On the Menu: February 14 through February 20

on-the-menu-eileen-miller Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Sunday, February 14, 7:00 P.M. Valentine’s Day Seduction Spice things up this Valentine’s Day at a romantic dinner of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s dramatic, sexy Asian fare prepared by Anthony Ricco, executive chef at Spice Market. The restaurant’s much-acclaimed original pastry chef, Pichet Ong, will provide decadent, passion-inspiring desserts. Tuesday, February 16, 7:00 P.M. West Coast Basque Cuisine Basque native Gerald Hirigoyen has spent the last two decades in San Francisco, where he runs two wildly popular restaurants, Piperade and Bocadillos. His signature style, as showcased in his new cookbook, Pintxos, artfully blends the robust flavors of

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On the Menu: February 7 through February 13

on-the-menu-erin gleeson Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Tuesday, February 9, 7:00 P.M. Southern Roots An Alabama native who trained under Susan Spicer and Frank Stitt, Mike Davis has made his own mark on the Southern food tradition at Terra, where he turns out contemporary dishes accented with the flavors of the region. Taste the terroir in his palate-expanding cuisine at this homage to the South. Wednesday, February 10, 7:00 P.M. Seasonal Italian At Seattle’s Cantinetta, executive chef Brian Cartenuto serves up serious, soulful Italian food. Hewing to a style he describes as refined simplicity, Cartenuto has wowed critics with “assured cooking” that combines “a wonderful balance of flavors with an element of

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Eye Candy: A Badge of Honor

Beard Tattoo An invitation to cook at the James Beard House is an honor that chefs take very seriously. For chefs Michael Giletto and Alina Eisenhauer, who recently prepared a fête to fennel at the House, it was an experience they never wanted to forget. After their dinner these friends (they met while competing on Food Network's Chopped) decided to create a tattoo that would commemorate the night for all time. We think it's pretty cool. Check out gorgeous shots of the dishes from their dinner here.

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On the Menu: January 31 through February 6

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Sunday, January 31, 12:00 P.M. Fabulous Mid-Winter Brunch Few people know how to brunch as well as New Yorkers do. And few restaurants know how to fill those eggs-Benedict-and-ricotta-pancake cravings as well as Almond, Jason Weiner’s unpretentious French bistros in NYC and the Hamptons. Join us as we chase off some winter blues with a menu of Weiner’s bold, expertly executed cuisine. Monday, February 1, 7:00 P.M. Organic Modern American Named by Travel + Leisure as one of the best new restaurants in 2009, Josh Adams’s June seamlessly blends a farm-to-table ethic with the tools of molecular gastronomy. Adams applies progressive techniques to pristine ingredients, many of which are

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Ask a Chef: Anthony Bourdain, where should we eat?

Anthony Bourdain JBF Award winner Anthony Bourdain is known for his audacious spirit, quick wit, and adventurous palate. He took a break between country-hopping to tell us his musings about the world’s best restaurants and the chefs who inspire him. Check out who makes his list.

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Eat this Word: Edamame

edamame-3WHAT? Japanese bar nuts. Order beer at any bar in Japan (or Taiwan for that matter) and you're more than likely to get a bowl of soybeans pods with your Kirin. The fresh pods, about two inches long and fuzzy, are boiled for a couple of minutes in heavily salted water and cooled. Drinkers peel them and eat the delicious thimble-sized beans inside. The United States produces more than 2.7 billion bushels of soy beans each year, but most are exported or turned into things like salad dressings, pesticides, and diesel fuel. Because the latest research suggests that compounds in the beans may reduce the risk of cancer, lower cholesterol, and prevent osteoporosis, a small number of Americans are finally beginning to eat them. Believe it or not, they also taste good. So why aren't more Americans giving up their bar nuts for edamame? It's a mystery. WHERE? David Skorka, Jonathan

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Eat this Word: Romesco

romescoWHAT? Catalan hodgepodge. This classic sauce is a specialty of the Tarragona province in the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain. About the only ingredient chefs can agree on is the special red pepper that gives the sauce its name. Some contend the formula should be nothing more than a simple mixture of olive oil, red pepper, and bread, while others liven it up with flavorful ingredients, such as garlic, wine, chili powder, paprika, almonds or hazelnuts, and vinegar to the blend. Regardless of the recipe, the final product is usually a smooth paste, typically served with grilled poultry or fish. Each spring, there is a competition among fishermen in the Serrallo district of the province to produce the best Romesco. Before thousands of spectators, the Romesco-masters—who only pass their secret recipes on to their sons—set to work with their mortars and pestles to compete for the championship title. WHERE?

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On the Menu: January 24 through January 30

on-the-menu-eileen-miller-2 Here’s what happening at the Beard House and elsewhere: Monday, January 25, 6:30 P.M. Cold Nights, Warm Bites Come in from the cold and join the James Beard Foundation Greens for our first event of 2010. Discover the National, a hidden gem of the Lower East Side--a great place to warm up with great food and inventive drinks. Monday, January 25, 7:00 P.M. Tuscan Sun From the lush olive groves and vineyards of the countryside to Florence’s fine-dining restaurants, Tuscany boasts one of the world’s richest food cultures. Todd English’s Tuscany brings the rustic flavors of the region across the pond to Mohegan Sun, where chef James Klewin’s kitchen “excels at just about everything,” as per Gayot.

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Eat this Word: Salsify

salsifyWHAT? The world is your oyster plant. For such a mild-mannered root vegetable, salsify has attracted an unusually high number of ardent defenders and passionate detractors. Unique, delicate, superb, mild, mysterious, its champions insist. Bland, mushy, faded, forgettable, its critics rejoin. Salsify is also known as oyster plant, because when cooked, it's alleged to taste like the mollusk. (More disagreement on this point.) There are, however, a few facts everyone concedes: Salsify is a carrot-shaped winter vegetable. Thomas Jefferson grew it, and a vegetable garden remains the best place to find it in contemporary America. It's much more common in Europe, where people use it in stews, soups, and fritters or simply sautèed in butter. White salsify and black salsify (technically called Scorzonera) are used interchangeably. WHERE? Michael Giletto and Alina Eisenhauer's Beard

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Eat this Word: Geoduck

geoduck-1WHAT? Ugly duckling. "These are the most bizarre-looking of all clams (and perhaps all foods)," James Peterson writes in Fish & Shellfish of the geoduck, which makes its home in the Pacific Northwest. Waverly Root wasn't much kinder, describing it as a "clam so fat that it cannot close its shell." The bigger specimens of the world's largest burrowing clam weigh as much as 20 pounds, live as long as 150 years, and their neck, or siphon, extends by as much as three feet. They resemble…er…something not polite to write here. But odd-looking as they are, the geoduck has many admirers, culinary and otherwise. "Geoduck meat is delicious," Alan Davidson writes in The Oxford Companion to Food. The siphon meat is stirred into chowders and used for sushi; the body is sautéed. Asians pay as much as $30 per pound to dine on them, according to William Dietrich in the Seattle Times, who also explains that the name comes from the Nisqually Indian

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