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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On the Menu: January 17 to January 23

on-the-menu-eileen-miller Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Wednesday, January 20, 12:00 P.M. Beard on Books Winner of the 2009 JBF Cookbook Award, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient with Recipes is Jennifer McLagan's defense of this unfairly maligned food. Backed by science and common sense, the cook and food stylist convincingly argues that fat is an indispensable nutrient. She also reminds us that it's a capable vehicle for flavor: using popular recipes, like the B.L.T. and french fries, McLagan proves that fat takes foods to new heights. Wednesday, January 20, 7:00 P.M. Northwestern Seafood Extravaganza 2009 JBF Award nominee Ethan Stowell understands that sophisticated

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On the Menu: January 10 to January 16

on-the-menu-erin gleeson Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Monday, January 11, 7:00 P.M. Truffles and Banfi Returning Beard House featured chef Jasper Mirabile, Jr., took the reins of his family’s beloved Kansas City restaurant in 1984. More than 25 years later, Mirabile is still turning out impeccable Italian cuisine, which he will serve alongside a selection of fine wines from Tuscany’s renowned Castello Banfi in Montalcino. Tuesday, January 12, 7:00 P.M. A Toast to Chanterelle Chanterelle, David and Karen Waltuck’s groundbreaking Tribeca restaurant, enjoyed an impressive 30-year run, during which it accrued countless accolades, including several JBF Awards. Though the Waltucks recently announced Chanterelle’s

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On the Menu: December 27 to January 2

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Tuesday, December 29, 7:00 P.M. Food of Maine, Wine of Paso Robles Regarded as one of Maine’s loveliest seaside destinations, the Union Bluff Hotel gets especially high marks for the critically acclaimed, Maine-inspired cuisine of chef Karl Mace. Join him at the Beard House for a Down East feast paired with the seductive wines of Four Vines Winery. Thursday, December 31, 9:00 P.M. New Year’s Eve Celebration Make a resolution to ring in 2010 at the Beard House’s annual New Year’s Eve gala dinner. Attendees will be treated to ever-flowing wines and Champagne and an extravagant farm-to-table menu prepared by Sarah Langan of the New England Culinary Institute’s Main Street Grill & Bar.

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On the Menu: December 20 to December 26

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Monday, December 21, 7:00 P.M. Chicago’s Top Chef Stephanie Izard made television history when she became the first woman to take the top prize on Top Chef. She aims to repeat her success with the opening of her new Chicago restaurant, Girl and the Goat. Join us at the Beard House for a special sneak peek of Izard’s winning cuisine. Tuesday, December 22, 7:00 P.M. Flavors of Barcelona To celebrate the release of The Barcelona Cookbook (named after their award-winning Connecticut-based tapas bars), Andy Pforzheimer and Sasa Mahr-Batuz will pour bold Spanish wines and serve a menu of

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On the Menu: December 13 to December 19

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Monday, December 14, 6:00 P.M. Beard Burger ‘Bun’anza New York’s top chefs put their unique spins on the all-American burger. Fabulous wine, beer, and cocktails will be served. Tuesday, December 15, 7:00 P.M. Christmas in Connecticut In the 1945 film Christmas in Connecticut, a stranded sailor dreams of a gourmet five-course feast. Luckily for us, the decadent yuletide meal is no illusion as talented Connecticut chef Dan Kardos joins us at the Beard House with a seasonal and locally sourced menu filled with holiday cheer. Wednesday, December 16, 12:00 P.M. Beard on Books

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On the Menu: December 6 to December 12

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Sunday, December 6, 6:00 P.M. 8th Annual Greens Holiday Party Join the James Beard Foundation Greens as we celebrate the holidays with great food and drink at the 8th Annual JBF Greens Holiday Party at the historic James Beard House. Don't miss this chance to explore our muse's home and sample culinary delights from some of the city's most exciting chefs. Master mixologist Michael Waterhouse will create delectable holiday cocktails using Bison Grass Vodka and Bull Dog Gin and a selection of fine wines from Palm Bay Imports and Stella Artois beers will also be served to keep everyone in good spirits. Monday, December 7, 6:30 P.M. Friends of James Beard Benefit: Milkwaukee

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On the Menu: November 29 to December 5

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Monday, November 30, 7:00 P.M. Boston’s Grand Dining Soaring 52 stories above Boston’s Back Bay, the Top of the Hub is a city landmark, a can’t-miss dining experience that offers guests the rare combination of a breathtaking view and phenomenal food. Chef Marc Porcaro oversees the kitchen, where he crafts inventive interpretations of classic New England cuisine. Tuesday, December 1, 7:00 P.M. Piedmontese White Truffle Dinner Under the tutelage of JBF Award winner Paul Bartolotta and Bartolotta’s own mentor Valentino Marcattilii, chef Juan Urbieta has mastered the art of Italian cooking. At this special event, he’ll pair decadent white truffle creations with the wines of Italy’s Piedmont region for

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On the Menu: November 22 to November 28

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Thursday, November 26, 6:00 P.M. Thanksgiving Feast This Thanksgiving, leave the poultry thermometer and the casserole dishes behind and spend the evening at the Beard House enjoying a bountiful holiday menu of impeccably prepared American classics from this talented team of Art Institute chefs. For details and reservations, visit www.jamesbeard.org/events or call 212.627.2308. (Photo by Krishna Dayanidhi)

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On the Menu: November 15 to November 21

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Sunday, November 15, 6:00 P.M. Friends of James Beard Benefit: Pismo Beach, CA Guests at our annual Friends of James Beard Benefit at Pismo Beach’s Lido Restaurant will be treated to breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, the exquisite California cuisine of acclaimed chefs Evan Treadwell, Joseph Humphrey, and Craig von Foerster, and an intriguing selection of Central Coast wines. Monday, November 16, 7:00 P.M. Market Fresh Seafood Named after the renowned Fulton Fish Market, where Atlantic fishermen began passing on the day’s catch to New York wholesalers in 1822, this fish-focused restaurant from the owners of Citarella offers the bold seafood dishes of chef Jeremy

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