Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking, Past and Present


For most people, the phrase “Indian cookbook” is synonymous with one name only—Madhur Jaffrey. The multiple JBF Award winner and “Godmother of Indian cooking” has been shaping our conceptions of the edible Subcontinent for nearly a half century, and shows no sign of slowing her prolific pace. Her most recent tome, Vegetarian India (Knopf), garnered rave reviews from the press and chefs alike. Next week, Jaffrey will share stories and insights from the book at our monthly Beard on Books reading series. In honor of her legacy, we’re dipping back into the archives to sample her last literary Beard event, a dinner from April 1995, that showcased recipes from her cookbook, Flavors of India (Carol Southern). Read on for a glimpse of the theme and the menu, and join us on February 3 to see what has fellow veg-heads April Bloomfield and Yotam Ottolenghi so excited. ... Read more >

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JBF Is Coming to a Town Near You!


JBF is going out on the road, and we may be coming to a city near you! Here's a taste of upcoming events in January and February around the country. For a complete listing, visit


Saturday, January 30, 7:30 P.M.
Friends of James Beard Benefit / Hollywood, FL
The Chef's Palate
Kuro at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
1 Seminole Way
For reservations and more information, please call 1 800 745 3000 or click here.


Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6, 6:00 P.M.
Celebrity Chef Tour / Maui, HI
Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort
3850 Wailea Alanui Drive
For reservations... Read more >

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Eye Candy: Fennel Salad with Malt Vinegar Chips and Deviled Egg Sauce


With three locations along the East Coast, Corkbuzz Wine Studio is a growing mecca for oenophiles with a wine bar, restaurant, and class space at each. For their recent Beard House dinner, master sommelier Laura Maniec and chef Allen Evans (from the newest North Carolina outpost) treated guests to a luxurious evening of Champagne and outstanding fare. Stunning dishes exited the storied Beard House kitchen, like tiny gougères with foie gras mousse and delightfully smoked beef tartare with goat cheese and puff pastry. Perhaps the most delectable bite of the evening was the fennel salad with deviled egg sauce on malt vinegar chips. The combination of the creamy, luscious sauce with the tart and ever-so-slightly crisp fennel perched on top of the world’s most perfect edible vessel—a... Read more >

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What New York Food Does Chef Kenny Gilbert Crave "All the Time?"


If Oprah likes your food, you’ve pretty much made it—big time. Such is the case with beloved Top Chef alum Kenny Gilbert of Gilbert's Underground Kitchen in Fernandina Beach, Florida, who brings his Southern fare to the Beard House on January 26Gilbert’s fun dinner starts off with a gator reception, which means the famous Florida-based chef will serve parts of alligator with gourmet riffs on favorite Southern fixin’s like South Carolina mustard barbecue sauce. The meal goes on to feature creative takes on the cuisine’s touchstones like baked Texas oyster with Tasso ham, creamed mustard greens, and cornbread gratin, and KG’s banana pudding with banana–bourbon panna cotta for dessert. ... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Cassoulet


WHAT? Languedoc’s long-simmered stew. “There are many versions of cassoulet, all of them good and all monumentally substantial,” wrote James Beard in The Armchair James Beard. It appears that chefs across the country couldn’t agree more—versions of the classic dish will be served at three Beard House dinners this month. Cassoulet comes from the southwest Languedoc and Toulousain regions of France and is rumored to have first appeared in the seventeenth century (when the key ingredient—white beans—were brought over from the New World). Although it’s one of France’s most famous dishes, there is little consensus within the country about what constitutes a classic cassoulet. The recipe varies from region to region and from cook to cook, though it always contains various meats, beans, and vegetables that are prepared separately before being arranged in layers in a cassole—the glazed earthenware pot from which the dish gets its name. The cassoulet is then topped with a heavy sprinkling of fine... Read more >

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What's Cooking: 5 Recipes for the Weekight Francophile


Think French cuisine is too daunting for a home cook? Not with these dishes. Indulge your inner Francophile with these five simple, weeknight-friendly recipes for each day of the week, ending with a creamy crowd-pleaser perfect for unwinding with friends on Friday night.


Monday: Stewed Big Bean Cassoulet
Chock full of beans and vegetables, this meatless version of the classic French cassoulet doesn’t disappoint. To make it truly vegetarian, just substitute vegetable broth for the lobster and chicken stock.


Tuesday: Grilled Loup de Mer with Braised Fennel
This simple but elegant grilled fish has lovely, crisped skin and is paired with a simple citrus sauce. Loup de mer is also known as branzino; have your fishmonger fillet it for you.

 ... Read more >

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Featured Menu: Vibrant Mexican


With over 200 events at the Beard House each year, our calendar is overflowing with top toques and rising stars from restaurant kitchens across the country. Each dinner at the Beard House is a unique culinary experience, but every so often a specific event will have our stomachs rumbling simply by scanning the menu. Read on to learn which event has piqued our palates lately.


Monday, January 25, 2016
Vibrant Mexican


After working for JBF Award winners Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier at their acclaimed restaurants in Ogunquit, Maine, David Vargas relocated to New Hampshire to open his own eatery, the charming Vida Cantina, where he serves a vibrant Mexican menu inspired by his family’s heritage. With frost lining the windows at the Beard House, guests are sure to be eager for a break from the winter chill. Fortunately, Vargas's menu provides just that, with the lively... Read more >

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Sponsored: Channel Your Inner Chef to Win a Trip to the Beard Awards from HMSHost

Channel Your Inner Chef to Win a Trip to the Beard Awards from HMSHost


Do you love to cook? Do you dream of rubbing elbows with your favorite food TV stars on the red carpet at the James Beard Awards? 2016 JBF Awards sponsor HMSHost invites you to channel your inner chef and enter to win VIP tickets for two to this year's Awards ceremony in Chicago. 


Here's how to enter: 

Contestants are asked to shoot a five-minute video of themselves preparing their favorite original recipe while showing off their personal style. Contestants then submit the video by February 28, 2016, at A panel will then select five finalists to compete in a cook-off to be performed in front of a live audience and judges at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on March 22. 


HMSHost will reveal a winner following a live, 30-minute cook-off by the five finalists. The winner is presented with prizes i... Read more >

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What We're Reading This Week


Doughnuts for decades: the enduring, cream-filled appeal of Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop. [NYT


Bring on the bran flakes: a new study suggests that low-fiber diets could be devastating to overall health. [The Atlantic


Global food destinations to save your vacation days for. [NYT


JBF Award winner Dominique Ansel is opening a shop in London, promising cronuts for the Queen and commoners alike. [Grubstreet


Restaurants are doing all they ca... Read more >

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Happy Hour: The Optimist Cocktail from the Hawthorne


For a delicious cocktail that intrigues the palate (and any booze-loving friends), opt for the Optimist cocktail from Boston's beloved watering hole, the Hawthorne. The staff of the 2015 semifinalist for our Outstanding Bar Program award knows a thing or two about the pursuit of the perfect cocktail. Hawthorne bar manager Jared Sadoian crafted this heady mix of liquors featuring sherry as the low-key superstar ingredient, noting that it "brings a ton of flavor and acid to a cocktail without overpowering other ingredients." Combined with the herbaceous, grappa-based Amaro ... Read more >

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JBF Kitchen Cam