Eat This Word: Speck


WHAT? Mrs. Sprat's preferred bacon. Writing in The Food of Italy about the Italian Alps region, Waverly Root called speck "the ultimate in pork preparation." Its preparation, incidentally, can't be hurried. The meat is slowly smoked over several months for a few hours a day. "The theory is that if the smoking were done all at the same time," Root writes, "only the outer layer of meat would be really smoked, whereas the slower process smokes it through and through." Cold temperatures and high altitudes also contribute to the process. Speck yields large quantities of fat when rendered. The fat is occasionally poured over bread or used to fry potatoes, and the speck itself is often used as a garnish. 


WHERE? Bay Area Buzz

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On the Menu: Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Here’s a taste of what’s on tap today at the Beard House.

American Gastropub, 7:00 P.M.
Josh Brown and Beverage Director Tommy Burns, Fox’s Den, Annapolis, MD

A shining star in the Annapolis food scene, Fox’s Den is a cozy gastropub where Josh Brown’s modern comfort fare is complemented by the innovative beverage program curated by Tommy Burns. While his primary motivation is the satisfaction of his diners, Brown also hopes his cuisine will also “create conversations at the table,” whether through the manipulation of a familiar dish’s components or an unexpected plating intended to pique a guest’s interest. For his Beard House menu, Brown is expanding on this concept with courses like Smoked French Onion Soup–Marinated Squab with Braised Cipollini, French Onion Soup Reduction, Swiss Saganaki, and Onion Espuma... Read more >

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Beard House Recipe: Braised Beef Short Ribs with Kimchi Dressing and Spicy Pickles

Photo by Clay Williams


Four-time James Beard Award nominee Justin Devillier celebrated the 12th anniversary of his New Orleans hot spot La Petite Grocery at his recent Beard House dinner, where he wowed diners with innovative takes on classic Big Easy flavors. With each successive course, Devillier presented an unexpected twist, from blue crab beignets with malt vinegar aïoli to handmade bucatini with Louisiana turtle bolognese. But the showstopper amongst this field of standouts was his braised short ribs course, which married Louisiana fare with Asian flare. The fork-tender beef, braised for hours and spiked with a root beer–infused sauce, forms a richly umami-forward base to stand in stark contrast for the bright heat of the cucumbers pickled in a kimchi-inspired brine. Finished with a sprinkling of roasted peanuts, this dish is an all-... Read more >

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Ask the Chefs: Matt Jennings, Tracy Obolsky, and Mike Poiarkoff Talk Maple Syrup and More

Matt Jennings, Tracy Obolsky, and Mike Poiarkoff


Hailing from Canada and the Northeast, this syrup-savvy team is on a mission to prove that maple deserves a grander role in the kitchen than simply as a waffle topper. On March 23, this exceptional culinary crew joins us at the Beard House for an ambitious dinner as they tap the savory and sweet potential of this beloved regional and seasonal ingredient. In anticipation of the event, we spoke to Matt Jennings, Tracy Obolsky, and Mike Poiarkoff about how maple syrup defines New England, their favorite places to chow down in Boston and New York, and why eating pizza four times a week should be the norm.




What is your inspiration behind the menu for this Bea... Read more >

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On the Menu: Monday, March 21, 2016


Here’s a taste of what’s on tap today at the Beard House.

Norouz: Persian New Year Celebration, 7:00 P.M.
Ali Mesghali, Rumi’s Kitchen, Atlanta

In Persian culture, the start of the new year is marked by Norouz, a 13-day holiday where Iranians across the globe honor the vernal equinox by exchanging gifts and feasting on symbolic foods. For our annual Beard House celebration, we’ve tapped Ali Mesghali, the chef behind Persian hot spot Rumi’s Kitchen in Atlanta. Named for the famous 13th-century poet, Rumi’s Kitchen is lauded for its ambitious, modern cuisine, which Mesghali is ferrying up north exclusively for Beard House diners. Expect traditional ingredients given a seasonal spin, such as Apricot-Braised Koofteh with Shallots and Sour Grape Juice; Sabzi Polo ba Mahi > Black Bass with Herbed Rice a... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Make the Negroni Bianco


We've partnered with Simmer, a new app that allows you to generate step-by-step recipe videos that you can create, watch, and share from your very own kitchen. In the coming weeks and months, we'll continue sharing instructional videos that will teach you how to create tantalizing dishes from JBF Award winners, Beard House chefs, and even Beard himself, all prepared in James Beard's historic New York City kitchen.


The ruby-hued Negroni, which traditionally consists of equal parts gin, red vermouth, and Campari, is one of our all-time fav... 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:

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

Norouz: Persian New Year Celebration

Named for the famous 13th-century poet, Rumi’s Kitchen in Atlanta is lauded for its ambitious, modern Persian cuisine. For our annual celebration of Norouz, the culture’s holiday welcoming the new year, we’ve tapped the restaurant’s esteemed chef/owner Ali Mesghali to pay homage to the 3,000-year-old tradition with a delectable spread.


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

American Gastropub

A shining star in the Annapolis food scene, Fox’s Den is a cozy gastropub where Josh Brown’s modern comfort fare is complemented by the innovative beverage program curated by Tommy Burns. Join us as the duo craft a hearty supper brimming with e... Read more >

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What We're Reading This Week


Making homemade bread can be intimidating, but these recipes make it accessible, fun, and rewarding. [MUNCHIES


Local farmers oppose governor Cuomo’s proposal to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour at restaurant chains. [Grub Street]


Let your St. Patrick’s Day celebration continue into the weekend with these Irish Guinness floats. [Bon Appétit


What it takes to produce brighter, tastier, more nutritious eggs. [Modern Farmer


From crabcakes to kimchi to sage and chocolate ice cream, these seven cookbooks are guaranteed to inspir... Read more >

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On the Menu: Friday, March 18, 2016


Here’s a taste of what’s on tap this weekend at the Beard House and around the country.


Friday, March 18
South Bay Elegance, 7:00 P.M.
Peter Armellino
Plumed Horse, Saratoga, CA


An alum of Gramercy Tavern and Gotham Bar & Grill, chef Peter Armellino now helms the kitchen at Northern California’s splurge-worthy Plumed Horse. Tonight the Iron Chef America winner returns to the Big Apple to give Beard House guests a taste of his Michelin-starred food. The menu, Armellino explains, is “a presentation of some of my favorite dishes from the last couple of menus at the Plumed Horse.” Prepare yourself for a luxe feast full of top-shelf ingredients with tongue-in-cheek flare, such as California Caviar CannoliDavenport Abalone with Sea Urchin... Read more >

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In Season: Brussels Sprouts


It’s nearly spring, but that doesn’t mean that farmers’ markets have caught up yet. While you wait patiently for nature’s vernal delights (Fiddleheads! Ramps! Rhubarb!) to pop up, here are some delicious ways to riff on one of our all-time favorite winter vegetables: the humble Brussels sprout. As JBF Award winner and Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson put it: “Look, Brussels sprouts get a bad name. Most of the bad rap comes from being forced to eat drastically overcooked, mushy, under-seasoned versions when we were young.” Try your hand at his Southern-inflected shaved Brussels sprout salad, JBF Award winner Jimmy Bannos Jr.’s crispy fried variation with lemon and chile flakes, or any of the other recipes below to open your eyes to the wonderful side of the oft-maligned vegetable. ... Read more >

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