Beard House Highlight: Bananas Foster Pot-de-Crème with Toasted White Chocolate Bread Pudding

Photo by Tom Kirkman

 

Beard House Highlight: Bananas Foster Pot-de-Crème with Toasted White Chocolate Bread Pudding / French-Creole, Modern and Classic

 

With a culinary reputation as established as New Orleans’s French-Creole cuisine, the successful reimagining of any classic dish is a tall order. Thankfully, Nathan Richard and Neal Swidler were more than up to the task during their Beard House dinner, turning out course after course filled with familiar components creatively transformed into elevated yet satisfying modern fare. For the final course, Swidler presented this play on the Big Easy mainstay bananas foster, trading the table-side flambé for a more refined riff on the traditional French pot-de-crème. The delicate custard conjured comforting memories of banana pudding, contrasting with the gooey top layer of foster sauce, just boozy enough to take your... Read more >

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On This Day in JBF History: JBF Award Winner Maricel Presilla's Caribbean Christmas

 

Over its nearly three decades of existence, the James Beard Foundation has charted the ever-evolving progress of American cooking through the chefs it has welcomed to the Beard House kitchen and our national events. Menus and themes reveal the trends of yesteryear, the hot-button items (lava cake, endless truffles, fusion cuisine) that provide culinary carbon-dating. In our ongoing series, “On this Day in JBF History,” we fire up the DeLorean and spin the clock back to platings past, to note the tired tropes and the dishes we still find ourselves hungry for.

 

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On December 15, 1994, JBF Award winner Maricel Presilla presented a special Caribbean Christmas dinner to Beard House diners. The multiple nominee wouldn't claim her first medallion until 18 years later, but even in 1994 Presilla was an accomplished author, academic, television host, and chef. Now overseeing restaurants Cucharamama, Ultramarinos, and... Read more >

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Beard House Recipe: Giada's Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese

 

Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese / La Dolce Vita

 

Emmy Award–winning chef Giada De Laurentiis is known for many things: her celebrated Food Network shows, elegant California-inflected Italian cooking, and contagious smile, among them. Now with an eponymous Las Vegas restaurant under her belt, the petite powerhouse’s brand continues to grow ever more fierce—and New York City diners were treated to an evening of Sin City decadence when the celebrity chef brought her iconic fare to the Beard House at the end of last month. 

 

 

The evening... Read more >

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Beard House Recipe: Moules Frites Stew

 

Moules Frites Stew​ / Boston Buzz

 

Last year perennial JBF Award nominee Matt Jennings made headlines and broke hearts in Providence when he decamped for Boston to open Townsman, one of the most hotly anticipated restaurant openings of 2015. At his recent Beard House dinner, I was finally able to see why he’s earned a cult-like following throughout New England and beyond. One evening's highlights was Jennings’s take on the classic European dish, moules frites. A bit like the long-lost cousin of New England clam chowder, this iteration had a silky, rich base anchored by end-of-season corn, leeks, and smoky chipotle peppers. Tender Bangs Island... Read more >

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Beard House Recipe: Lamb’s Neck with Duck Yolk Custard, Pickled Radishes, and Sunchokes

 

Lamb’s Neck with Duck Yolk Custard, Pickled Radishes, and Sunchokes / Cambridge Cookout

 

Earlier this fall, a formidable group of culinary colleagues packed up their knives and embarked on a road trip to the Beard House for a decadent feast celebrating innovative Boston-area fare. From seaweed crackers with beets, ricotta, hazelnut, and orange to grassfed Black Angus rib roast with wild bay leaves, kombu, compressed heirloom tomatoes, mussel sabayon, and sea rocket purée to beach plum tarts with sunflower seeds, yogurt, beach rose–Champagne sorbet, and fennel pollen, the entire evening was an edible study of the rich flavors of New England terroir. While Bean Town is only an Amtrak ride from New York City, we couldn't fathom going without a repeat serving of the fork-tender lamb course before our next journey up... Read more >

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'Gram Worthy: Fluke Crudo and Uni with Asian Pear, Concord Grapes, and Puffed Tapioca

 

If you love to see what happens behind the scenes in restaurants, drool over gorgeous food photography, and creep on your favorite chefs (we're majorly guilty of this!), then be sure to follow us on Instagram, where our editors deliver eye-catching dispatches from the Beard House and beyond. 

 

Named for its perch on a picturesque San Francisco slope, the casually elegant Hillside Supper Club boasts a seasonally driven menu of Italian-influenced California fare. During their recent Beard House dinner, chefs Tony Ferrari and Jonathan Sutton dazzled guests with an array of elegant, autumn dishes from p... Read more >

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Beard House Highlight: Smoked Deviled Eggs with Crispy Bacon, Pickled Jalapeños, and Chives

Photo by Fortunato M. Ramin

 

Beard House Highlight: Smoked Deviled Eggs with Crispy Bacon, Pickled Jalapeños, and Chives / Bay Area Brilliants

 

We live in a world where showstoppers reign supreme. Our social media feeds are crammed full of Cronuts and Nutellasagnas, whole-pig roasts, and foie gras hot dogs. But sometimes the most telling evidence of an expert hand comes from the more subtle tweaks, as was the case at our star-studded Bay Area Brilliants dinner, which featured Jennifer Puccio and JBF Award winners Emily Luchetti and Jonathan Waxman. Puccio kicked off the night with these stunning smoked deviled eggs she serves at Park Tavern in San Francisco, immediately winning over Beard House guests with her elevated take... Read more >

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Beard House Highlight: Rabbit Ragù with Ricotta Cavatelli, Lima Beans, and Ricotta Salata

 

Rabbit Ragù with Ricotta Cavatelli, Lima Beans, and Ricotta Salata / Delaware Artisan

 

As plunging mercury and brightly colored foliage signal that fall is here in full swing, there’s nothing I crave more than a big bowl of comforting, hearty pasta. Much to my delight, at Bryan Sikora’s recent Beard House dinner, the 2014 JBF Award semifinalist delivered exactly that. For his third course of the evening, the seasoned chef (now at La Fia in Wilmington, Delaware, after stints at two acclaimed Philly restaurants, Django and Talula’s Table) treated guests to a rustic bowl of rabbit ragù with homemade cavatelli. The light-as-air pasta was elevated to new levels by the rich rabbit... Read more >

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Beard House Highlight: Braised Short Rib and Bone Marrow with Ratatouille, Mascarpone Polenta, and Hunter’s Sauce

Photo by Phil Gross

 

Braised Short Rib and Bone Marrow with Ratatouille, Griddled Mascarpone Polenta, and Hunter’s Sauce / New Appalachian

 

The dog days of summer may seem like an odd time for braised short ribs and bone marrow, but in the deft hands of chef Richard Arbaugh at his August Beard House dinner, this hearty dish became a vehicle for the vibrant bounty of the summer harvest. Assembled in distinct sections, the plate featured an array of textures, from the fork-tender short rib to the melting velvet of the bone marrow to the crispy crust of the griddled polenta. I’ll never turn down a good short rib, but at the end of the evening I found myself longing for the dish’s accompaniments: the polenta powered by the punch of sweet corn, and the ratatouille enlivened by the bright pop of summer tomatoes. With the A/C on, I almost... Read more >

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Beard House Highlight: Whitefish Crudo with Citrus, Mango, Purslane, Pickled Fresno Chiles, and Chile Oil

 

Whitefish Crudo with Citrus, Mango, Purslane, Pickled Fresno Chiles, and Chile Oil / Phoenix Chowdown

 

Usually, when I hear that a dish contains whitefish, I immediately think of the creamy, smoky, fishy salad that my grandmother and mother love to schmear on a bagel—a spread that I've never embraced and have actively tried to avoid. But at Upward Projects's Beard House dinner last month, all thoughts of the intensely pungent Jewish staple of my childhood have been all but erased. Chris Newstrom, the talented chef at the helm of this Phoenix-based restaurant group, opened my eyes and my palate to the wonderful world of whitefish—this time reimagined as a late-summer crudo. Incredibly fresh and light, the... Read more >

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