Eat this Word: Guanciale

guancialeWHAT? Babbo's bacon. Popularized in this country by chef Mario Batali, guanciale is salt-cured, dried pigs' cheek; pancetta, which may be substituted for it, is made from the belly of the pig. The name comes from guancia, which means "cheek" in Italian. Guanciale, a main ingredient in spaghetti all'amatriciana, is especially common in the cooking of central Italy. The Babbo website notes that though guanciale "is leaner than traditional pork pieces, it has a noticeably richer flavor. It is this richness, combined with a delicate porkiness, that more than merits the meat's three-week drying period. Making guanciale may require a little more planning than simply buying good-quality bacon or pancetta, but its abundance of flavor distinguishes guanciale from the rest, making every dish that much more succulent." WHERE?

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Eye Candy: A Toast to Chanterelle

Chanterelle crew Former Chanterelle operators Karen and David Waltuck (third and fourth from left) and their crew raise glasses for a closing toast. The husband-and-wife team reunited with their old staff to prepare a special Beard House dinner honoring the New York institution. View more photos from this event here. (Photo by Eileen Miller)

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On the Menu: The Farm in the City

Adam Cooke At the much lauded Barn at Blackberry Farm, where the distance between product and plate is measured in footsteps, chef Adam Cooke has cultivated the ultimate model of local cuisine. He and his team will bring a taste of pastoral Tennessee to the Beard House kitchen this Saturday night; see what's on the menu below: Olive Oil–Confited Columbia River Sturgeon with American Sturgeon Caviar, White Wine–Poached Green Apples, and Mustard-Preserved Winter Root Vegetables Raw Sheep’s Milk Cooked–Anson Mills Grits with Egg Yolk, Tennessee Black Truffles, and Ham Hock Consommé Jelly Roasted Four Story Hill Farm Quail with Warm Onion–Field Pea Salad and Hickory Gastrique Chestnut and Mustard Green–Stuffed Lamb Loin with Lamb Bacon and Caramelized Turnips Blackberry Farm Singing Brook Cheese with Apple Stack Cake, Black Walnut Compote, and Local Hone

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JBF News: NYC Public Schools Recipe Contest Semifinals

Recipe contest Now that the deadline for our healthy school lunch recipe contest has come and gone, it's time for the fun to begin: the judging! On Monday night at the New York City Food and Finance High School, over 25 plant-based recipes were prepared and served to a panel of judges that included pastry chef François Payard, NYC public schools executive chef Jorge Collazo, and elementary and high school students. The judges whittled down the entries to ten finalists, which will be cooked and sampled at the Beard House tomorrow evening. Stay tuned for the the results and photos! Special thanks to our partners, New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, the NYC Office of SchoolFood, Candle Café/79, and the New York City Food and Finance High School, for helping our kids eat well.

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Ask a Chef: Anthony Bourdain, where should we eat?

Anthony Bourdain JBF Award winner Anthony Bourdain is known for his audacious spirit, quick wit, and adventurous palate. He took a break between country-hopping to tell us his musings about the world’s best restaurants and the chefs who inspire him. Check out who makes his list.

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Eat this Word: Edamame

edamame-3WHAT? Japanese bar nuts. Order beer at any bar in Japan (or Taiwan for that matter) and you're more than likely to get a bowl of soybeans pods with your Kirin. The fresh pods, about two inches long and fuzzy, are boiled for a couple of minutes in heavily salted water and cooled. Drinkers peel them and eat the delicious thimble-sized beans inside. The United States produces more than 2.7 billion bushels of soy beans each year, but most are exported or turned into things like salad dressings, pesticides, and diesel fuel. Because the latest research suggests that compounds in the beans may reduce the risk of cancer, lower cholesterol, and prevent osteoporosis, a small number of Americans are finally beginning to eat them. Believe it or not, they also taste good. So why aren't more Americans giving up their bar nuts for edamame? It's a mystery. WHERE? David Skorka, Jonathan B

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