JBF in the News: Izabela Wojcik on WABC-TV New York

 

On Sunday our own Izabela Wojcik appeared on WABC-TV's Eyewitness News Sunday to talk about the Beard House and our guest chef dinner series. Wojcik, who has served as JBF's director of House programming since 2002, was joined by chef Josh Boeckelman, who represented his New Orleans–based restaurant, Superior Seafood and Oyster Bar, at the House last Friday. The guests and anchor Rob Nelson discussed a few of the dishes from Boeckelman's Beard House menu, including smoked trout rillettes, red snapper crudo, and a deconstructed crawfish boil.

 

More than 250 dining events are held at the James Beard House each year, with dinners taking place almost every night of the week. See our complete Beard House events calendar

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Eat This Word: Semifreddo

 

WHAT? A half-frozen idea. Italian for "half-cold," semifreddo is an Italian dessert made by freezing mousseline-like custards, which are often layered with ingredients like ground amaretti, nuts, or chocolate. Unlike ice cream, semifreddo is not churned. To make it edible while frozen, air is incorporated into the custard base, usually in the form of meringue or whipped cream. The air also has the effect of making the semifreddo seem less cold than it actually is, which accounts for its name.

 

WHERE? Rappahannock Oyster Celebration

 

WHEN? January 21, 2015

 

HOW? Tangerine Creamsicle with Buttermilk Semifreddo, Paige Tangerines, and Quince Cookie

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Eat This Word: Mochi

 

WHAT? In its homeland of Japan, this glutinous rice (mochi gome in Japanese) is used primarily to make confections, to make a special rice dish used for celebrations (sekihan), or to make mochi, a soft, gooey rice cake that is served around the New Year. Ordinarily, the Japanese cook rice by boiling; mochi rice, however, is steamed. To make mochi rice cakes, the hot rice is pounded over and over with a wooden palletsweaty workuntil it is pulverized. The resultant sticky dough is shaped into cakes, used both for shrine offerings and to eat. Mochi, which has an extensible texture like taffy but more so, is considered auspicious, for the word also means "to have," and thus connotes prosperity for the new year. Our favorite treat is mochi ice cream balls, in which a ball of ice cream is wrapped with mochi dough so you can hold it in your hands while you eat it.

 

WHERE? Pioneers and Legends... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Beard House Food Pyramid

 

James Beard once said, "It is true thrift to use the best ingredients available and to waste nothing." Ed Kim, cartoonist for Beard House Magazine and other JBF publications, illustrated his rankings of said best ingredients in the October 2000 cover of the JBF Calendar & Newsletter in a comic called “Beard House Food Pyramid." (Click here for full-sized artwork.) Viewed alongside retrospectives of last year’s culinary trends and prognostications of what awaits in 2015, Kim’s vision of the food pyramid à la Beard is remarkably resonant. Hudson Valley foie gras and truffles on the daily; oysters a few times a week; morels, chanterelles and porcini when in season. Fifteen years later, it seems almost nothing has changed. Take a glimpse at a menu for any dinner or event this year at the Beard House and see for yourself.

 

 ... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Tourtières

WHAT? French pastry. As is so often the case with French words, tourtière means something slightly different in France than it does in French Canada. In Paris the word tourtière is obscure. It refers to a generic meat pie (sometimes also called a tourte) in a pastry crust that's baked in a mold called a tourtière. (Like tagine, terrine, and tian, the name of the dish comes from the name of the vessel in which it is cooked.) In Montréal, tourtière refers to a specific meat pie, usually ground pork, that's seasoned with cinnamon and clove and baked in a lard crust. It is traditional at Christmas, but it is eaten throughout the year. There are regional variations, such as the tourtières made along the Saguenay River that are filled with potatoes, onions, and cubed meat. Whereas in France it's unlikely to find someone who has ever had a tourtière, in French Canada, just about everyone has probably had one within the last year.

 

WHERE? Chuckwagon Raconteur

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Eat This Word: Pavolva

pavlova

 

WHAT? Named for the world-famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this fruit, whipped cream, and meringue dessert is claimed by rival nations. Aussies have long considered it their national dessert, but New Zealanders argue that they invented the pavlova, and they back up their claim with citations from cookbooks. The dancer toured both countries in the late 1920s. In Perth, Australia, she stayed at the Esplanade Hotel, whose chef, Herbert Sachse, is often credited with creating the dessert some six years later. Supposedly the pavlova acquired its name after someone proclaimed his dessert was "as light as pavlova." Others think the name stems from the fact that the ring-shaped meringue resembled pavlova's frilly, white costume in her most famous role, the Dying Swan. Pavlovas are traditionally filled with passion fruit.

 

WHERE? Finger Lakes Holiday Dinner

 ... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Geoduck

A geoduck, radish, and avocado canapé at the Beard House

 

WHAT? "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... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Heritage Turkey

 

WHAT? If the Pilgrims did in fact feast on turkey at the first Thanksgiving in 1621, it's unlikely that the bird bore much resemblance to the turkeys on today's Thanksgiving tables. It may have looked more like a heritage turkey, the ancestor of the Broad-Breasted White turkey now sold in most supermarkets. Wild turkeys, which were native to the Americas and a primary source of meat for many Native American tribes, were domesticated in Europe and North America to create heritage breeds such as the Standard Bronze, Bourbon Red, Narragansett, Jersey Buff, Slate, Black Spanish, and the White Holland. By the 1960s the industrialized Broad-Breasted White, bred for its breast meat and ability to reach maturity in just two months, began to dominate the market, and by 1990 heritage turkeys were almost extinct. Usually raised on pasture, heritage breeds develop stronger legs, thighs, and breasts than their industrialized brethren, but since they take up to 30 weeks to reach market weight they are more expensive to... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Conch

 

WHAT? Over the centuries, Caribbean islanders have played tunes on the conch, drunk from it, made tools from it, adorned homes with it, used it as a primitive form of money, and--best of all--eaten it. "There is no doubt that since time immemorial, man has been breaking open conch shells in order to get at the succulent flesh inside," according to Culinaria, A Culinary Discovery: The Caribbean. The meat of this sea snail is tough and needs tenderizing with lime or by pounding before cooking. Its taste has been compared to clams and scallops. Conch, which propels itself along the ocean floor with its foot-like muscle, is used to make stews, chowders, and fritters. In the 17th century, the beautiful spiraled pink shell of the Queen Conch was prized in Europe. Today, entire conch orchestras make beautiful music in Key West at the island's annual Conch Blowing Contest.

 ... Read more >

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Visa Signature® Presents James Beard Foundation's Taste America®

James Beard Foundation's® Taste America

 

At the James Beard Foundation, we specialize in the one of a kind. The annual James Beard Awards, known as the "Oscars of food," are the restaurant industry's premier event, while the James Beard House hosts some of the most singular dining experiences you'll find anywhere.

 

The James Beard Foundation's Taste America® is no exception. This year's ten-city tour includes some of the most remarkable chef collaborations we've ever assembled, from a visionary of molecular gastronomy joining forces with a Southern-food defender, to one of the country's most celebrated French masters teaming up with the queen of the gastropub.

 

The most exclusive access at Taste America events is reserved only for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Visa Signature® cardmembers via... Read more >

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