Recipe: Kyoto Matcha Custard

Last month at the Beard House, John J. Shirley, executive chef at the New York Athletic Club, designed and served a menu that showcased the versatility of tea in cooking. We loved his simple but elegant custard perfumed with matcha, a fine green tea that's central to Japanese tea ceremonies. Consider it for an unexpected, luxurious dessert course at your next dinner party. (Chef Shirley uses matcha from Kyoto, but any matcha will do.)

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Eat this Word: Lapsang Souchong

WHAT? Smoky sipper. Enjoyed a cup of lapsang souchong with your afternoon cookie lately? If you’re like most Americans, the chances are slim. Lapsang souchong is a strong black tea with an assertive smoky flavor that has been likened to the taste of single-malt Scotch whiskey and cigars. Real lapsang souchong hails from Mount Wuyi in the Fujian province of China and is quite rare, but the name is often applied to black and oolong tea leaves of indiscriminate origin that have been treated with smoldering pinewood ash. According to legend, the smoking process was discovered by accident in a small village during the Qing dynasty when a group of soldiers took over a tea factory filled with fresh, unprocessed leaves. By the time the townspeople were able to get back into the factory, they didn’t have enough time to dry the leaves before market day, so they used pinewood fires to

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On the Menu: March 21 through March 27

Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Sunday, March 21, 3:00 P.M. Friends of James Beard Benefit A once-in-a-lifetime gathering of New Orleans chefs. This walk-around tasting is a benefit for the James Beard Foundation, America's preeminent culinary Foundation. Monday, March 22, 7:00 P.M. Team Vermont Writing about Vermont’s culinary renaissance in the New York Times, Mark Bittman raved that the state’s new locavore cuisine “can hold its own anywhere in the world.” Join us as the chefs at the forefront of this gastronomic movement treat Beard House diners to a taste of the

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