Food Matters: What We Loved in 2009

As we resolve to eat less and exercise more at the start of this new year, we can't help but think of some of the delicious stand-outs we enjoyed in 2009. (Does dreaming burn calories?) Even in such an unsettling year for the industry, there was no shortage of fantastic food. Below are the dishes that left us satisfied, smiling, or even speechless. We can't wait to taste what's in store for 2010.


Sun Gold tomatoes with parsley and olive oil panna cotta / Hugo’s, Portland, ME
JBF Award Winner Rob Evans once worked at the French Laundry, and he masters its philosophy in this sublime appetizer: tasteful creativity paired with ingredients in their prime.


Crispy pig's ear salad with tarbais beans, chicory, tomato confit, truffle vinaigrette, and poached quail egg / Pig and Pinot Feast, James Beard House

2009 may have been an errant year for Ryan Skeen, but memories of his superb Beard House dinner have us... Read more >

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Eye Candy: Jason's Giordano's Triple Treat

plating dessert Jason Giordano (second from left) and his crew plate a dessert trio, which included banana cream pie, chocolate cake, and pumpkin mousse topped with a macaron ice cream sandwich. (See, we told you they were on the rise.) Check out more photos from the Hotel Griffou luncheon. (Photo by Eileen Miller)

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On the Menu: January 10 to January 16

on-the-menu-erin gleeson Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Monday, January 11, 7:00 P.M. Truffles and Banfi Returning Beard House featured chef Jasper Mirabile, Jr., took the reins of his family’s beloved Kansas City restaurant in 1984. More than 25 years later, Mirabile is still turning out impeccable Italian cuisine, which he will serve alongside a selection of fine wines from Tuscany’s renowned Castello Banfi in Montalcino. Tuesday, January 12, 7:00 P.M. A Toast to Chanterelle Chanterelle, David and Karen Waltuck’s groundbreaking Tribeca restaurant, enjoyed an impressive 30-year run, during which it accrued countless accolades, including several JBF Awards. Though the Waltucks recently announced Chanterelle’s

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Eye Candy: Cajun-Style Boudin Balls

boudin balls JBF Award Winner Donald Link, Ryan Prewitt, and Stephen Stryjewski passed around these traditional Cajun-style boudin balls—battered and deep-fried globes of pork sausage and rice—during the reception of their Big Easy–style Beard House dinner. Click here to see more images of the meal. (Photo by Tom Kirkman)

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JBF News: Deadline Approaching for NYC Public Schools Recipe Contest

vegetables We've been impressed by the response to our healthy school lunch recipe contest, but there's no such thing as too much delicious and healthy food! We'll continue to accept chefs' recipes for plant-based and meatless entrées through January 15 (that's next Friday), so keep 'em coming! Send your submissions to info@healthyschoolfood.org. (You can learn more about the contest rules and recipe guidelines here.) Special thanks to our partners, New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, the NYC Office of SchoolFood, and Candle Café/79, for helping our kids eat well.

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Eye Candy: Stephanie Izard Cheeses It Up

dessert For her dessert course, Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard served creamy, caramelized slabs of Rogue Creamery Smokey Oregon Blue Cheese with bacon-glazed apples and marcona almond butter. Click here to view more photos of her event. (Photo by Joan Garvin)

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Eye Candy: Burger 'Bun'anza

burger duo At last week's Burger 'Bun'anza, an exciting lineup of New York chefs put their unique spin on the hamburger. Madeline Poley of New York Burger Co. stacked some bacon burgers with heirloom tomatoes and leek–thyme aïoli (top left), while Anita Lo packaged her patties, pickled vegetables, and Korean barbecue sauce in steamed buns (top right). See more photos from the event here. (Photos by Philip Gross)

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On the Menu: December 20 to December 26

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Monday, December 21, 7:00 P.M. Chicago’s Top Chef Stephanie Izard made television history when she became the first woman to take the top prize on Top Chef. She aims to repeat her success with the opening of her new Chicago restaurant, Girl and the Goat. Join us at the Beard House for a special sneak peek of Izard’s winning cuisine. Tuesday, December 22, 7:00 P.M. Flavors of Barcelona To celebrate the release of The Barcelona Cookbook (named after their award-winning Connecticut-based tapas bars), Andy Pforzheimer and Sasa Mahr-Batuz will pour bold Spanish wines and serve a menu of

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On the Menu: A Top Chef Comes to Dinner

Stephanie Izard For those of you experiencing Top Chef withdrawal, here's a little fix: Stephanie Izard, winner of season 4, is cooking at the Beard House on Monday. Take a look at her menu: Hors d’Oeuvre Foie Gras Torchon with Kumquats Broiled Oysters with Horseradish Aïoli and Pancetta Nantucket Bay Scallops with Acorn Squash and Brown Butter Dinner Sweet Onion Soup with Florida Stone Crab Duck Fat–Poached Alaskan Halibut Cheeks with Duck Confit Ravioli, Honeycrisp Apples, and Apple Jus Pan-Roasted Triggerfish with Smoked Goat Ragoût and D’Anjou Pears Roasted Lamb Medallions with Spiced Raisin Sauce and Niçoise Olives Rogue Creamery Smokey Oregon Blue Cheese with Bacon-Glazed Apples and Marcona Almond Butter To view Izard's official event page,

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Eat this Word: Croque Monsieur

croque monsieurWHAT? A ham-'n-cheese sandwich with a French twist. The classic croque monsieur, darling of cash-poor tourists and French folk-on-the-go, is buttered bread, Gruyère cheese, and lean ham, fried in clarified butter. In the good old days before even the French began to rush their meals, it was served as an hors d'oeuvre, a tea sandwich, or the main event in a (pre-cholesterol) light lunch. The modern version of this "crunchy sir" is more often a ham-and-Swiss combo, toasted in a grill press and served hot and delicious at cafes and street stalls, so even those Francophiles most pressed for time don't have to settle for McDonald's. Apparently when it crosses the ocean, this impeccably pedigreed Gallic standard gets some new clothes: this month at the Beard House, for instance, it's served with duck pastrami. WHERE? JBF Award winner Donald Link, Ryan

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