Eat This Word: Benne Seed

WHAT? Sesame seeds by another name. West African slaves introduced the seeds to America (along with okra, yams, and black-eyed peas), and the Nigerian name for them, "benne," stuck, at least in the American South. The Africans considered the seeds lucky. Today, benne wafers—thin cookies/crackers made with sesame seeds—are closely associated with Lowcountry cooking, a style of cooking centered in Charleston, South Carolina. And they're often served at Kwanza too.


WHERE? Savoring the South


WHEN? Saturday, December 12, 2015


HOW? Pimento Cheese on Benne Seed Crackers


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Video: James Beard's Recipe for Salmon Braised in Red Wine


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.


If you crave soups, stews, and braises during the colder months like we do, look no further than James Beard’s mouthwatering salmon braised in red wine. A simple yet deeply flavored dish, it’s quickly becomi... Read more >

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Eye Candy: Monkfish Bouillabaisse with Caviar and Clams


A shining gem in multiple JBF Award winner Barbara Lynch’s empire of exceptional restaurants, Menton has been steadily garnering accolades since it opened in 2010. Recently, chef Scott Jones and JBF Award–winning wine director Cat Silirie joined us at the Beard House for a tantalizing menu inspired by the restaurant’s namesake town on the French-Italian border. Guests were dazzled by Jones’s array of luxurious dishes throughout the evening, including showstoppers like seeded foie gras lollipops and tuna tartare with truffles and white soy. Each dish reminded us why Menton has continued to remain an industry darling, but perhaps our favorite was the chef's creative take on bouillabaisse, the traditional Provençal fish stew. What arrived on guests’ tables was an artfully composed plate of creamy,... Read more >

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What We're Reading This Week


Prince Charles fought to protect French cheese and wine from a mass-produced, genetically-engineered future during this week’s climate conference. [MUNCHIES


The National Restaurant Association and New York City butt heads once again, this time over new sodium warnings on menus. [Eater]


Defying statistics: Vanessa Hanel’s story and how she’s paving the way for the next generation of female urban farmers. [Modern Farmer]


E. coli can’t stop: outbreaks first Chipotle, and now Starbucks. [FWF]


Use your food scraps in new ways wit... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Butcher and the Rye's Salinger's Sling


As we settle into the colder weather, there’s nothing we love more than cozying up with a good book and a delicious cocktail in tow. But how about combining the two into one warming libation? At the Pittsburgh hot spot Butcher and the Rye, the mixologists are pros when it comes to connecting classic literature with whimsical drinks. Take their name: it's an homage to J.D. Salinger’s beloved novel, Catcher in the Rye, which also was the inspiration for many of their signature drinks. This creative Steel City establishment has garnered widespread acclaim for its multi-level bar, including a semifinalist nod for our 2015 JBF Outstanding Bar Program Award. Their ... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of December 7


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

Monday, December 7, 7:00 P.M.

New England Winter

Millwright’s Restaurant and Tavern has become something of a New England food lover’s magnet, thanks to the talents of JBF Award semifinalist Tyler Anderson, whose rustic yet elegant cuisine has earned wide acclaim, including a rave review from the New York Times.


Wednesday, December 9, 12:00 P.M.

Beard on Books

JBF Award winner Sarabeth Levine knows a thing or two about brunch. For over 35 years diners have been queuing up outside her restaurants to sample her signature muffins, pancakes, scones, and more. In her latest cookbook, Sarabeth’s Good Mornings, Levine shares insights on... Read more >

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Beard House Recipe: Moules Frites Stew


Moules Frites Stew​ / Boston Buzz


Last year perennial JBF Award nominee Matt Jennings made headlines and broke hearts in Providence when he decamped for Boston to open Townsman, one of the most hotly anticipated restaurant openings of 2015. At his recent Beard House dinner, I was finally able to see why he’s earned a cult-like following throughout New England and beyond. One evening's highlights was Jennings’s take on the classic European dish, moules frites. A bit like the long-lost cousin of New England clam chowder, this iteration had a silky, rich base anchored by end-of-season corn, leeks, and smoky chipotle peppers. Tender Bangs Island mu... Read more >

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The Future Chroncile, Part 3: Federal Junk Food Labeling and Ban


As we wrap up our coverage of the 2015 JBF Food Conference, we turn our eyes to the possibilities of tomorrow's farms, restaurants, grocery stores, and kitchens. We've partnered with the Future Market for a multi-part series exploring some of the visions of the future discussed at the conference, in the form of the Future Chronicle, a newspaper snapshot of 2065. Read the full issue here, and stay tuned for more dispatches from the mid-twenty-first century.


Senate Approves Junk Food Labeling and Advertising Ban


Mike Lee


An overwhelming majority in Congress voted to limit advertising and require labeling of foods considered “junk” by a ne... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Sorghum


WHAT? Sugar in the rough. Before refined sugar was popularized in America around the time of World War I, sorghum syrup was a common sweetener that was used on pancakes or in baking. Its use was so widespread that it was known as "the sugar of the Plains." The juice is extracted from the stalks of the sorghum plant and, like maple syrup, is boiled down. Today, you can find sorghum syrup, which is far better for you than refined sugar, at health food stores. Other varieties of the sorghum plant furnish a millet-like grain, used in porridge, breads, and soups in many parts of the world. In the United States, however, despite the grain's reputation as "a powerhouse of nutrition," (Food Lover's Companion) it is mostly used for animal fodder.


WHERE? New England Winter

 ... Read more >

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Video: Powerhouse Women Chefs at the Beard House


From Julia Child to M.F.K. Fisher, James Beard spent much of his life advocating for the place of women in the culinary landscape of the United States. Here at the James Beard Foundation, we strive to carry on this legacy through the Beard Awards, our Women in Culinary Leadership Program, and of course, by letting talent speak for itself in the Beard House kitchen. This summer, a formidable team of female chefs from across the Northeast collaborated on a sumptuous menu celebrating the best of the season's savory and sweet offerings. Watch the video above to get their perspectives on the tribulations and triumphs of being a woman on the line, how they plan to continue using their passion and techniques, and more.




Maggie Borden is assistant editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on ... Read more >

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JBF Kitchen Cam