Eye Candy: A Frank Makes His Mark at JBF LTD

Frank Castronovo at JBF LTD Frank Castronovo of Frankies Spuntino and Prime Meats signs one of the JBF LTD tables at the end of his event, which also featured his partner, Frank Falcinelli, and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal and Son of a Gun in Los Angeles. See more photos of the dinner here.

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Awards Watch: Readers’ Choice, TV Food Personality/Host

Beard Awards: Readers' Choice

The results of our first Readers' Choice poll are in: Menton has won the Best New Restaurant category with 68 percent of the vote! Today we're inviting you to pick who you think should win the JBF Award for the best food personality or host on television. Have a look at the nominees below and cast your vote! Poll closes at noon tomorrow. [poll id="13"] 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 here.) To find out who gets the real prize, tune into Delights & Prejudices and

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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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