JBF on the Air: Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl on Taste Matters

 

What happens when one of the country’s most celebrated restaurant critics and non-fiction food writers decides to switch genres? Ruth Reichl is about to find out, as her first novel, Delicious!, was just released on May 6. On last week’s episode of Taste Matters, JBF’s Mitchell Davis chats with Ruth about her move into fictional storytelling, the writing process behind the novel, and Ruth’s candid thoughts on American cuisine and food culture. Click here to listen to the full episode.

 

Taste Matters is a radio program dedicated to ta... Read more >

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2014 JBF Publication of the Year: Civil Eats

Civil Eats

What began as a blog for a San Francisco–based event called Slow Food Nation has grown into a highly respected source of news and commentary about the state of our food system. Civil Eats was founded in early 2009 by publishing professionals Naomi Starkman and Paula Crossfield as a digital publication with a stable of more than 100 contributors and a mission to cover the evolving food landscape. And cover it they have: Civil Eats reports from the industrial tomato fields of Immokalee, Florida, to the kitchen garden at San Quentin prison; from mobile slaughterhouses to the manure lagoons of factory farms.

 

Among food journalists, Civil Eats has become a trusted primary source for complicated and timely food policy news, such as evaluating the recent Farm Bill and the nonessential use of antibiotics in livestock. 

 

For more than four years, everyone involved with Civil Eats worked without pay—a model that, although admirable, was hardly sustainable. Last fal... Read more >

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Hanging with Harris at the Beard House

 

For the second installment of our Hanging with Harris at the Beard House series, Billy is in the dining room with William Grant’s Freddy May as he creates an innovative Triple Happiness cocktail to pair with Peter Chang’s Chinese New Year feast, and then it’s down to the kitchen where Chang shows him the secrets to preparing his Sichuan-style crispy pork belly. 

 

William Grant’s Freddy May with Billy Harris

 

Next week: Tune in to part three of our Hanging with Harris series when Billy is joined in the kitchen by chef Billy Oliva of New York City’s legendary Delmonico’s.

 ... Read more >

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Daily Digest: May 7, 2014

iced coffee

 

 

Looking for the best technique for brewing iced coffee? Consider the "Japanese method." [SE]

 

Vermont is poised to be the first state to pass a GMO labeling law. [Bloomberg]

 

An Australian company is going to parachute grilled cheese sandwiches into New York City. [USA Today]

 

In Sicily, organic cooperatives strive to make Mafia-free food more widely available. [NPR]

 

Major soda companies plan to omit... Read more >

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The 2014 James Beard Award Winners!

 

Congratulations to all the 2014 James Beard Award winners! See the complete list.

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Winner Recap!

 

Outstanding Restaurateur: Barbara Lynch, Barbara Lynch Gruppo (No. 9 Park, Menton, B&G Oysters, and others), Boston

 

Outstanding Service: The Restaurant at Meadwood , St. Helena, CA

 

Outstanding Restaurant: The Slanted Door, San Francisco

 

Outstanding Chef: Nancy Silverton, Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles

 

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Winner Recap!

 

America’s Classic: Nick’s Italian Café, McMinnville, OR

 

Outstanding Restaurant Design (75 seats and under): Lawton Stanley Architects for Grace, Chicago

 

Outstanding Restaurant Design (76 seats and over): Jensen Architects for Shed, Healdsburg, CA

 

Humanitarian of the Year: Matt Haley, Philanthropist and Restaurateur, Rehoboth Beach, DE

 

Best New Restaurant: Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans

 

America’s Classic: Hansen’s Sno-Bliz, New Orleans

 

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Bakery, NYC
 

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2014 America’s Classics: Hansen’s Sno-Bliz

 

Hansen’s Sno-bliz
4801 Tchoipitoulas Street, New Orleans
Owner: Ashley Hansen 

 

The snowball, one of the city’s iconic desserts, was practically invented at Hansen’s. Made of shaved-to-order ice, a Hansen’s snowball—which the family calls a Sno-Bliz—comes doused in housemade syrups that run an extraordinary gamut of flavors.

 

Ernest Hansen built one of the first electric ice-shaving machines, receiving a patent from the U.S. government for his creation in 1934. Along with his wife, Mary Hansen, he opened a small shop in 1939. Their granddaughter, Ashley Hansen, runs that shop today and carefully crafts the family syrup recipes, which include blueberry, satsuma, root beer, and the mysterious “cream of nectar.”

 

Like her forebears, Ashley Hansen opens her doors only during the summer. When Hansen’s is open, a queue forever spills out its door and snakes back through the stand’s small interior, following a... Read more >

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2014 Humanitarian of the Year: Matt Haley

 

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.

 

Twenty years ago, a chef at an Alexandria, Virginia, catering company took a chance and hired Matt Haley—an ex-con, recently out of rehab, and a survivor of childhood abuse. “He probably shouldn’t have hired me,” recalls Haley, “but he was loving, kind, and compassionate and took the time to work with me and teach me. There are so many people along the way, people who didn’t turn their back on me. If they had, where would I be today?”

 

Now the owner of seven restaurants in Delaware Beach resort towns as well as of Plate Catering and a foodservice management company (all under the Matt Haley Companies umbrella brand), chef and restaurateur Haley credits his success to his 23 years of sobriety plus countless helping hands. 

 

As for his JBF Humanitarian Award—in recognition of his local and int... Read more >

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Winner Recap!

 

Best Chef: Great Lake: Dave Beran, Next, Chicago

 

Best Chef: Midwest: Justin Aprahamian, Sanford, Milwaukee

 

Best Chef: Southeast: Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Downtown Diner, Raleigh, NC

 

Best Chef: South: [TIE] Ryan Prewitt, Pêche Seafood Grill, New Orleans; and Sue Zemanick, Gautreau's, New Orleans

 

Who’s Who Inductees (Part 2 of 2): Barry Estabrook, Paul Kahan, and Sherry Yard

 

America’s Classic: Olneyville New York System, Providence, RI

 

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic: Vikram Sunderam, Rasika, Washington, D.C.

 

Best Chef: New York City: April Bloomfield, The Spotted Pig

 

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