Happy Hour: Luca Mano Freddo

 

Gabe and Katherine Thompson’s intimate restaurants offer discerning New York City diners soulful Italian cuisine with a modern spin. For this week's Happy Hour column, we tapped their talented partner and beverage director, Joe Campanale, for one of his innovative cocktail recipes. This light, herbaceous libation shines with its bright notes from fresh mint, the refreshing flavor of muddled cucumbers, and the warm, slightly spicy complexity from Velvet Falernum, a sugarcane-derived syrup that contains hints of almond, ginger, cloves, and lime. The drink is featured in the trio's gorgeous new cookbook, Downtown Italian. But don't fret if you can't get your hands on a copy in time... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of February 23

 

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

 

Monday, February 23, 7:00 P.M.
Belgian Chic
Former Top Chef contestant Bart Vandaele is the recipient of the prestigious Mastercook of Belgium award and owner of the popular Belga Café and the contemporary B Too, where he delights diners with his creative takes on the elegant cuisine of his homeland.

 

Tuesday, February 24, 7:00 P.M.
Palladio: 15 Years of Food and Wine
Located in the rolling hills near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Palladio at Barboursville Vineyards has been one of the finest Italian restaurants in the U.S. since its opening 15 years ago. To celebrate this anniversary, the chefs and winemaker have designed a memorable milestone menu.

 

Wednesday, February 25, 7:00 P.M.... Read more >

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Sustainability Matters: February 20, 2015

 

Thailand is one of the major suppliers of shrimp for the U.S., but new revelations about its labor practices mean we may be trading human rights abuses for low prices. [Politics of the Plate

 

Readers respond to the recent New York Times exposé on the caloric content of Chipotle burritos. [NYT

 

An Australian beekeeper has invented a honey "tap" that avoids direct interaction with the hive, opening up the possibility for safer urban beekeeping. [Grubstreet

 

Nestle USA has announced it is removing artificial flavors and colorings from all of its chocolate candy by the end of 2015. [... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Semifinalist Smiles

 

What’s got JBF Award winner Jonathan Waxman so happy? Maybe it’s our 2015 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalist announcement. For the fourth year running, he’s on the long list for Best Chef: NYC. With such a consistent track record, it seems only fitting for a little nostalgic indulgence via the photo above. What’s on your mind, chef Waxman? Already thinking about that nominee announcement on March 24?

 

See the full list of semifinalists here.

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Video: Make Dan Dan Noodles for Chinese New Year

dan dan noodles

 

We're excited to announce our partnership 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 share 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.

 

This week's video comes just in time for Chinese New Year, which is traditionally marked by elaborate ceremonies, festive parades, and a large banquet in honor of one’s ancestors.​... Read more >

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Staff Picks: Noble Handcrafted Tonic 05 XO Refined Finishing Vinegar

 

Searching for the best small-batch, artisanal products to add to your pantry? Our staff scoured the market for you, and we'll be featuring their picks all month long. Here, director of house programming Izabela Wojcik tells us about her favorite all-purpose vinegar

 

“I love this fancy finishing vinegar from Noble Handcrafted. It’s their XO sauce, which is essentially sherry vinegar that’s been aged in oak bourbon barrels that once had maple syrup in them. The whole process leaves behind hints of bourbon, caramel, and maple, and the finished product reminds me of an aged balsamic. I just sear flounder, cod, swordfish, or halibut and garnish it with a few drops to brighten the flavor.”

 

 

Noble products can be purchased through many online purveyors, such as... Read more >

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What We're Reading: February 19, 2015

 

New science looks into the physics of popcorn. [NYT]

 

Treat your guests like Oscars royalty by serving these dishes from the Governors Ball menu. [Food52]

 

Could fast food really be better for you than Chipotle? [The Atlantic]

 

Defy cuppa conventions and try out some new teas. [Serious Eats]

 

A new NYC bakery is serving up sweets and social action at the same time. [Fork in the Road]

 

A glimpse... Read more >

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What We Learned at Our Fleisher’s Culinary Lab

Butchery at Fleisher's Pasture-Raised Meats

 

That gorgeous, locally raised rib-eye on your plate? Preparing it required far more than butter and a screaming hot sear.

 

Last week, we brought our JBF Culinary Labs series to the Fleisher’s Pasture-Raised Meats retail facility in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Attendees, all members of the culinary industry, watched a deft demonstration of beef butchery and listened to talks about the complex economics behind the local-meat market. Here’s what the professionals had to say about their section of the supply chain, from farm pasture to in-restaurant processing.

 

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CEO Ryan Fibiger, Fleisher's Pasture-Raised Meats:

“Fleisher’s has been at it for ten years, but we're just figuring out this whole animal thing. We do know that purchasing whole animals is good for your bottom line. We've also come a long way in terms of how we source. We’re... Read more >

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The 2015 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

The 2015 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

They're here! Below are the semifinalists for our 2015 Restaurant and Chef Award categories, from Outstanding Restaurant to Rising Star Chef of the Year.

 

Scroll down to see if your favorite restaurant or chef is in the running. (For a refresher on how these names were selected, read this.) And don't forget: we'll announce the final Restaurant and Chef Award nominees, as well as the nominations for our Book, Journalism, Broadcast Media, and Restaurant Design Awards, at the James Beard House in New York City on Tuesday, March 24.

 

The 2015 James Beard Awards gala will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 4. The Foundation's Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City on Friday, April 24.

 

RESTAURANT & CHEF AWA

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What We're Reading: February 18, 2015

 

Brush up on your dumpling definitions and discover what separates gyoza from potstickers. [The Kitchn]

 

A sharp knife is a chef’s best friend: learn how to hone your blades at home. [Food52]

 

Thanks to NYC company Wandering Bear, you can now start your day with boxed coffee, and end it with boxed wine. [Pure Wow]

 

Carnival Cruises’s newest ship features a fully functional on-board brewery. [FoodBeast]

 

Despite a solely seafood, umami-forward diet, penguins actually can’t taste the savory fish they eat. [... Read more >

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