Interview with Rising Star Nominee Katie Button

 

After jumping ship from academia, Katie Button has shot up the culinary ranks at warp speed. With a coveted stage at the late el Bulli under her apron strings, she now showcases her technical prowess and knack for innovation at Cúrate and the new Nightbell, her two family-owned and operated establishments in Asheville, North Carolina. We spoke with Button about her favorite dishes from her menus, her forthcoming cookbook, and why she never wants to stop learning.

 

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JBF: You just opened a new bar called Nightbell. Can you talk about what you're doing there? What’s the menu like? What's the story behind the name?

 

KB: The idea was to create a cocktail bar that offered the whole package: delicious bites, surprising desserts, and well-crafted cocktails. And we didn't stop there: we also handpicked a great variety of large-format, 22-ounce beers, and we offer hi... Read more >

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Interview with Outstanding Chef Award Nominee David Kinch

David Kinch of Manresa

 

Critically acclaimed for his inventive, Michelin-starred California cuisine at Manresa, David Kinch has followed his 2010 Best Chef: Pacific win with three straight Outstanding Chef semifinalist nods. Here, the 2014 JBF Award nominee tells us about his new cookbook, a recent food-filled jaunt to Japan, and where he finds his inspiration to continue evolving as a chef.

 

JBF: What’s your favorite item on the current Manresa menu?

 

David Kinch: Our menu changes before you can get really comfortable with any particular item. However, at the moment, we have these tiny, sweet carrots served in an Asian-style beef broth with toasted buckwheat and breadcrumbs that I’m very fond of.

 

JBF: Can you tell us about you... Read more >

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JBF on the Air: Foie Gras with Michael Ginor

Michael Ginor on Taste Matters

 

On this week's episode of Taste Matters, JBF's Mitchell Davis welcomed Michael Ginor into Heritage Radio Network's Brooklyn studios to delve into the, er, rich topic of foie gras. As co-founder, co-owner, and president of Hudson Valley Foie Gras and New York State Foie Gras, the most comprehensive foie gras producer in the world, Michael is an expert on the details of foie gras production, consumption, and culinary history. In addition to the fatty-liver delicacy, Michael and Mitchell also discuss each part of the duck as it relates to food, why duck fat is so revered among chefs, and how the foie gras industry actually has lower mortality rates than any other operation. Click here to listen to the full episode.... Read more >

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Sustainability Matters: April 18, 2014

 

Grassroots campaigns in seven cities pass resolutions urging Congress to ban growth-promoting antibiotics in livestock. [Civil Eats]

 

Food giant General Mills adds legal language negating the consumer’s right to sue. Simple acts such as “liking” Cheerios on Facebook, downloading a Betty Crocker coupon, or entering a company sweepstakes binds consumers to “forced arbitration.” [NY Times]

 

The Washington Post’s Eli Saslow wins the Pulitzer Prize for his series on food stamps in America. [... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of April 20

 

Here's what's happening at the Beard House this week: 

 

Monday, April 21, 7:00 P.M.

Modern Japanese Izakaya

The brainchild of Japanese chef Ken Tominaga and JBF Award winner Michael Mina, PABU has introduced Baltimore to Japan’s version of the gastropub, or izakaya, where soulful small plates are the name of the game. Join us when executive chef Jonah Kim shares his take on this unique dining tradition.

 

Tuesday, April 22, 7:00 P.M.

Made in Memphis

This spirited collaboration of Tennessee’s culinary titans is music to our ears and palates. Join us as the talented group pays homage to their hometown with a spectacular menu of Southern-inspired, Memphis-made fare.

 

Wednesday, April 23, 12:00, noon... Read more >

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Interview with Outstanding Chef Award Nominee Sean Brock

Sean Brock is a nominee for the 2014 James Beard Award for Oustanding Chef

 

For the second year in a row, the well-rounded Sean Brock, whose obsessions stretch from fine-tuning burgers and fried chicken to resurrecting heirloom seeds and studying Senegalese cookery, is nominated for the JBF Award for Outstanding Chef. Below, Brock tells us about his sprawling cookbook, an upcoming Charleston concept, and much more.

 

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JBF: Let's start with a subject that's near and dear to your heart: burgers. You do such an admired one at Husk. What are some other chef-driven burgers that have you have tried and really loved?

 

SB: For me, burgers are an enormous passion. But anything that's an icon like that is going to result in some really bad versions of it. For every ten bad ones, there's a half-good one. People try to do too much to it. You have to keep it simple. So, my favorite burgers? The one at... Read more >

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Daily Digest: April 17, 2014

cricket

Could kosher certification convince more people to eat insects? The makers of these cricket-based protein bars hope so. [NY Mag]

 

Through the Open Source Seed Initiative, farmers and producers can plant crops without fear of violating intellectual property laws. [NPR]

 

A new fast-food hybrid: fried-chicken-nugget pizzas from Dominos. [LAT]

 

Meanwhile, Arizona Diamondback fans can enjoy all 3000-calories of this bacon-wrapped, cheddar-filled corn dog. [... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Blaine Wetzel of the Willows Inn on Lummi Island

 

Tucked away in an archipelago off the coast of Washington lies the elegant Willows Inn on Lummi Island, where chef Blaine Wetzel helms the nationally renowned kitchen. Here, the four-time nominee for Rising Star Chef of the Year tell us about his formative culinary experiences, how he draws inspiration from the Pacific Northwest’s terroir, and the ubiquitous food trend he hopes will disappear.

 

JBF: How would you describe your culinary style? 

 

Blaine Wetzel: My culinary style is determined by geography. The Pacific Northwest offers an abundance of beautiful ingredients that shape the way we cook. Whether it’s wild salmon, our garden's cherry blossoms, or the first nettles of the season, we just try to showcase that particular item. 

 

JBF: The tagline for your re... Read more >

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Interview with the Bar at the NoMad Hotel’s Leo Robitschek

Leo Robitschek of the Bar at the NoMad Hotel 

Step into the Bar at the NoMad Hotel, and you’ll be instantly transported to a time when New York City hotel bars were the pinnacle of glamour and mastery of craft. The 24-foot-long mahogany bar, leather chairs, and towering shelves of backlit Art Deco–era tomes evoke a timeless elegance, while proprietary cocktails are prepared using modern techniques and seasonal ingredients. Below, the Outstanding Bar Program Award nominee’s beverage director Leo Robitschek tells us about his ultimate food and drink pairing, how the impressive beverage menu is curated, and his favorite local haunts. 

 

JBF: How does the NoMad bar program differ from your first venture at Eleven Madison Park?

 

Leo Robitschek:​ The NoMad was our chance to take what we did at EMP... Read more >

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Sponsored Post: Win Tickets to the Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival on May 3

Take Home a Rioja Cellar Contest

 

We've already filled you in on the fabulous chefs, wines, and bites that will be on offer during the upcoming Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival, which is conveniently taking place in Brooklyn on May 3, the same weekend as our own Beard Awards hoopla. Now we're giving you a chance to attend for free, with VIP-status to boot.

 

Our friends at the Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival are generously giving away two VIP tickets to the event, along with six bottles of reserve wine. This privileged entrée will give you access to exclusive VIP areas, as well as the opportunity to sip more than 200 vibrant Rioja wines from 60+ wineries, meet top Rioja winemakers, attend expert-led seminars, and taste delicious tapas from 25 nationally-renowned chefs. What's more, the winner of this giveaway will automatically be entered... Read more >

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