Interview with Rene Ortiz, Laura Sawicki, and Margaret Vera of JBF Award–Nominated Launderette

Photo: Giant Noise


Rene Ortiz and pastry chef Laura Sawicki had already won over Austinites with their Mexican and Thai-inspired eateries La Condesa and Sway, so it should come as no surprise that their latest venture, Launderette, was a roaring success since its opening last year. With its far-ranging menu featuring “feel-good food” from across the globe, the Launderette team has created a neighborhood joint that extends far beyond East Austin. Read on for our conversation with Ortiz, Sawicki, and co-owner Margaret Vera about the restaurant’s genesis and how the menu reflects their overall philosophy.




JBF: Can you tell us the story behind your restaurant's name?


Launderette Team: The property had been a laundromat for 50 years, and we wanted to carry on the tradition of neighbors and friends coming together. “Launderette”... Read more >

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Announcing the JBF Impact Programs

Photo: Jeff Gurwin


The James Beard Foundation is proud to announce the launch of the JBF Impact Programs, an initiative which will enhance JBF’s work to establish a more sustainable food system through education, advocacy, and thought leadership. JBF Impact Programs will bring together chefs, farmers, and other leaders in the culinary community to address the biggest food challenges facing our society—food waste, sustainable agriculture and seafood, and beyond.


JBF Impact Programs currently include the annual JBF Food Conference, the JBF Leadership Awards, the JBF Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, and... Read more >

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On the Menu: Monday, April 25, 2016


Here’s a taste of what’s on tap today at the Beard House.

Maine Farmhouse Supper, 7:00 P.M.
Chris Wilcox, The Velveteen Habit, Cape Neddick, ME

Whether he’s butchering a whole hog or tending to his on-site garden at his secluded Maine restaurant, the Velveteen Habit, Chris Wilcox’s sustainable ethos guides his culinary practice. Beard House diners will sample the chef’s signature 18th-century farmhouse cookery in a rustic yet elegant feast featuring cured, smoked, fermented, and pickled ingredients in dishes like Hyssop-Cured Scottish Salmon with Pickled Beets and Beer Nuts; English Pea Falafel with Country Ham and Horseradish Labneh; and Slow-Roasted Rhubarb with Fennel and Whipped Yogurt.

See the full menu below: 


  • Hors d’Oeuvre
    • Chicke

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Happy Hour: The Juice Cocktail by 2016 Beard Award Nominee Cure


To honor this year’s Beard Awards, we asked each of our 2016 Outstanding Bar Program semifinalists to create a cocktail inspired by a television show. Neal Bodenheimer, partner at the stylish (and now JBFA-nominated) New Orleans establishment Cure, crafted this “sunrise-style” drink based on the highly publicized trial (and recent television series) The People v. O.J. Simpson. As he explains, the cocktail is irreverent, “because that’s the way we process controversy in New Orleans.” Get the recipe.


Learn more about the 2016 ... Read more >

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Next Week at JBF


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


Monday, April 25, 7:00 P.M.

Maine Farmhouse Supper

Whether he’s butchering a whole hog or tending to his on-site garden at his secluded Maine restaurant, the Velveteen Habit, Chris Wilcox’s sustainable ethos guides his culinary practice. Join us in sampling the chef’s signature 18th-century farmhouse cookery in a rustic yet elegant feast using cured, smoked, fermented, and pickled ingredients.


Thursday, April 28, 6:00 P.M.

Celebrity Chef Tour: Nashville

Click here for tickets.


Thursday, April 28, 7:00 P.M.... Read more >

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What We're Reading This Week


These easy-to-pack sandwiches will make lazy Sundays in the park even more enjoyable. [Bon Appétit]


Label design is the most popular deciding factor when it comes to choosing a bottle of wine. [MUNCHIES


Tampa Bay Times food critic Laura Reiley undertook a two-month investigation and uncovered the truth behind farm-to-table restaurants. [NPR Food]


From potstickers to a stir-fry, these recipes will put bok choy on your next grocery store list. [Saveur]... Read more >

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On the Menu: Friday, April 22, 2016


Here’s a taste of what’s on tap this weekend at the Beard House and around the country.


Saturday, April 23
Celebrity Chef Tour / Dayton, OR, 6:00 P.M.

Domaine Serene Vineyards is playing host to the latest event in our Celebrity Chef Tour national dinner series. This one-night-only, exclusive multi-course menu has been crafted by JBF Award winners Vitaly Paley and John Sundstrom, along with Joe Ritchie, Johanna Ware, Kelly Whitaker, and Pastry Chef Kristen D. Murray.


Check out the event listing for more information.



Israeli Sephardic Passover Seder, 7:30 P.M.
Raffi Cohen, Raphael, Tel Aviv


A frontrunner of New Israeli cooking, pedigreed c... Read more >

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Interview with Alon Shaya of JBF Award–Nominated Shaya in New Orleans


The phrase “New Orleans cuisine” may not conjure images of crispy halloumi with caramelized celery root and pomegranate molasses; shakshuka with chermoula and Jerusalem artichokes; or matzoh ball soup with escarole and slow-cooked duck. Yet one of the most coveted tables in the Crescent City is at Alon Shaya’s eponymous eatery, Shaya, a 2016 JBF Award nominee for Best New Restaurant. Shaya and his team blend the indigenous flavors of Israel with locally sourced ingredients and Louisiana culinary traditions, and their efforts have garnered acclaim from all corners of the industry. We caught up with last year's Best Chef: South award winner to learn about his love affair with wood-roasted cabbage, how Hurricane Katrina changed the course of his life, and his favorite Big Easy eats.




JBF: What does modern Israeli cuisine mean to you?


Alon Shaya: It... Read more >

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Test Your Eat-Q: Famous TV Foods

In honor of this year's James Beard Awards theme of "TV/Dinner," we've pulled together a series of stumpers about some of the most iconic food moments on the boob tube. Test your edible television know-how with our quiz below!




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On the Menu: Thursday, April 21, 2016

Photo: Phil Gross


Here’s a taste of what’s on tap today at the Beard House.


Baja Seafood and Spirits Celebration, 7:00 P.M.
Jason McLeod, Ironside Fish & Oyster, San Diego / Bartender Erick Castro, Polite Provisions, San Diego


It’s no secret that San Diego’s dining offerings are replete with pristine seafood, but one of the city’s lesser-known assets is its booming cocktail scene. Tonight’s Beard House dinner showcases both, with chef Jason McLeod preparing Baja seafood and acclaimed bartender Erick Castro on drinks duty. Expect flavor-packed plates such as Smoked Abalone with Avocados, Seaweed, and Butter; Chocolate Clams Casino with Bacon and Romesco; and San Diego Uni with Mussel Escabèche and Red Kelp


See the full menu below:

MENU... Read more >

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JBF Kitchen Cam