On the Menu: A Top Chef Comes to Dinner

Stephanie Izard For those of you experiencing Top Chef withdrawal, here's a little fix: Stephanie Izard, winner of season 4, is cooking at the Beard House on Monday. Take a look at her menu: Hors d’Oeuvre Foie Gras Torchon with Kumquats Broiled Oysters with Horseradish Aïoli and Pancetta Nantucket Bay Scallops with Acorn Squash and Brown Butter Dinner Sweet Onion Soup with Florida Stone Crab Duck Fat–Poached Alaskan Halibut Cheeks with Duck Confit Ravioli, Honeycrisp Apples, and Apple Jus Pan-Roasted Triggerfish with Smoked Goat Ragoût and D’Anjou Pears Roasted Lamb Medallions with Spiced Raisin Sauce and Niçoise Olives Rogue Creamery Smokey Oregon Blue Cheese with Bacon-Glazed Apples and Marcona Almond Butter To view Izard's official event page,

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The Bookshelf: Momofuku

David Chang and Peter Meehan discussed the Momofuku cookbook at the James Beard House

Arguably the decade’s most thrilling American chef, David Chang is the guy everyone else wants to emulate. But like his fluid, fast-and-loose menus, the guy’s formula for success is elusive—even to himself. Nevertheless, Chang and his buddy, writer Peter Meehan, dropped by yesterday’s Beard on Books to try to shed a little light on the making of the Momofuku cookbook and the cookbooks they dream of owning.

“I have this neurotic fear that our restaurants are all going to close tomorrow,” Chang confessed. “That’s sort of why we wrote Momofuku—we just wanted to chronicle everything that’s happened.”

Indeed, the book is decidedly Chang’s vision, slamming doors in the faces of convention and compromise. “I didn’t want to include a glossary of ingredients and where to get them,” the chef said. “We don’t spoonfeed.

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Eat this Word: Croque Monsieur

croque monsieurWHAT? A ham-'n-cheese sandwich with a French twist. The classic croque monsieur, darling of cash-poor tourists and French folk-on-the-go, is buttered bread, Gruyère cheese, and lean ham, fried in clarified butter. In the good old days before even the French began to rush their meals, it was served as an hors d'oeuvre, a tea sandwich, or the main event in a (pre-cholesterol) light lunch. The modern version of this "crunchy sir" is more often a ham-and-Swiss combo, toasted in a grill press and served hot and delicious at cafes and street stalls, so even those Francophiles most pressed for time don't have to settle for McDonald's. Apparently when it crosses the ocean, this impeccably pedigreed Gallic standard gets some new clothes: this month at the Beard House, for instance, it's served with duck pastrami. WHERE? JBF Award winner Donald Link, Ryan Pre

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Recipe: Tarte Tatin with Goat Cheese Cheesecake

goat-tarte For a riff on apple pie, Joseph Bonaparte served a tarte tatin with goat cheese cheesecake at the Beard House's Thanksgiving dinner. Though the day of the turkey has come and gone, we're still facing a long winter of farmers' markets with little more than apples for their wares—this delicious dish makes the best of the fruit.

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Jobs We Love: Danielle Di Vecchio

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Maybe you've never eaten Danielle Di Vecchio's biscotti, but it's possible that you've seen them on the small screen: the treats appeared on an episode of The Sopranos, in which Di Vecchio played Barbara, Tony's law-abiding younger sister. Fleeting cameo aside, the actress's company, Biscotti di Vecchio, is enjoying more business than ever. Read more about how she turned her grandmother's recipe into an off-the-set gig.

 

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James Beard Foundation: How did you start your biscotti company? Was it something you always wanted to do?

 

Danielle Di Vecchio: Starting a biscotti business was not something I seriously thought would be a part of my life’s path. But looking back, I don’t see how it could have been any different. I’ve always l... Read more >

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Wine Wisdom: Q & A with JBF Award Winner Kevin Zraly

wine glass Since he was inducted into our Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America in 1988, the restless Kevin Zraly has stayed busy: after taking an exhaustive, two-year world tour that touched down in over 100 wine regions, he has updated and re-released the classic Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, which hit bookstores in late September. We got in touch with the JBF Award–winning instructor to see what else he's been up to and what he likes to drink for under $20.

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Eye Candy: Beard House

éclair In a course that fused the cheese plate with dessert, Scott Gottlich and J. Chastain served Beard House guests Camembert and chervil–filled éclairs with shots of hot chocolate. See more photos from their contemporary dinner here.

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