The Bookshelf: Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas

Life, on the Line

Grant Achatz, who is just 36, already has a staggering list of accomplishments: one Michelin three-star restaurant and two more venues, Next and Aviary, on the way; a groundbreaking cookbook and a moving memoir; a seemingly hopeless battle with cancer that he miraculously won. When we spoke with the so obviously driven chef and his business partner, Nick Kokonas, at the Institute of Culinary Education on Monday, we couldn’t help but wonder if this Beard Award winner was just getting started. Read on for the interview.

James Beard Foundation: In the book you talk about your activity on eGullet, the online forum for passionate chefs and food lovers, and how its membe

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Recipe: Michael Reardon's Chocolate–Caramel Tart with Fleur de Sel

Chocolate Caramel Tartlets The beloved combination of salt and caramel is famously addictive—so addictive that eating a single cellophane-wrapped confection does little to dispel our cravings. Thankfully, chef Michael Reardon sent us his recipe for these indulgent tartlets, which are enriched with a layer of chocolate ganache. It's the perfectly portioned salt-meets-sweet treat. Get the recipe here.

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Ask a Chef: Alexander Roberts

Alexander Roberts

Winner of the 2010 JBF Best Chef: Midwest award, Alexander Roberts of Restaurant Alma in Minneapolis told us about his favorite hometown eateries.

1. Late-Night Dining
Bar La Grassa
612.333.3837
800 North Washington Avenue
“Isaac Becker’s new Italian bar/restaurant is the perfect late-night stop. Big menu, a great variety of flavors, and set up for easy sharing. Truly in a league of its own.”

2. Quintessential Minneapolis Cooking
Piccolo
612.827.8111

4300 Bryant Ave S.
“Doug Flicker’s new restaurant combines the best local ingredients and an understanding of contemporary cuisine while uniquely showcasing the cooking style he developed during stints in Minneapolis kitchens for more than 20 years.”

3. Special Occasion
La Belle Vie
612.874.6440
510 Groveland Avenue
“The dining room and cooking ar

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Making It: Food Entrepreneurs Turn Their Craft into a Career

 

After Kris Swanberg lost her job as a high school teacher in 2008, she spent the summer, as many of us might have, drowning her sorrows in ice cream. Except that she wasn’t just eating ice cream—she was making it, pint after pint, in a KitchenAid ice-cream maker she had received as a wedding gift.
 

Word soon spread among Swanberg’s friends and neighbors, and within a matter of months she was selling small batches of her ice cream to a local grocer. Two years later her product, Nice Cream, is available in 20 Chicago-area locations.
 

Though Swanberg’s story is singular in many ways, her decision to become a small-scale food producer is not. The recession and a surge of national interest in cooking and culinary crafting have prompted more and more people to start their own food businesses, according to Louise Kramer of the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade.
 

But exactly how do amateur food artisans take their passion from hobby to career?... Read more >

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Mardi Gras Menu

crayfish Let the good times roll on Fat Tuesday with this celebratory Mardi Gras menu. Crayfish à la Bordelaise This classic Creole recipe is the perfect starter to any Emerald City homage. If you can't find crayfish, substitute shrimp and adjust the cooking time accordingly. Old-School Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya JBF Award winner Donald Link, chef and owner of Cochon and Herbsaint, prepares this Cajun-style jambalaya by caramelizing the meat and onions and cooking the rice in a rich, reduced stock. Orange Blossom Beignets Orange blossom water adds a hint of Basque flavor to this quintessential New Orleans dessert. Café Brûlot End the meal with de

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On the Menu: March 6 through March 12

On the Menu Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House next week: Tuesday, March 8, 7:00 P.M. Mardi Gras Seafood Celebration Let the bons temps roll this Fat Tuesday when Tenney Flynn and the GW Fins team join us at the Beard House to celebrate Mardi Gras. The renowned restaurant has been serving its globally influenced seafood in the heart of New Orleans’s French Quarter for the past ten years. Wednesday, March 9, 12:00 P.M. Beard on Books: Grant Achatz's Life on the Line Join us in the dining room of the landmark James Beard House for the next installment of Beard on Books, a literary series featuring readings and discussions with some of the food world’s most celebrated authors. Wednesday, March 9, 7:00 P.M.

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Member Profile: Dano Hutnik, the Ultimate DIY Chef

Dano Hutnik

Long before it was de rigueur to have an in-house charcuterie program, a housemade bread basket, and an in-house forager, JBF professional member and frequent Beard House featured chef Dano Hutnik was harvesting, canning, pickling, stuffing, and curing just about everything on the menu at Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca, the restaurant he owns with his wife, Karen, in New York’s Finger Lakes region.


“I like to cook, so I don’t buy things, I make,” Dano explained in his lovely Mittel-European accent as we sampled his pork sausage with garlic and housemade paprika and slices of his three-month-aged Gouda with more of that intoxicating paprika (Dano started making his own cheese six months ago).


“When you’re out in the country and there are all of these raw ingredients, you just want to use them,” he says. And use them he does—in his homemade mustards, canned preserve... Read more >

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