On the Menu: July 25 through July 31

Walking up the Beard House back stairs Here’s what’s happening at the Beard House and around the country next week: Wednesday, July 28, 7:00 P.M. Antebellum Luxury Once a grand estate house then occupied by Union soldiers, the impeccably restored Monmouth Plantation is now a small luxury hotel and the site of restaurant 1818, named for the year the plantation was built. At this dinner, acclaimed chef Scott Varnedoe will serve refined Southern fare with Au Bon Climat wines paired by vintner Jim Clendenen. Thursday, July 29, 7:00 P.M. Best of BLT It’s hard to believe it has only been six years since the opening of the universally lauded BLT Steak. Join us as chefs from the BLT empire celebrate their accomplishments at an incredible dinner accompanied by selections from boutique winemaker

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On the Menu: Chefs & Champagne

Time to break out the Champagne flutes—Chefs & Champagne is almost here! This year we are honoring Martha Stewart her work in bringing elegant and approachable cuisine to an ever-expanding audience. Check out who and what is on the menu below. Wolfgang Ban and Eduard Frauneder Cabbage Hill Farm Pork Belly with Corn and Elderflower Licorice Nicolas Cantrel Tartare de Thon > Tuna Tartare Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez Watermelon and Whipped Flan Parfait Dale Carty Island-Marinated Conch Salad with Japanese Seaweed and Crispy Coconut Flakes Maneet Chauhan Blue Corn–Crusted Scallops Jeremy Culver Scallop Ceviche with Melon, Lemongrass, and Cashews

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Eye Candy: Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck Bryan Petroff and Doug Quint wave from the window of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, which parked in front of the Beard House on the night of the Second Annual Gay Soirée. View more photos of the event here.

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Recipe: Peach–Basil Sorbet

Tom Carlin's Peach Sorbet Whether you love peaches or just need something icy to bust the heat, spin up some of this refreshing sorbet from chef Tom Carlin of the Gladstone Tavern in New Jersey. A generous splash of basil syrup adds an elegant twist, and while we used yellow peaches when we tested the recipe, we think that the mild and floral white variety could work even better.

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Giveaway: illy Coffee Trivia Winner

espresso So, what's the ideal extraction time for the perfect espresso? If you guessed 20–30 seconds, congratulations! You're probably drinking a better cup of espresso than most. To fully explain the nuances of preparing this complex coffee drink, we turn it over to the master barista himself, Giorgio Milos. Thanks to everyone for playing!

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Eye Candy: We All Scream for Teeny Ice Cream

Blueberry ice cream For a sweet amuse, chefs Michael Weisshaupt and John Benjamin topped miniature cones with tiny orbs of New Jersey blueberry ice cream. The bite-sized desserts were shuttled from table to table in a repurposed wooden wine box, inspired by the event's rare-wine theme. Check out more images here.

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