On the Menu: Week of May 11

 

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

 

Monday, May 11, 7:00 P.M.
Heirloom Elegance 
Spring has finally sprung, and we couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate the season than through the vibrant, vegetal bounty of Quarry Hill Farm and its partner restaurant, Mainland Inn. After lauded stints at the French Laundry and Morimoto Napa, chef Ezra Duker brings classical training and technique to the restaurant’s menu, delighting diners with its seasonal, organic, sustainable, and absolutely delicious fare.

 

Tuesday, May 12, 7:00 P.M.
Malt Luxury 
Aficionados of the finest brown spirits—think Scotch, bourbon, and Cognac—know to head to the luxurious Le Malt, where exquisite dishes prepared by Caribbean-born chef Duke Estime pair perfectly with the extensive spirits and well-curate... Read more >

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JBFA in Photos: Chefs' Night Out

 

The envelopes have been unsealed, the winners have been toasted, and the hangovers have subsided. Next order of business: photo highlights from the fabulous 2015 James Beard Awards. Yesterday we shared photos from our Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner, which took place on April 24 at New York City's Pier Sixty. Today, we're revisiting our annual Chefs' Night Out party, which takes place on the eve of the James Beard Awards Gala as a chance for chefs, nominees, and presenters to relax and mingle with cocktails and late-night bites before the big day. This year's fête was held at Chicago's Montgomery Club, a dapper private venue under the umbrella of the acclaimed Gibsons Restaurant Group. Check out the highlights below, and view the entire photo album... Read more >

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Sustainability Matters: May 8, 2015

 

Given California’s drought, you may want to stock your trail mix with the least water-intensive nuts. [Grist

 

Puerto Rico currently imports 80 percent of its food, but grassroots campaigns for local farming are starting to sprout. [NPR

 

Meet Sage, the future of nutrition labels. [Modern Farmer

 

A Canadian grocery chain is trying to cut down on food waste by offering imperfect produce. [... Read more >

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Introducing the Better Burger Project™

 

Calling all chefs! The Beard Foundation is kicking off the Better Burger Project™, an in-restaurant menu promotion through which chefs will create a healthier, more sustainable burger by blending ground meat with finely chopped, cultivated mushrooms. Participating chefs have the chance to win a trip to NYC to prepare their “Better Burger” at the historic Beard House, at the official welcome reception for the 2015 JBF Food Conference. The promotion will run from Memorial Day 2015 to July 31, 2015. Find more info here. Once the promotion launches in May, follow all participating restaurants’ “Better Burgers” with #betterburgerproject on Instagram.

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Throwback Thursday: Mr. Beard's Mother

 

With Mother's Day just around the corner, it seems only fitting to honor one of the most vivacious women in the eyes of James Beard, his own mother, Elizabeth. As Beard's trusted cooking confidante, Elizabeth was an adventurous soul with a passion for food and travel that she passed on to her son. The Beard kitchen was always abundantly stocked, whether with his mother's canned white asparagus or succulent Dungeness crabs fresh from the Oregon Coast. This TBT, we're dipping into Beard's memoir, Delights and Prejudices (Atheneum, 1964), to share some of his cherished memories of a woman whose appetite was easily comparable to his own:

 

"Mother had an uncanny sense of food and the talent to show others how to prepare it. She loved to cook, eat, and talk food more than almost anyone else I have known. At the turn of the century she had an international approach to food that would have been considered revolutionary in the last ten years. She was ahead of her ti... Read more >

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JBFA in Photos: The BBJs

 

The envelopes have been unsealed, the winners have been toasted, and the hangovers have subsided. Next order of business: photo highlights from the fabulous 2015 James Beard Awards. First we revisit our Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner, which took place on April 24 at Pier Sixty in New York City. The lovely Carla Hall (shown above with JBF president Susan Ungaro) presided over the ceremony, attended by the best and brightest in food media, while our guests enjoyed a fantastic multi-course tasting menu throughout the evening. Check out the highlights below, and view the entire photo album here.

 

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Rick Bayless and Steve Dolinsky accepting our inaugural Podcast award; their podcast, The Feed, explores the culinary... Read more >

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What We're Reading: May 7, 2015

 

Learn how to navigate the funky waters of stinky cheeses. [Food52

 

Daniel Maurer remembers Josh Ozersky and his role in the early days of food blogging. [Grub Street

 

Your mother's recipes can be more than just recipes. [NYT

 

The tyranny of pizza choice is making you fat. [MUNCHIES

 

Upgrade your midday meal with an office lunch swap. [Bon Appétit... Read more >

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'Gram Worthy: Roast Chicken with Egg, Thyme​, and Crispy Chicken Skin

 

If you love to see what happens behind the scenes in restaurants, drool over gorgeous food photography, and creep on your favorite chefs (we're majorly guilty of this!), then be sure to follow us on Instagram, where our editors deliver eye-catching dispatches from the Beard House and beyond. The photo above shows the clever, delicious, and artfully composed Roast Chicken with Egg, Thyme​, and Crispy Chicken Skin canapés served at the 2015 James Beard Awards by JBF Award–winning​ chef Dave Beran of Chicago's acclaimed Next. For more tasty snaps, come play with us on ... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Sambal

 

WHAT? Fiery flavoring. The word sambal encompasses a variety of condiments and side dishes served primarily as accompaniments to rice throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, and southern India. The spicy sauces are made from different chiles combined with other ingredients, such as vinegar, tamarind, shrimp paste, fruits, vegetables, and meat, and are served either cooked or raw. The most basic sambal, sambal ulek, is an uncooked mixture of chiles, salt, and acid, ground with a mortar and pestle. As a seasoning, sambal is as essential to Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines as salt and pepper is to Western cooking.

 

WHERE? Hot Modern Australia 

 

WHEN? Friday, June 5, 2015

 

HOW? Sausage Roll with Ground Pork, Secret Spices, and Sambal Mayonnaise... Read more >

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What We're Reading: May 6, 2015

 

Curds for cash: why really good cheese is so expensive. [Serious Eats

 

McDonald’s is taking a break from courting millennials. [FWF

 

Could polenta really be as easy to make as steel-cut oats? [Serious Eats

 

Cashews are more popular than ever, but with that comes the cost of dangerous working conditions for harvesters in India. [Telegraph

 ... Read more >

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