Talking Sustainability and Community in Charleston

 

The JBF Food Conference season kicked off last week with our first regional “salon” held in Charleston, South Carolina, at the beautiful and historic McCrady’s Restaurant. Conceived as a way to engage food system stakeholders from around the country and to gather input on the themes for our annual conference, our salons spark fascinating discussions on the critical topics we face. The theme of this year’s conference (click here to learn more) is: A Crisis in Confidence: Creating a Better, More Sustainable Food World We Can Trust.

 

Facilitated by JBF executive vice president Mitchell Davis and food system consultant Karen Karp of Karp Resources, a diverse group of 18 insightful chefs, farmers, restaurateurs, educators, and o... Read more >

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Tastebud: Another Round

More than a decade ago I saw the cocktail future while vacationing with friends in Tokyo. I was led through back alleys of Ginza and into unmarked elevators in Shibuya to swank bars where tuxedoed bartenders—they weren’t called mixologists yet—shook, swizzled, and stirred delicious drinks into the wee hours of the morning. Most memorable among them was Bar Tokyo, where four white-jacketed bartenders serviced six stools and the free snacks included transcendent sashimi and other beautifully plated amuse-bouches fitting of our $600-plus tab. And then there was the subterranean Alcohall, where I first saw blocks of ice chipped by hand into the perfect crystalline spheres that rotated in our glasses as we drank.

 

The origin of the Japanese ice ball, as it has come to be known, was based on the logic that minimizing the surface area of ice in a drink will minimize melting and therefore dilution. It’s also totally cool. There are inexpensive molds that help you achieve an icy orb, but most have the problems of trapping air in the water as it freezes, which increases melting, and/or produces an unsightly seam. That explains the gadget every cocktailian covets: the Japane... Read more >

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On the Menu: April 21 through April 27

The Beard House

 

Here’s what's happening this week at the Beard House:

 

Saturday, April 21, 7:00 P.M.
Mangalitsa Mayhem
Renowned for its complex flavor and superior marbling, the Mangalitsa pig makes chefs and pork lovers go hog wild. For this porcine-themed dinner, a team of Mangalitsa devotees will craft a tasting menu from this succulent, old-world heritage breed from New Jersey’s Mosefund Mangalitsa farm.

 

Monday, April 23, 6:30 P.M.
Balls, Burgers & Booze
Join us as New York’s top chefs whip up their own over-the-top renditions of the city’s enduring favorites: meatballs and burgers. A selection of cocktails, wines, and beers will also be served at this walk-around tasting.

 

Tuesday, April 24, 7:00 P.M.
... Read more >

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Recipe Roundup: Breakfast for Dinner

Ryan Poli's recipe for patatas bravas, courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

 

Patatas Bravas with Fried Eggs and Chorizo
Ryan Poli of Chicago's Tavernita adds pan-fried chorizo and eggs to this tapas-bar standard.

 

Smoked Bluefish with Potato Pancakes, Greek Yogurt, and Dill
Top crisp potato pancakes with smoked bluefish and a dollop of lemony Greek yogurt. Smoked trout makes a delicious substitute.

 

Piperade Basquaise
Like all scrambled eggs, this Basque version is best cooked just until soft curds form. Serve with crusty bread and thin slices of jamón serrano.... Read more >

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Q & A with Ignacio Mattos of Isa

Anna Mowry interviews chef Ignacio Mattos of Isa

 

After years of cooking faithful renderings of authentic Italian cuisine at Il Buco, chef Ignacio Mattos crossed the East River and introduced Brooklyn to his  "modern primitive" aesthetic at Isa. Now that the restaurant is up for a Best New Restaurant award, we caught up with Mattos to talk about his plating philosophy and cooking in Brooklyn.

 

JBF: Smoke and wood play a big role in Isa, from the food to the décor. What’s the weirdest ingredient you’ve ever smoked?

 

IM: One time I smoked some butter, but I can’t remember what it was for. At Isa we have smoked pretty much everything. 

 

JBF: Many of Isa’s desserts are rooted in vegetal and other unexpected flavors. What’s the thought process behind creating a dessert?

 

IM: Pam Yung, our very talented pastry chef, has a very refined and elegant pala... Read more >

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Outstanding Drinks Across America

A map of all James Beard Foundation Outstanding Bar Program award semifinalists

The next time you want to wet your whistle in one of these cities, check out the following restaurants and watering holes—all semifinalists for the new JBF Award for Outstanding Bar Program—for classic cocktails as well as innovative tipples (and beer, too!).

 

1. The Zig Zag Café Seattle
COME HERE FOR: The extensive selection of whiskies, rums, and cachaças, plus a rotating menu of more than 20 cocktails, such as the Sarah Law.

 

2. Clyde Common Portland, OR
COME HERE FOR: A Barrel-Aged Negroni (a traditional gin negroni aged for 2 months in used whiskey barrels) or a Kingston Club.

 

3. Beretta San Francisco
COME HERE FOR: Handcrafted cocktails like the Kentucky Mule... Read more >

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Recipes from the Best of the Best: Crème Brûlée with Raspberries

Jean-Louis Palladin's recipe for crème brûlée, courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

 

Jean-Louis Palladin's fastidious recipe for crème brûlée may not be the most fitting symbol of his iconoclastic career and enduring impact on French cuisine in the United States, but it is one of the best versions we've tried. Get the recipe here.

 

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JBF has recently released The James Beard Foundation’s Best of the Best: A 25th Anniversary Celebration of America’s Outstanding Chefs. This must-have book features delicious, signature recipes from every winner of the Foundation’s Outstanding Chef Award. When we went to press, space required that we omit some surplus essays and recipes,... Read more >

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