Eye Candy: New Orleans Fig Jam Tart with Pecan Shortbread and Peach Leaf Ice Cream


Ten years after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, we were honored to celebrate the city’s resilience with the fabled Brennan family when they brought their historic opulence and modern techniques up North to the Beard House. With a menu devoted to the renowned seafood of the South, host Ralph Brennan and his group of world-class chefs took diners on a tasting of the Bayou’s best with dishes like frogs’ legs croquettes with Creole mustard and crispy Louisiana softshell crab with saffron bisque. A real show-stopper of the evening was the final course, a stunning New Orleans fig jam tart layered with lacquered, sweet fresh figs. A feast for both the eyes and the palate, this dessert was paired with buttery pecan shortbread and an inventive peach leaf ice cream. With an evening filled with contemporary takes on New Orleans classics, it had us itching to book our... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Cane & Table's Tiki Cocktail


Get ready to unwind for the weekend with Absent Stars, a whimsical, tropical cocktail from New Orleans mixologist Nick Detrich. Detrich breathes new life into the popular 20th century tiki movement at his Crescent City restaurant and bar, Cane & Table, a semifinalist for our 2015 JBF Outstanding Bar Program award. Serving up bites and beverages that hint at the transfer of spices, sugar, and rum between island nations and the rest of the world, Cane & Table honors the influence of Caribbean cuisine and culture in New Orleans. 


With his Absent Stars creation, Detrich revamps a classic tiki drink by highlighting the bold white grapefruit notes and tart ... Read more >

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April Bloomfield and Donald Link Team Up for the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® in New Orleans


“The amount of hospitality in New Orleans is just phenomenal,” observed JBF Award winner April Bloomfield. “It really blew me away.”


This weekend the James Beard Foundation brought its annual Taste America culinary tour to the vibrant city of New Orleans. For the third year in a row, the Foundation is traveling to ten cities across the country to host one-of-kind fundraising dinners highlighting local cuisine and headlined by a visiting All-Star chef and a Local Star chef, as well as cooking demos, artisanal tastings, and book signings.


The main event, which took place at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, began with a walk-around tasting reception featuring a... Read more >

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In Memoriam: Paul Prudhomme


The James Beard Foundation was saddened to hear that Paul Prudhomme, who many say was the first celebrity restaurant chef, has passed away at the age of 75. Prudhomme was the first American-born executive chef at Commander's Palace in New Orleans, and shot to further culinary fame when he opened K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen in 1980. "As our Foundation is about to celebrate the many great chefs and cuisine of New Orleans this weekend, we will miss and mourn the passing of  the great Paul Prudomme," said JBF president Susan Ungaro. "He was one of our country's first, best-loved celebrity chefs and had a huge influence on America's love for his home city and its exceptional food scene. New Orleans's loss is also America's."


Photo by Rick Bolen

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Q&A with JBF Taste America All-Star April Bloomfield


From burgers and broccoli to pigs’ heads and potatoes, JBF Award winner April Bloomfield has made an indelible mark through her attentive and soulful interpretations of myriad cuisines. After a career garnering accolades for her nose-to-tail and root-to-stalk cooking at her restaurants in New York City and San Francisco, Bloomfield has now turned her eyes to a real piece of Americana: burgers. Fortunately, there’s no Brit we’d trust with our buns more. Bloomfield is helping us celebrate the diversity of American cuisine as an All-Star on our Taste America national epicurean tour, where she’ll collaborate with JBF Award winner Donald Link on an exclusive dinner in New Orleans. We chatted with the iconic chef before her trip down to the Big Easy about her latest culinary obsession, where she dines out in the Big Apple, and what's drawing her attention to Paris.... Read more >

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James Beard Foundation's Taste America® Preview: New Orleans


The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® national epicurean tour continues this weekend with two days of star-studded events in New Orleans, featuring Taste America All-Star and JBF Award winner April Bloomfield and Local Star Donald Link. Friday night kicks off with a tasting reception from some of New Orleans's finest, followed by an exclusive four-course dinner prepared by Bloomfield and Link. On Saturday the action moves to Sur La Table for cooking demos and book signings from Bloomfield and lauded cookbook author and photographer, Kit Wohl.


For tickets and more information about the chefs and vendors appearing, check out ... Read more >

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In Memoriam: Willie Mae Seaton


The James Beard Foundation was saddened to hear the news that Willie Mae Seaton, owner of Willie Mae's Scotch House in New Orleans, passed away on Friday, September 18, at the age of 99. In 2005, the James Beard Foundation named Willie Mae's Scotch House an America's Classic, and Willie Mae Seaton traveled to New York City to accept the restaurant's honor at that year's James Beard Awards. Later that year, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the restaurant, and it was rebuilt and reopened in 2007. "Hurricane Katrina may have put Willie Mae in the national news, but she was considered a culinary icon of New Orleans long before," said JBF president Susan Ungaro. "Her fried chicken was legendary but her incredible warmth and hospitality made her a treasure to us all. We were lucky to have her as a friend into her 99th year."

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Ask the Chefs: Brennan's Team on New Orleans Cuisine


Ten years after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, we are honored to celebrate the city’s resilience with the fabled Brennan family at an exclusive dinner later this month at the Beard House. With a menu devoted to the renowned seafood of the South, host Ralph Brennan and his team of world-class chefs will bring their crave-worthy combination of historic opulence and modern techniques up North to the Big Apple. As our excitement builds for their Creole cooking, we spoke to the chefs about their inspiration behind this dinner, their guilty-pleasure foods (think sweets), and their top places to chow down in the Crescent City. 


Slade Rushing, Brennan's 
Austin Kirzner, Red Fish Grill
... Read more >

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Interview with Wendell Pierce, Part Three: Solutions, Local and Beyond (and Zimbabwe)


The 2014 JBF Food Conference, taking place October 27–28 in New York City, will explore the intersection of food and health. Our speakers and panelists will discuss the myriad ways in which food supports personal and public health; fails to deliver on the promise of better health; and both drives and responds to other cultural forces in America today.


In anticipation of this two-day event, we're holding ... Read more >

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What We're Reading: October 14, 2014


The roller coaster of emotion that comes with eating gummy bears. [NYT


The new documentary America’s First Foodie aims to raise awareness about James Beard. [Food Politic


Chipotle partners with Slow Food USA to build gardens in schools across the U.S. [Fast Company


Americans really love sandwiches: a new study reveals that nearly half of the population eats a sammy on any given day. [... Read more >

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JBF Kitchen Cam