Eye Candy: Doughnuts

Diners were served an unexpected treat at JBF Award winner Marcus Samuelsson's Beard House dinner last month: a surprise platter of housemade glazed doughnuts, sprinkled with powdered sugar. Click here to see more photos of Marcus Samuelsson and his team.

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Eat This Word: Carnitas

The James Beard Foundation on carnitas
WHAT? Mexican confit. Though the word carnitas can refer to any small bits of cooked meat—that are usually served in soft corn tacos at roadside stands throughout Mexico—the most common is pork. To make pork carnitas, large pieces of shoulder and other fatty parts of the pig are simmered in vats of lard until they are crisp on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. The meat is removed from the fat, drained, and broken up into small shreds that are then stuffed into tacos. (Where there are carnitas, there are usually chicherones, or crisp, fried pork skins.) The western part of central Mexico, namely Michoacán, is known for carnitas, but truth be told they are tasty just about everywhere—even Queens, New York.

WHERE? Ivy Stark, Scott Linquist, and Hugo Reyes's Beard House dinner

WHEN? May 21, 2010

HOW? Roast Duck Breast and Duck Carnitas Enchiladas with Dried Fruit,

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On the Menu: Traverse City Food and Wine

Michigan native Myles Anton has earned a following for his farm-focused cuisine at Trattoria Stella, located in the lively gastro-hub of Traverse City, Michigan. He and his sommelier, Andrea Danielson, will present a spectacular dinner paired with excellent wines—many of which hail from Michigan wine country—at tonight's Beard House event. (Fun fact: Traverse City lies on the 45th parallel, the same circle of latitude that travels through Bordeaux and Burgundy.) Check out what's on the menu: Arugula with Parsnips, Chives, and Ligurian Focaccia Pairing: Left Foot Charley Pinot Blanc 2008 Gnocchetti with Lake Superior Walleye and Scallops, Tomato, and Roasted Garlic Pairing: Antinori Guado al Tasso Scalabrone Rosato 2009 Chicken Agnolotti with Crumbled Biscotti, Onions, and Cream Pairing: Parusso Bricco Rovella 2003

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Eye Candy: Seasonally Sweet

Philadelphia chef Terence Feury, who has garnered raves at Fork, served this rhubarb tart topped with almond crumble and strawberry swirl gelato at his Beard House dinner last month. See more photos of his menu here.

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On the Menu: Zak Pelaccio and Simpson Wong

At Monday night’s Beard House dinner, we’re celebrating the tasty side of multiculturalism: Zak Pelaccio and Simpson Wong will prepare a meal that showcases the vibrant cuisine Malaysia, where Indian, Chinese, and Thai influences have intermingled for centuries. See what’s on the menu below:

Roasted Hudson Valley Duck and Mango Salad

Curry Laksa > Traditional Northeastern Malay Noodle and Fish Soup with Coconut Broth

Halibut with Malaccan Pineapple Curry

Slow-Cooked Short Rib Rendang with Aromatic Curry and Coconut Rice

Assorted Malay Desserts:
Coconut Cream Panna Cotta
Pudding Raja > Duck Egg Yolk Threads with Aromatic Sweet Syrup
Rhubarb Sticky Rice with Crème Anglaise

Seats are still available, so visit the official event page to... Read more >

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Eye Candy: Tony Mantuano and Friends

Tony Mantuano and his Spiaggia crew pose for a photo with student volunteers from the French Culinary Institute and the Institute of Culinary Education in the Beard House kitchen. The chef, who will compete in the champions round of Top Chef Masters next month, prepared a dinner to celebrate Spiaggia's 26th year in the business. To see more photos from Mantuano's event, click here. Want to rub elbows with the best and brightest of the culinary world? Click here to find our student volunteer application.

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On the Menu: Marcus Samuelsson

While it remains to be seen if Marcus Samuelsson will carry the day in the champions round of Top Chef Masters, one thing about the JBF Award winner is certain: he's sure to put out a fantastic meal at his 18th (!) Beard House appearance this Wednesday. In a departure from his signature Scandinavian fare, Samuelsson will showcase surf-and-turf dishes from his first foray into Chi-Town dining, C-House Fish and Chops. Check out the menu below: Hors d’Oeuvre Quail Eggs with Deviled Ham Fingerling Potatoes with Pleasant Ridge Reserve Cheese Oyster Shooters with Spring Peas Sweet-and-Sour Bacon Dinner Rushing Waters Smoked Rainbow Trout Rillettes with Radish Salad and Cornmeal Crackers Werp Farm Speckled Romaine Salad with Pickled Rhubarb, Sweet

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Eat this Word: Pain Perdu

WHAT? Leftover loaf. To make pain perdu, or "lost bread," stale slices of baguette or brioche are revived by a soak in an egg and milk bath and then browned in butter until crisp. We know it as French toast in the U.S., but versions of this custardy concoction can be found throughout most of Europe. In Portugal, the dish is called rabanadas; in Spain, families tuck into honey-coated torrijas; and in England the strangely named "poor knights of Windsor" has been a delicacy since the 17th-century (when it was often doused in wine and finished with almond milk). Pain perdu's origins are unknown, but a similar recipe appears in the writings of Roman chef Apicius from the first century A.D.. Today, New Orleans chefs have claimed pain perdu as their own, adding cinnamon and vanilla to the egg mixture and serving the dish with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and a dollop of jam

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Eye Candy: Mango and Pineapple Carpaccio

Pastry chef James DiStefano, who fashions balanced and stylish desserts at New York's Rouge Tomate, prepared this striking dish at a Beard House dinner earlier this month. It featured mango and pineapple carpaccio with matching sorbets, coconut tapioca, macadamia cake, and coffee molasses. Click here to see more photos from Rouge Tomate's event.

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Eat this Word: Fiddleheads

WHAT? Fern believers. A seasonal green available for only about two weeks in spring, fiddleheads are actually the young, tender shoots of "cinnamon," "brake," or "ostrich" ferns. The tightly coiled, immature fronds can be eaten raw or gently cooked, and have a taste likened to a cross between asparagus, green beans, and okra. The shape of the coil echoes the shape of the scroll of a violin or fiddle, hence the name. The season is over once the fiddleheads uncoil into full-fledged fronds. WHERE? Linton Hopkins's Beard House dinner WHEN? May 5, 2010 HOW? Hickory-Smoked Pepper-Crusted Rib-Eye and Braised Short Ribs with Appalachian Ramps,

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