The Bookshelf: Stephen Fried's Delicious Southwest "Tour de Fred Harvey"

Appetite for AmericaFrom the late 1800s through the 1950s, travelers were introduced to the culinary and cultural joys of the West by Fred Harvey, the founding father of the American hospitality industry and gastronomic culture. His revolutionary family business—running restaurants and hotels between Chicago and California along the Santa Fe railroad and later Route 66, including the historic inns still in use at the Grand Canyon and in Santa Fe—changed the way we eat, drink, travel, even the way we see our country. Stephen Fried, author of Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the West—One Meal at a Time (named one of the top ten books of the 2010 by the Wall Street Journal and just out in paperback), offers a “Tour de Fred” of the remaining, and still wonderful, Harvey Houses.

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Awards Watch: Readers' Choice, Best New Restaurant

Beard Awards: Readers' Choice To get an early start on the upcoming festivities, we're bringing back our Readers' Choice Awards, in which our audience gets to cast votes for their favorite JBF nominees. It's simple: we set up a snazzy poll and you make your pick. Our first category is Best New Restaurant. This year's BNR noms are especially impressive, and likely backed by passionate legions of fans on their home turf, so we're expecting this contest to be pretty intense. So size up the contenders below and vote! We'll close this poll at noon tomorrow, then launch another round in the afternoon. [poll id="12"] Note: these results have absolutely no bearing on who will win a bona fide Beard Award. (You can read about the Awards nomination and voting procedure

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Interview with Benu's Corey Lee

Corey Lee

When Corey Lee opened Benu in San Francisco last summer, critics wondered if the French Laundry alum’s first independent fine-dining foray would survive in a time when diners were embracing more casual concepts. But the popular and breathlessly praised venture has demonstrated that America’s appetite for haute cuisine is as strong as ever. To mark Benu’s nomination for a JBF Best New Restaurant Award, we interviewed chef Lee last week. Check it out below.

JBF: What’s the story behind the name Benu?

CL: The benu is the phoenix bird, which stands for renewal and longevity. It’s what we’ve done with our careers through this opening, and what we hope to accomplish with the restaurant.

JBF: What lessons from the French Laundry did you take with you to the new restaurant?

CL: Many.

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Recipe: Smoked Salmon Fritatta

Smoked Salmon FrittataThis quick and adaptable egg-based dish from chef Water Staib was meant for Mondays: while his version calls for portobello mushrooms and assorted peppers, we think that you could experiment with any number of leftover vegetables in your refrigerator. Get the recipe here.

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Recipe: Grilled Chorizo and Potato Galette

Lester Blumenthal's Grilled Chorizo and Potato Galette Who says meat and potatoes should only be eaten at dinner? This satisfying tart will look beautiful on your brunch table—and it will also leave your guests full and happy. Get the recipe here.

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On the Menu: May 1 through 7

Beard House Here's what's happening next week at the James Beard House. We hope to see you there! Monday, May 22 Taste of St. Tropez Transport yourself to the chic, luxurious beaches of St. Tropez at this French-inspired seafood dinner. St. Tropez native Dominique Filoni is the chef at the dramatic, oceanside Avenue, where he turns out impeccable brasserie cuisine infused with the flavors of the French Riviera. Tuesday, May 3 Cuisine of the Black Forest For his return trip to the Beard House, renowned chef Walter Staib of the historical City Tavern restaurant in Philadelphia has

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