2016 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year: Father Greg Boyle


This award is given to an individual or organization working in the realm of food who has given selflessly and worked tirelessly to better the lives of others and society at large. 



When Father Gregory Boyle was appointed pastor of Los Angeles’s Dolores Mission Parish, just two years after being ordained, the city was on the brink of its “decade of death,” when gang-related violence was at an all-time high. “It was just horrific—traumatizing for everybody. We’d have shootings morning, noon, and night,” Boyle recalls. 


He began burying kids from his community with alarming frequency and realized that he was at the nucleus of a global crisis. “Los Angeles was the gang capital of the world, and my parish was the gang capital of Los Angeles,” says Boyle, whose church was located among the largest grouping of public housing west of the Mississippi River, where eight gangs were at war. “When you’re in a parish like that, you have two choices:... Read more >

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2016 James Beard Foundation Design Icon Award: The Four Seasons Restaurant, New York City


In August of 1959, Craig Claiborne extolled The Four Seasons Restaurant in his New York Times review:


There has never been a restaurant better keyed to the tempo of Manhattan than the Four Seasons… Both in décor and in menu, it is spectacular, modern, and audacious. It is expensive and opulent, and it’s perhaps the most exciting restaurant to open in New York within the last two decades.


Design stands alongside food, service, and location as an asset that can make a restaurant exceptional. This year the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Design Committee established the Design Icon Award to recognize restaurants that have withstood the test of time to become standard-bearers of design excellence and innovation. Our inaugural recipient is The Four Seasons Restaurant, one of the nation’s best examples of a restaurant whose design has inspired and remained relevant for decades. 


When it opened, The Four Seasons redefined fi... Read more >

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2016 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award: Leah Chase


The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America.



Trailblazers don’t always intend to beat a new path. When Leah Chase first moved to New Orleans in 1940, she chose not to follow her aunts to work in a factory. Instead she applied for a job as a waitress in the French Quarter. It was a humble entrée into hospitality, but also the first step toward her groundbreaking role as the chef at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, a position that she has held for seven decades. She has fed politicians and civil rights leaders, celebrities and bus drivers, all while amassing an influential collection of African-American art. As New Orleans–born food historian Lolis Eric Elie says, “Mrs. Chase is an icon of American cooking, of Creole cooking, and of African-American cooking.” 

In 1946 Leah Lange married Edgar Dooky Chase Jr., a big-band leader whose famil... Read more >

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It's the culinary industry's biggest night! Join us this evening for the 2016 James Beard Awards Gala, taking place in the great city of Chicago for the second year in a row.


Not joining us at Lyric Opera of Chicago? That's okay—it's easy to follow along at home. You can tune into our live broadcast at jamesbeard.org/awards starting at 6:00 P.M. Central. JBF executive vice president Mitchell Davis and Kat Kinsman will be covering the chef-studded red carpet on Facebook Live starting at 5:00 P.M. Central. As always, we'll be live-tweeting the ceremony @beardfoundation. Make sure you're following us on ... Read more >

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Interview with Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske of Best New Restaurant Nominee Wildair


With its unfussy food and vibe, it's no surprise that Wildair, the second effort from Contra's Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone, has become both a critical and industry favorite. In our final interview with chefs who oversee our 2016 Best New Restaurant nominees, the duo discusses Wildair's origins, broad appeal, and signature dishes. 




JBF: Wildair is named after an 18th-century prize-winning racehorse that lived in the neighborhood. First of all, how did you find out about this random historical fact? How much is the neighborhood’s history reflected in the menu and atmosphere?


JS and FvH: Jeremiah found the name while looking on Wikipedia. We liked that it had a historical connection to the Lower East Side. We... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Champion of the Sun Cocktail by 2016 Beard Award Semifinalist The Olde Bar


To honor this year’s Beard Awards, we asked each of our 2016 Outstanding Bar Program semifinalists to create a cocktail inspired by a television show. Inspired by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Chris Mann and his team at the Olde Bar concocted this cheeky tippler because the characters poke fun at “fancy” gin cocktails. Featuring two local Philly products—Bluecoat American Dry Gin and Yards Brewing Co. IPA—the Champion of the Sun cocktail is steeped in the City of Brotherly Love's culture. Get the recipe.

 ... Read more >

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Next Week at JBF


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


Wednesday, May 4, 7:00 P.M.

Bay Area Seafood Sophisticate

At his pair of superb San Francisco eateries, chef and co-owner Matthew Dolan combines his classic European technique with Northern California ingredients and sensibilities. For his Beard House reprise, Dolan will delight seafood lovers with a decadent and sustainability-minded feast, proving just how delicious conscious consumption can be.

 ... Read more >

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What We're Reading This Week


Perfect these outdoor-cooking techniques before the first dinner party of the summer. [America’s Test Kitchen


Refugees are finding employment throughout the food industry. [Eater


This easy, salmon breakfast bowl will make you feel as though you woke up in Japan. [Bon Appétit


Programs across the country turn to veterans for the next generation of farmers. [NPR Food


Add these shows to your TV diet for a weekly dose of humor, drama, and most importantly, food.... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Jenner Tomaska of Chicago's Next

JBF Award nominee Jenner Tomaska of Next in Chicago


For Jenner Tomaska, it's already been an eventful year in a still-young 2016: the Next chef earned a Rising Star nomination in March, then a promotion to executive chef following the departure of JBF Award winner Dave Beran. Tomaska's debut service at Next will take place this Saturday, just two days before the 2016 James Beard Awards. Below, find out what you can expect from his forthcoming "South America" menu and more. 




JBF: The last menu at Next was inspired by the Alps. What was one of your favorite dishes on this menu? We’d also love to hear more about how the menu was developed. 


Jenner Tomaska: We developed the menu to reflect traveling through the Alps, starting in the outskirts of France and Germany, ascending to the "top of the mountain" for a vantage point of all the countries, and then ... Read more >

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Interview with Jen Hidinger and Ryan Smith of Atlanta's JBF Award–Nominated Staplehouse


One of Atlanta’s hottest seats to snag is at Staplehouse, a neighborhood restaurant known for its warm hospitality, locally sourced ingredients, and thoughtful menus. In addition to their expertly crafted fare, another standout feature of the 2016 Best New Restaurant nominee is the fact that it contributes 100 percent of its post-tax profits to the Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides emergency assistance grants to metro Atlanta restaurant workers facing unanticipated hardship. We spoke with business manager Jen Hidinger and head chef Ryan Smith about Staplehouse’s history, their favorite places to eat out, and why their goal is to make memorable food.



JB... Read more >

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