Sponsored Happy Hour: The BACARDÍ Gran Reserva Old Cuban

BACARDÍ Brand Ambassador Juan Coronado

 

The Italian tradition of serving a pre-dinner cocktail, or aperitif, dates back to ancient Rome. But like many imbibers, I want that experience to last longer.

 

Thanks to the care and pride that restaurants are putting into their beverage programs, we can now enjoy cocktails throughout an entire meal. When made correctly, cocktails can be extremely food-friendly, and can pair with any style of cuisine. However, some spirits are more versatile than others.

 

Mixologists prize rum for its incredible flexibility. The spirit ranges from light and dry to rich and aged, and can be flavored or spiced. This diversity allows for a broader spectrum of cocktails that can be mixed with infinite ingredients to fully complement a culinary experience.

 

 ... Read more >

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Interview with Markus Glocker of Bâtard, Nominated for Best New Restaurant

Photo c/o Bâtard

 

Using what New York Times food critic Pete Wells called "a sniper's accuracy at the stove," Austrian-born chef Markus Glocker crafts show-stopping prix fixe menus for a range of budgets at Tribeca’s elegant Bâtard. To learn more about the white-hot nominee for Best New Restaurant, we spoke with Glocker about his European pedigree, culinary style, and ultimate springtime dessert.

 

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JBF: How would you describe your culinary style?

 

MG: I’d describe my culinary style as simplicity refined. I try and send a clear, focused message through flavor.

 

JBF: How has your background influenced your food at Bâtard?

 

MG: When you work for influential chefs like Charlie Trotter, you can’t deny the influence that they have on your cooking. That being said, after learning these techniques from great chefs before... Read more >

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Tune into the Beard Awards Gala on Monday, May 4

Lyric Opera of Chicago

 

Time to unroll the red carpet and polish the Champagne flutes: next Monday is the culinary industry's biggest night. What's more, it's the 25th anniversary of the Beards, and, for the first time ever, we're bringing the show to the great city of Chicago.

 

Not joining us at Lyric Opera of Chicago? That's okay—It's easy to follow along at home. And why not invite a few friends over for a JBF Award viewing party? Just tune into our live broadcast at jamesbeard.org/awards. The ceremony begins at 6:00 P.M. Central. We'll also be covering the chef-studded red carpet on our Periscope account (username "Beard Foundation") starting at 5:00 P.M. Central. As always, we'll be live-tweeting the ceremony @beardfoundation and, here on our blog, posting videos from the show, winner recaps, and great reads about the America's... Read more >

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Sponsored Post: HMSHost's Innovative Dining at O'Hare

Chef Susumu Shibata in the O’Hare Urban Garden

 

When the best of America’s culinary industry descends on Chicago for the James Beard Awards Gala next week, they’ll touch down at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, one of the busiest aviation hubs in the country.

 

The 80 million travelers who traverse O’Hare’s terminals daily are no strangers to culinary excellence, thanks to the abundant dining options provided by HMSHost. One of the world’s largest restaurateurs, HMSHost has developed an innovative dining program that’s in step with current food trends, including restaurants that source from local farmers and use fresh herbs from O’Hare Urban Garden, located in Terminal 3.

 

Like the James Beard Awards, HMSHost is invested in nurturing culinary talent. The company’s recent “... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Italian Roots at the James Beard Awards

Photo by Kent Miller Studios

 

With a scant four days before the 25th Annual James Beard Awards in Chicago, we’re busy packing our bags, prepping our hair and makeup, and prognosticating about which nominees will grab the coveted medallions. The Awards are always full of surprises and singular moments, so for this week’s TBT we’re looking back at an unlikely pairing of pasta and percussion from last year’s ceremony. This dynamic duo of drumstick wielders is the kind of flavor combination you’ll only find at the Beard Awards. Tune in to our livestream Monday night to see what’s on the menu for this year.

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Viewing Party Recipe: Monferrato Cocktail

 

Snacks by JBF Award–winning chefs? Check. Entertaining tips from a consummate host? Check. Your viewing party plan for the James Beard Awards this coming Monday, May 4, is almost complete. But what about some tipples to tip your hat to our beverage nominees? Don't worry, we've got you covered there, too. Leo Robitschek, of the 2014 JBF Outstanding Bar Program Award–winning NoMad Bar, developed the Monferrato Cocktail to equal parts celebratory and refined. This Champagne-anchored drink is the perfect way to toast all the winners on Awards night. Get the recipe here.

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Interview with Ted Lemon, Nominated for Outstanding Wine, Beer, Spirits Professional

 

Ted Lemon, founder of Littorai Wines, has worked at wineries the world over, running a Burgundy estate (as the first American to do so) and consulting in New Zealand. His breadth of experience and passion for ethically growing and sourcing his ingredients make him a strong nominee for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional. We spoke to him about the naming of his vineyard, the impact of the California drought, and more.

 

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JBF: Among your 2015 releases, what are you most excited about?

 

Ted Lemon: All of the vineyard-designated 2013 Pinot Noirs. They have muscle, grip, and a sense of place. Pretty is not the descriptor I would use.

 

JBF: Littorai means “coasts” in Latin. What’s the story behind this name?

 

TL: In 1993, [my wife] Heidi and I did not have the money to afford a trademark, so we needed something that was sufficiently obscure that no one would trademark it... Read more >

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Interview with Eli Kaimeh of Per Se, Nominated for Outstanding Restaurant

 

Although Per Se debuted a decade after a certain acclaimed sibling restaurant in California, this fine-dining temple, perched high in New York City's Time Warner building, has enjoyed its own abundant successes. The three-Michelin-starred property is an oasis on every level, beckoning epicureans from all corners of the globe with its unparalleled luxuries and cuisine. Below, we caught up with chef de cuisine Eli Kaimeh to get the inside scoop on the Outstanding Restaurant nominee’s tasting menus, the team's pioneering work with vegetables, and their take on gluten-free substitutions. 

 

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JBF: While some of Per Se’s signature dishes (such as oysters and pearls) remain, we know that the world-renowned menu is constantly evolving. Can you tell us about a dish or two that’s currently on the menu that really captures the restaurant’s point of... Read more >

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Entertaining Tips from Carla Hall

 

To help you prep for a stellar Beard Awards viewing party, we tapped the chef, television personality, and host of our 2015 Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards, Carla Hall, for some sage advice. Below, the former caterer shares her top tips.

 

Turn Down the Volume

 

I want background music at a cocktail party, not something that will take over the conversations. The playlist depends on the crowd you’re entertaining, but jazz is always a good place to start.

 

Make It Ahead

 

I like to prep and cook as much as I possibly can in advance. I want to enjoy my guests! Plus, as a recovering caterer, I can’t help but think that way. Even the hot... Read more >

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Overheard at the 2015 JBF Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards

 

The winners of last weekend's 2015 Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards were as eloquent in their acceptance speeches as they were in their winning bodies of work. We couldn’t help but note some of the most inspiring, hilarious, and quotable lines of the night to share, below. 

 

“Is that Rick Bayless right there? That’s the coolest thing ever.”

— Keith Schroeder, Focus on Health Book Award winner for Cooking Light Mad Delicious: The Science of Making Healthy Food Taste Amazing​

 

“Anyone can butcher—which also sounds like the sequel to Ratatouille.”

— Adam Danforth, Reference and Scholarship Book Award winner for Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering

 

“I hope this book can inspire people to tread more lightly and compost.”

— Amy Chaplin, Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian Book Award... Read more >

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