Reel Food: Behind the Scenes at the Beard House with Chicago’s Jimmy Bannos Jr.

 

Fourth-generation chef and restaurateur Jimmy Bannos Jr. opened Chicago’s acclaimed wine-and-swine bar, the Purple Pig, to rave reviews at the tender age of 25. This winter, the 2014 JBF Rising Star Chef of the Year award winner satisfied eager Beard House diners with his luscious Mediterranean fare, which in his true nose-to-tail ethos, included everything from chicken feet to neck bone gravy. Watch the video above to go behind the scenes at his dinner, learn how growing up in a culinary family pushed him to succeed, and discover about how his cooking philosophy has evolved along the way.

 

To learn more about upcoming events, view our full calendar. For LIVE behind-the-scenes action from the Beard House, watch our JBF Kitchen Cam at ... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Hansen's Sno-Bliz

 

Earlier today, JBF announced the 2015 America's Classics honorees, our award given to regional establishments that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal. As we induct this new class of regional favorites into our ranks, it seemed only fitting to dedicate this Throwback Thursday to one of last year's winners, Hansen's Sno-Bliz.

 

On frosty days like these, we can only dream of licking melted shaved ice off our fingers in the scorching heat of summer. In 1934, Ernest Hansen patented one of the earliest ice shaving machines, and shortly after, his wife Mary started developing her own flavored syrups to use as toppings. On a sweltering New Orleans summer day back in 1939, they debuted their creations as Hansen's Sno-Bliz. Their granddaughter, Ashley Hansen, pictured here standing proudly with her award, has kept this mouthwatering business in the family. She... Read more >

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Awards Watch: Meet the 2015 America’s Classics

Today we're excited to announce the recipients of one of our most popular awards: the America's Classics! This honor is given to regional establishments, often family-owned, that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal. Read on to learn more about our 2015 America's Classics. These awards will be bestowed at the James Beard Awards Gala at Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 4.  

 

Read the full press release here.

 

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Archie’s Waeside, Le Mars, IA (Owner: Robert Rand)

 

Set in what was once a roadhouse bar, Archie’s is a citadel of American beef cookery. Seated in a commodious booth, in a dining room accented with Christmas tchotchkes, regulars drink perfect Manhattans, snack on handmade onion rings and well-curated relish... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Semifinalist Smiles

 

What’s got JBF Award winner Jonathan Waxman so happy? Maybe it’s our 2015 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalist announcement. For the fourth year running, he’s on the long list for Best Chef: NYC. With such a consistent track record, it seems only fitting for a little nostalgic indulgence via the photo above. What’s on your mind, chef Waxman? Already thinking about that nominee announcement on March 24?

 

See the full list of semifinalists here.

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The 2015 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

The 2015 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

They're here! Below are the semifinalists for our 2015 Restaurant and Chef Award categories, from Outstanding Restaurant to Rising Star Chef of the Year.

 

Scroll down to see if your favorite restaurant or chef is in the running. (For a refresher on how these names were selected, read this.) And don't forget: we'll announce the final Restaurant and Chef Award nominees, as well as the nominations for our Book, Journalism, Broadcast Media, and Restaurant Design Awards, at the James Beard House in New York City on Tuesday, March 24.

 

The 2015 James Beard Awards gala will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 4. The Foundation's Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City on Friday, April 24.

 

RESTAURANT & CHEF

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One Week Away: The 2015 Semifinalist Announcement

The James Beard Awards | 25 Years

It’s a historic year for the James Beard Awards: we’re celebrating the program's 25th anniversary, and, for the first time ever, the Awards gala will be held in the city of Chicago. The Windy City has a rich history with the Foundation, boasting over 40 James Beard Award winners, including four Outstanding Chef medalists. We’re thrilled to honor the best of the culinary industry in this world-class destination. (Our Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner will remain in New York City.)

 

The first milestone of JBFA season arrives next week. On the morning of Wednesday, February 18, we'll post the complete Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalist list right here on the JBF blog. This list will include our ten regional "Best Chef" awards, as well as national honors like Outstanding Restaurant, Rising Star Chef of the Year, and our brand new Outstanding Baker award.

 

Where do the... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: JBF Award Winner Gavin Kaysen and the 2015 Bocuse d'Or

 

JBF Award winner Gavin Kaysen was one of the coaches of the U.S. team that brought home the silver medal from this year’s Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious cooking competition held biannually in Lyon, France. Kaysen, who won the JBF Rising Star Chef award in 2008, competed in the 2007 Bocuse d'Or, and has been involved with every subsequent American team. In this week's TBT we’re celebrating his hard-fought victory with this video of Kaysen on the red carpet at the JBF Awards in 2009, where he dished on breakfast, Café Boulud, and the significance of presenting the Rising Star category with JBF Award winner Jacques Pépin.

 

Stay tuned for updates on the 2015 James Beard Awards. The Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalist announcement is coming up on Wednesday, February 18.

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Humanitarian of the Year Michel Nischan in the NYT

2015 Humanitarian of the Year winner Michel Nischan

 

Last week we announced that chef and sustainability advocate Michel Nischan will receive our 2015 Humanitarian of the Year award. Right on the heels of this news, the New York Times profiled Nischan in this past weekend's "Download" column. Michel shared tidbits about his choice reads (one of his favorite books is James Beard's Beard on Bread), most cherished kitchen tools, and love of pétanque, the French analog of bocce ball. Read the full piece here.

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Richard Melman to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award; Michel Nischan is Humanitarian of the Year

 

Chicago restaurateur will recieve the 2015 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award

 

 

Two big announcements from the JBFA team today: we've selected our 2015 Lifetime Achievement and Humanitarian of the Year honorees.

 

Accomplished Chicago restaurateur Richard Melman will receive this year's Lifetime Achievement award. As founder and chairman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Melman oversees more than 100 restaurants nationwide, and has mentored countless chefs and culinary professionals. He is a highly admired leader within Chicago and across the country, with business practices and a personal philosophy that have served as invaluable models to others in the industry.

 

 

 ... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Remembering James Beard

 

Yesterday, January 21, 2015, marked the thirtieth anniversary of James Beard's death. In honor of the culinary icon, this TBT we’re sharing some of our favorite quotes, from a man who was as prolific with the pencil as he was with the spatula:

 

“There is absolutely no substitute for the best. Good food cannot be made of inferior ingredients masked with high flavor.” (The Fireside Cookbook, p. 13)

 

“Grilling, broiling, barbecuing—whatever you want to call it—is an art, not just a matter of building a pyre and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach.” (Beard on Food, p. 20)

 

“The roe of the Russian mother sturgeon has probably been present at more important international affairs than have all... Read more >

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