Eat this Word: Kabayaki

Kabayaki WHAT? Slithery sustenance. The Japanese love kabayaki—grilled eel in a sweet, soy-based sauce—so much, they have even dedicated an entire day to eating it. On Ushinohi, which is celebrated in August, eel restaurants all over Japan do a booming business; politicians are sometimes photographed smiling as they dine on their kabayaki; and, according to Charmaine Solomon’s Encyclopedia of Asian Food, 900 tons of eel are consumed. The eel is served over rice and is thought to be restorative in the enervating August heat. A Dictionary of Japanese Food calls kabayaki "one of Japan’s great treats," and a Japanese friend confirms that Japanese people would consider it right up there with sushi and tempura as a representative food of their country. These days though, she confesses, not everybody eats kabayaki straight from the grill as a connoisseur would insist. "Nowadays you can buy it in the supermarket and microwave it." WHERE?

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Cookbook Sweepstakes: We Have a Winner!

cookbooks

Remember the sweepstakes we ran last month? We're happy to announce that A. Baldwin of East Haddam, Connecticut is the lucky winner of five indispensable JBF Award-winning cookbooks! Congrats! Don't forget, you can find all of the 2011 Award-winning and -nominated cookbooks in our Amazon store.

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An Autumnal Cheese Primer

An autumnal cheese primer from chef Matt Jennings and the James Beard Foundation

Sure, fall’s harvest brings tons of great produce, but as JBF Award nominee, chef, and master cheesemonger Matt Jennings explains, it’s also the peak season for cheese.

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You can tell a lot about your cheese from how it tastes, and the flavors of true artisan American cheeses are as varied as the seasons in which they’re created.

It’s a well-known truth in the tight-knit world of professional cheesemongers that autumn in particular brings a bounty of small-production cheeses from farms and producers across the country—each with a distinct flavor profile and a story all its own.

While it can be hard to choose, here are some of our favorite cheeses to purchase and consume in the autumn months.

Vermont Shepherd // Vermont Shepherd Farm, Vermont
Vermont Shepherd, an American raw-milk classic, is created by David Major o... Read more >

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On the Menu: Brooklyn Cooks

Brooklyn Cooks For the next installment of our Greens programming series, we're bringing the best of Brooklyn to the Beard House! Join us on September 18 for a special multi-course dinner prepared by the chefs, wine experts, and butchers that make Brooklyn the city's most creative food borough. Participating chefs include Saul Bolton of Saul and Vanderbilt, Jessica and Josh Applestone Fleisher's Grass-Fed and Organic Meats, and George Weld of Egg. The full lineup and menu, including some recently added wine pairings, can be found

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Eat This Word: Pipikaula

The James Beard Foundation on pipikaula

WHAT? Hawaiian beef jerky. A traditional nibble at a Lu‘ au feast, pipikaula did, in fact, evolve from beef jerky. According to Time-Life’s Pacific and Southeast Asian Cooking, islanders were introduced to the snack by Yankee whalers who plied the seas around Hawaii. Traditionally, strips of beef are marinated in salt, soy sauce, and garlic, then dried outdoors in a screened box that keeps flies away. Contemporary recipes often give instructions for cooking in a very low oven. "Pipi," by the way, is the Hawaiian word for beef or cow; "kaula" the word for rope. It’s neither here nor there, but we were interested to learn that Tibetans make their own version of jerky from yak meat.

WHERE? Darren Demaya, Colin Hazama, and Jon Matsubara's Beard House dinner

WHEN? September 14, 2011

HOW? Keahole Lobster w... Read more >

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Greenhouse Gallery: Foodaissance

Foodaissance Donny Tsang's latest project, Foodaissance: Brooklyn Artisan Renaissance, is on display in the Beard House's Greenhouse Gallery through October. The collection celebrates the new generation of food artisans in Brooklyn, New York, and features behind-the-scenes images of the people who transform quality ingredients into delicious products. Donny Tsang is a freelance food photographer based in Brooklyn. He co-founded Eat to Blog and is a contributor to Midtown Lunch, Serious Eats, Edible Brooklyn, Metromix New York, and Nona Brooklyn.

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On the Menu: September 12 through September 16

On the MenuBook your table now: we've got a JBF semifinalist, a protegée of Todd English, and three of Hawaii's best chefs cooking for us for next week. Monday, September 12, 7:00 P.M. Mondays with Jesse Since opening Recette last year, wunderkind chef Jesse Schenker has won raves from critics like Sam Sifton and received a 2011 JBF semifinalist nod for Best New Restaurant. For this dinner, Schenker and pastry chef Christina Lee (a Per Se alum) have created a menu inspired by their wildly popular “Mondays with Jesse” tasting series. Tuesday, September 13, 7:00 P.M. Progressive American The hottest table in Palm Beach these days is at Būccan, a small-plates restaurant known for a charming, casual setting that belies its sophisticated and imaginative global fare. A Todd English prot

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