Awards Watch: Awards Nominee Announcement on Monday

Make sure that your computer screen is tuned into our Twitter feed, @beardfoundation, on Monday morning: we'll be live-tweeting the Awards nominations from the Palace Café, the acclaimed New Orleans institution from chef Dickie Brennan. Kick-off time is 10:00 A.M. EST.

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Awards Watch: Awards Theme and Hosts Announced

Beard medallion Italian maven Lidia Bastianich, fusion pioneer Wolfgang Puck, and kitchen science cognoscente Alton Brown will share the podium at this year's James Beard Foundation Awards, which will go down on Monday, May 3, at Lincoln Center. The theme of this year's ceremony is "The Legacy Continues," a nod to the lasting impact that James Beard and his successors have had on American cuisine. We're asking every chef who has won our Outstanding Chef award (Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, and others) to shine a spotlight on chefs whom they believe are extraordinary examples of excellence in our culinary world. The 2010 Awards Gala Reception will feature dishes from these established and emerging talents from around the country. (Some of our Outstanding Chef winners will be handing out this year's medals, so expect to see some of the big names in the house, too). We've also tapped Kelly Choi, host of Eat Out NY and Top Chef

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Recipe: Catfish Court-Bouillon

catfish court bouillon While French court-bouillon is a light poaching liquid made with mirepoix, bouquet garni, and acidic elements like lemon or wine, its Cajun descendant is a hearty fish stew. JBF Award Winner Donald Link uses cornmeal-dredged catfish and jalapeño pepper to ramp up the good ol' New Orleans flavor of this authentic recipe.

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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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Jobs We Love: Donna Cavato

ESY NOLA Putting down roots in a space that once held Katrina's swelling floodwaters, the Edible Schoolyard of New Orleans launched in 2005 as the first affiliate of Alice Water's garden and kitchen classroom project in Berkeley. With the help of over 300 eager students, the program has become a vital part of the city's community, providing organically-grown food and culinary education. We contacted the program's founding director, Donna Cavato, to hear about her work and why she's optimistic about America's eating habits. Read the interview here. Update: We misreported the number of children who participate in ESY NOLA. The program currently serves over 700 students.

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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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What's in a Name: JBF Award Winner Donald Link's Herbsaint

Herbsaint is a brandname of anise-flavored liquor. The spirit’s creators, J.M. Legendre and Reginald Parker, were veterans of absinthe making, having learned the art while stationed in France during World War I.

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