Ask the Chefs: What's Your Favorite Holiday Dessert?

crème caramel

 

It’s no secret that chefs tend to have a sweet tooth. Here, some of our 2014 regional Best Chef award winners share their all-time favorite desserts, and where to get them. From Paris to Boston, we’ve got your cravings covered.

 

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Justin Aprahamian / Sanford, Milwaukee

One of my favorite desserts is the simplest: my grandfather always ate brick cheese and watermelon for dessert. The refreshing, sweet melon and the salty cheese is an enduring taste memory.

 

 

Dave Beran / Next, Chicago

It’s a tie. Jordan Kahn did a carrot, yogurt, and violet dessert at Red Medicine in Los Angeles that was incredible. Each bite brought more to life. And last year at Alex Stupak’s Push Project, Lauren Resler made a traditional apple pie. It was one of the most perfect pies I have ever had: flaky crust, delicious, not too sweet, and the filling had great structure. I could eat a slice of it for breakfast every day.

 ... Read more >

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Deadline for 2015 Women in Culinary Leadership Grants Extended

Deadline for 2015 Women in Culinary Leadership Grants Extended

 

The James Beard Foundation has extended its deadline for its 2015 Women in Culinary Leadership Grant. Applications will now be accepted through January 16, 2015. Women with at least two years of professional hospitality or culinary experience are encouraged to apply for a chance to participate in a six- or twelve-month mentor/grantee program with top industry leaders, including Christina Tosi, Tom Douglas, and Matt and Kate Jennings.

 

Mentorship programs are available with the following chefs and restaurateurs:

 

  • Kevin Boehm – Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago (six months; front of house)
  • JBF Award winner Richard Melman and Kevin Brown –

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What We're Reading: December 16, 2014

 

Break out of your December doldrums with these seasonal vegetables and fruits. [FR

 

Liquor in the loo? London's newest bar is in an old underground bathroom. [Grub Street

 

How Chanukah gelt went from currency to chocolate. [NPR]

 

The Michelin curse: why chefs are saying no thanks to Michelin stars. [The Daily Meal

 

Are these history's most gluttonous men? [First We Feast... Read more >

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Recipe: Panettone Bread Pudding

Panettone Bread Pudding recipe, courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

 

Let's admit it: many of us have left a store-bought panettone to languish in the backs of our cupboards during or even beyond the holidays. The same was true for JBF staffer Victoria Jordan Rodriguez and her family. That is, until they found a creative way to put the ubiquitous, candied fruit–studded loaf to good use. In what’s now a beloved holiday tradition, Victoria's panettone is sliced and repurposed into a rich bread pudding. A bourbon-infused crème Anglaise ups the ante for a sumptuous dessert—and you can even call it French toast to feel better about having leftovers for brunch on Christmas morning.

 

Get the recipe here.

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Awards Watch: Book Submissions Due Today

2015 James Beard Book Award Entries Due December 15

 

Calling all authors, editors, and other publishing-industry folk: today is the last day to submit entries for the 2015 James Beard Book Awards. Submissions are by due by midnight.

 

We've received over 400 entries so far. Want to add your work to the mix? You can register and submit entries at awards.jamesbeard.org. Entry guidelines are here. Our Book Awards categories are:

 

American Cooking

Baking and Dessert

Beverage

Cooking from a Professional Point of View

Focus on Health

General Cooking

International

Reference and Scholarship

Single Subject

Vegetarian Focused and Vegetarian

Writing and Literature
 

 

2015 Book Award nominees will be ann... Read more >

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What We're Reading: December 15, 2014

 

This guide to buttercream frosting is truly the icing on the cake. [Serious Eats]

 

Dig into the winter season's colorful harvest on your salad plate. [NYT]

 

A new year means new food trends: what’s on tap for 2015. [Forbes]

 

Willy Wonka would be proud: a New York-based artist recreates savory meals using only candy. [BuzzFeed]

 

New city laws nationwide attempt to regulate the food truck frenzy. [... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Holiday Dessert Pairings (Part II)

wine

 

For those who are looking to make the holidays even merrier, we asked Bernie Sun, corporate beverage director of JBF Award winner Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants, to suggest affordable wine pairings for the season’s classic desserts.

 

For our second installment, we asked Sun to recommend the perfect pairing for gingerbread cake or cookies​. His pick? Disznókó Tokaji Late Harvest 2011 ($22/500ml). "This special Hungarian sweet wine, made from botrytised Furmint g... Read more >

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Recipe: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Vanilla–Cream Cheese Filling

 

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Vanilla–Cream Cheese Filling

 

We're living in the heyday of the food mashup, but let's not forget those pioneers of hybridization, the creations with dual identities so tightly entangled that the distinguishable parts have receded behind a seamless whole. One of our favorites? The dessert sandwich. It may not be the original food mashup, but chances are, like Generation Z and the Internet, you've never known life without it.

 

When considering a dessert sandwich in the abstract, what do you see? We're guessing it's not a whoopie pie. That's a shame, because whoopie pies are a delightful treat, as well as a fun baking project. They're also a misnomer, bearing zero resemblance to pie: the filling sits between two discs of cake. As for its disputed origins, I, a native Mainer, recuse myself.

 ... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of December 15

 

Here's what's coming up at the James Beard House and around the country:

 

Monday, December 15, 7:00 P.M.
Black Truffle Fête
These days Matt Conroy is serving up expertly crafted bistro classics at Soho’s Little Prince, while Rogan Lechthaler presides over the Downtown Grocery in Ludlow, Vermont. But years ago the two worked in the kitchen at Verde in Stratton Mountain (Conroy was Lechthaler’s sous-chef). Join these two old friends as they collaborate on an elegant black truffle holiday menu.

 

Tuesday, December 16, 7:00 P.M.
Finger Lakes Holiday Dinner
The picturesque Finger Lakes region of New York State beckons travelers year-round with its distinctive natural beauty and award-winning wineries. For this holiday celebration, three talented chefs from some of the area’s most... Read more >

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Sustainability Matters: December 12, 2014

 

The last large palm oil business has joined the no-deforestation pledge. The next step is to make sure these pledges are implemented. [Grist]

 

New concerns about BPA arise as a new study discovers that the chemical can seep into beverages stored in cans or plastic bottles, raising blood pressure within hours. [NYT]

 

Not sure what to get your sustainability-minded friends for the holidays? Check out this green gift guide. [Ecocentric]

 

Congress is using the appropriations process to include provisions in nutrition standards for WIC, school meals, and more. [... Read more >

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