heritage, but for more than a century the city’s northeast neighborhoods have been a vibrant Eastern European enclave. A great deal of that Catholic, blue-collar culture has dissipated during the past 20 years, but some overt traces remain, most notably a dozen or more elaborate churches and Kramarczuk’s, the landmark sausage-making company and restaurant.

 

The business dates to 1954, when Ukrainian refugees Wasyl and Anna Kramarczuk purchased Central Provisions, one of the city’s oldest butcher shops, and renamed it Kramarczuk Sausage Co. It has been at the same address, just across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis, since 1967. Wasyl and Anna’s son Orest joined the business in 1979. He’s now the primary owner. His father died in 1991, and Anna Kramarczuk died in 2008.

 

Kramarczuk’s more... Read more >

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Gala Chef Q & A: Thomas McNaughton

Thomas McNaughton

 

Thomas McNaughton, Flour + Water, San Francisco

 

What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure food?

Pita chips and spicy hummus. Though when in Jersey, pork roll sandwiches.

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

I finally took some days off and went to Sayulita, Mexico. Margaritas and tacos on the beach were exactly what I needed.

 

What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

It’s hard to say. We’re constantly trying to evolve our dishes, and they’re always changing. Perfection is a journey and not an end goal.

 

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Salumi and cheese at home.

 

What’s your earliest food memory?

It’s funny because I’m now obsessed with natural fermentation, but as a kid I hated pickles. If my burger came with a pickle and it was touching the fries, I wouldn’t even touch the fries.

 

What do... Read more >

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Gala Chef Q & A: JBF Award Winner Michael Mina

JBF Award winner Michael Mina

 

JBF Award Winner Michael Mina, Michael Mina, San Francisco

 

What’s your go-to guilty-pleasure food?

My family and I are always making pizzas in our wood-fire oven. We add some fresh vegetables from our garden to make it a little less of a “guilty” food.

 

What’s your favorite movie, and why?

Forrest Gump. It’s a classic and the story is great!

 

Describe the last great meal you ate.

Mourad Lahlou from Aziza always does it right! His food is bold and balanced and the flavors are out of this world.

 

What’s the dish you’re most proud of?

My caviar parfait is something that is really special for me. I first made it for my wife, Diane, on our honeymoon and she loved it! It has since made its way into almost all of my restaurants.

 

What’s your favorite healthy food?

Nothing beats a bowl of greens... Read more >

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2013 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Cecilia Chiang

 

The Lifetime Achievement award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America.

 

Restaurateur Cecilia Chiang recalls James Beard’s delight after his first meal at her landmark San Francisco Chinese restaurant, The Mandarin, in the early 1960s. “This is so different from what I had before. This is very tasty. What do you call this kind of food?” she remembers him asking. Unlike most Americans at the time, Beard’s experience with Chinese food extended beyond bland, Americanized dishes like chow mein and egg foo young. His Chinese-born childhood housekeeper, Let, had been an accomplished chef whose cooking made a deep impression on Beard at an early age. Even so, the profound flavors in Chiang’s northern Chinese, Shanghai, and Sichuan specialties were unlike anything Beard had ever tasted before.

 

Authentic, regional dishes such as beggar’s chicken (baked in clay), Sichuan spicy... Read more >

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