Staff Picks: Favorite Holiday Desserts

 

One advantage of working in an office teeming with food-obsessed colleagues is that there’s a never-ending supply of culinary inspiration, which is especially handy around the holidays, when entertaining is in full swing. Below, some JBF staffers share the festive desserts that make an annual appearance in their own homes.

 

 

The James Beard Foundation's Victoria Jordan Rodriguez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panettone Bread Pudding

“Panettone is a tradition in many Italian–American households, but up to five or six years ago, ours went untouched until January, staying in its pretty box while we polished off my mom’s cookies instead. Once we discovered the incredible bread pudding that you can make with this sweet, brioche-like loaf, a new traditi... Read more >

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Test Your Eat-Q: Quirky Desserts

 

Can you tell a Grunt from a Slump? Test your pastry prowess by matching the proper description to these unusually named desserts.

 

 

 

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What We're Reading: December 10, 2014

 

Making the case for more risotto in your life. [Epicurious]

 

Give the gift of tasty treats this holiday season without having to leave the house! [Today]

 

As you head to happy hour tonight, thank our ancestors for evolving to digest alcohol. [NPR]

 

Spice up your hot cocoa with these eggnog marshmallows. [The Kitchn]

 

A new food start-up brings chef-prepared, restaurant-quality meals to the comfort of your own home. [... Read more >

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Expo Milano: USA Pavilion by Night

The future USA Pavilion at Expo Milano

 

This nighttime view of the future USA Pavilion, its steel frame beaming under the Milan sky, just might be our favorite capture of the site so far. With opening day now less than six months away, construction of the ambitious structure continues around the clock.

 

As we’ve been reporting for several weeks now, we’re leading the conception and buildout of the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015, the first world’s fair to focus exclusively on food. Be sure to check out the official USA Pavilion blog for news about next year's programming and exhibits, upcoming USA Pavilion and Expo–related events, and much more.

 ... Read more >

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Our Favorite Beard House Dishes in November

 

Adam Cooke in the Beard House kitchen

 

Last month our favorite Beard House dishes came from a Blackberry Farm alum, a Boston-based Rising Star nominee, and the team from Napa's legendary La Toque. Below, our editors' picks for the best of November.

 

 

Braised Local Pheasant Cavatelli with Sumac, Stone Fruits, and Mustard Green Gremolata

 

Braised Local Pheasant Cavatelli with Sumac, Stone Fruits, and Mustard Green Gremolata / Tuscany Meets Carolina

 

I was curious to check out this menu from Adam Cooke, who spent several years at the somewhat monastic kitchen of Blackberry Farm. Now executive chef at... Read more >

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What We're Reading: December 9, 2014

 

Frying tips just in time for Hanukkah. [Epicurious

 

Senior policy adviser on nutrition, Sam Kass, to leave White House at the end of the month. [The Hagstrom Report]  

 

Dairy cows on the lam hold up highway traffic. [The Daily Meal

 

You’ll never guess how much the world's largest truffle costs. [Grub Street

 

Avoid these olive oil pitfalls. [FR

 

Bon Appétit weighs in on the hottest new restaura... Read more >

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Brooks Headley Gets Fancy

2013 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Pastry Chef award winner Brooks Headley

 

When Brooks Headley took over the pastry department at New York City’s four-star Del Posto, it wasn’t long before his playful spirit began to seep into the acclaimed menu. Now the whip-smart, humble 2013 Outstanding Pastry Chef award winner can also add “author” to his résumé: his much-anticipated cookbook, Fancy Desserts, hit shelves this fall. Below, Brooks gets candid with senior editor Elena North-Kelly about chefs’ partying habits, his unexpected views on chocolate, and the essential ingredients for nailing any dessert.

 

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Elena North-Kelly: You’ve described your culinary style as that of a “buzzed Italian grandma,” which may come as a surprise to some people, given your alter-ego as a drummer in punk bands.... Read more >

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What We're Reading: December 8, 2014

 

From spam to poke, here are the top local offerings of our 50th state. [Serious Eats]

 

What's on your Starbucks plate may soon be as important as what's in your Starbucks cup. [WSJ]

 

The largest food labor protest in years expands nationwide. [CBS]

 

Can Doritos and salads occupy the same vending machine? A look at healthy convenience food. [NYT]

 

A guide to all the layers of the humble onion. [... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of December 8

 

Here's what's coming up at the James Beard House and around the country:

 

Monday, December 8, 7:00 P.M.
Hot Nashville Roundup

When it comes to dining, Nashville has it all: serious ’cue, bona fide Southern specialities, and an endless flow of fine spirits. We’ve rounded up a crew that will show the Beard House why Music City is becoming one of the hottest food destinations in America.

 

Tuesday, December 9, 7:00 P.M.
Mediterranean Winter Feast
Fourth-generation chef and restaurateur Jimmy Bannos Jr. opened Chicago’s acclaimed wine-and-swine bar, the Purple Pig, to rave reviews at the tender age of 25. This winter, the 2014 JBF Rising Star Chef of the Year award winner will satiate eager Beard House diners... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Holiday Dessert Pairings (Part I)

red wine

 

For those who are looking to make the holidays even merrier, we asked Bernie Sun, corporate beverage director of JBF Award winner Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurants, to suggest affordable wine pairings for the season’s classic desserts. To start, we asked Sun to recommend the perfect pairing for a chocolate–peppermint ganache tart. His pick? Justin Obtuse Dessert Wine 2011 ($15). "Chocolate and mint are prized Cabernet flavors, and this late-harvest blend from California’s Central Coast... Read more >

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