Rising Star Chef of the Year: Christina Tosi



Our first award of the night, Rising Star Chef of the Year, goes to: 

Christina Tosi
Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC
Pastry chef Christina Tosi started dessert programs in three Momofuku restaurants before opening Milk Bar. But if she could cook anything for James Beard, it would be turkey pot pie.

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What Would You Cook for James Beard?

The chefs cooking at tonight’s post-ceremony gala reception are each making a dish inspired by James Beard, his books, or a particular recipe. We asked them what they would serve to James Beard himself. Here are a few of their responses: 
JBF Award Winner Larry Forgione, Conservatory for American Food Studies, St. Helena, CA
“In the spring Jim always made a weekly visit to an American Place to have my shad roe, morels, asparagus, and fiddlehead ferns.”
JBF Award Winner Sean Brock, McCrady’s, Charleston
“I would make him cornbread, tomato-cornmeal gravy, and my mom’s recipe for chicken and dumplings. I would end the meal with 15-year Pappy Van Winkle’s bourbon and my grandma’s sorghum–apple stack cake.
JBF Award–Winning Pastry Chef Sarabeth Levine, Sarabeth’s, NYC

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I Love to Eat Makes Its NYC Debut

As a surprise to our guests, playwright James Still just staged an excerpt from his one-man play about James Beard, ​I Love to Eat​, onstage at Avery Fisher Hall.


When Still began considering James Beard as the subject of his next script, he knew immediately that he had found a rich and charismatic figure who could command the stage. “With a solo play, you have to ask yourself the basic question: do I want to spend uninterrupted time with this one character?” explains Still. “I answered that with a resounding ‘yes’ when it came to all things Beard.” 


“I’ve been moved by his sense of being a performer and his desire to be famous,” says Still. “Mr. Beard loved the theater, loved the opera; his own flair as a unique performer was legendary. I Love to Eat celebrates all of that—right alongside his love of connecting with people and a love for good, fresh food, simply prepared.” 

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2012 JBF Awards Opening Video

We kicked off tonight's ceremony with the following video, which highlights how JBF has grown during its first 25 years. Take a stroll down memory lane and watch:


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How to Follow the Beard Awards on the Web

James Beard Awards medallion


Even if you won't be joining us at Lincoln Center tonight, you can still catch all of the excitement of the James Beard Awards online. Our star-studded Awards Gala, which starts at 6:00 P.M. sharp tonight, will be streamed live from Lincoln Center on our homepage and our awards section. We'll also live-blog the festivities right here, as well as announce the winners in real time on Twitter, using #jbfa for all Awards-related tweets. 


Click here for a recap of the Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards, which took place on Friday night.

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Q & A with Dahlia Narvaez of Mozza

Dahlia Narvaez


Together with her mentor Nancy Silverton, pastry chef Dahlia Narvaez has crafted some of the most legendary desserts in the city of Los Angeles. We got in touch with the 2012 Outstanding Pastry Chef nominee to look back on how she joined the restaurant industry and find out which sweet on the Mozza menu is her favorite.


JBF: As a native of Los Angeles, did any of the food of your childhood inspire what you make now?


DH: I actually didn't grow up with a ton of homemade desserts. Dessert just wasn't something my mother made. But she did made good food, getting complex flavors out of simple ingredients.


JBF: We read that you once fudged your résumé and talked your way into your first professional kitchen, the Conga Room. Can you tell us a little more about that?


DH: That probably was not the smartest thing I've done for my career—after ten minutes on my first day, it was clear... Read more >

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2012 JBF Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Recap


If you missed our live coverage of the 2012 JBF Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards, here's a quick recap:


2012 James Beard Foundation Book Awards
Presented by Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate
For cookbooks published in English in 2011.


Cookbook of the Year
Modernist Cuisine
by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet
(The Cooking Lab)


Cookbook Hall of Fame
Laurie Colwin
Home Cooking and More Home Cooking


American Cooking 
A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen
by Hugh Acheson
(Clarkson Potter)


Baking and Dessert
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
by Jeni Britton Bauer


Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All,... Read more >

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On Monday, the Empire State Building Will Glow Orange and Yellow for JBF

The Empire State Building shining orange and yellow for the James Beard Foundation


All those flashing camera bulbs on the red carpet won’t be the only things lighting up for this year’s Beard Awards.


On Monday, the day of the Awards gala, the iconic Empire State Building will beam orange and yellow, two colors that have special meaning for JBF. The walls of the Beard House were painted orange when James Beard resided there ("It's like living in a bowl of tomato soup," he would say), while yellow represents the pineapple, a symbol of hospitality and a motif in the Beard House décor during the Foundation’s early years. A framed piece of the old pineapple wallpaper now hangs in the Beard House vestibule, welcoming all guests.


Alton Brown, who is hosting Monday’s festivities at Lincoln Center, will flip the ceremonial switch for our Empire State Building illumination. If you’re in New York City on Monday evening, be sure to look up!

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Q & A with Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food

Anna Mowry interviews chef Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food


Now that the original Mission Chinese Food seems destined to endure as one of San Francisco's most popular spots, its chef and Rising Star award nominee, Danny Bowien, is about to introduce New Yorkers to his progressive Chinese-American cooking at a soon-to-open Lower East Side outpost. We phoned Bowien to talk about what he's putting on his new menu, his favorite Chinese restaurants in the city, and more.


JBF: We read the recent Bon Appétit piece about your trip to Chengdu, in China’s Sichuan province. Did you find any dishes there that you’re now adapting for your menu?


DB: There will be six or seven new dishes on our New York menu, and those things are definitely based on a lot of the flavor profiles that we... Read more >

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Q & A with Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery

The James Beard Foundation interviews paste chef and JBF Award nominee Joanne Chang


At her three Flour Bakery locations, Joanne Chang gives Boston-area dwellers their sugar fix with her menu of wholesome, like-you're-a-kid-again cookies, tarts, cakes, and other baked goods. Chang took a break from her packed schedule to answer our questions about her favorite pastry, where she likes to eat in Beantown, and the childhood treat she misses most. 


JBF: What’s your favorite item on the menu at Flour right now?


JC: We just introduced our kouign-amann, which is my favorite pastry ever.


JBF: Your sticky buns famously won in an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Any other baked goods in your arsenal that you would confidently take into battle?


JC: Many things: our banana bread, our midnight chocolate cake, our carrot cake, pop tarts, blueberry... Read more >

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JBF Kitchen Cam