The Bookshelf: The Curious Case of Amy’s Amazing Pink Cake

cake_200x250It was a few years ago that our colleague Phyllis first told us about the incredible pink-frosted cake she had at Amy’s Bread. I have to admit, we were a little skeptical. Cake? From Amy’s Bread? But several years later, the nostalgia-inducing, pink-frosted yellow cake with its delicate crumb has become our unofficial office birthday cake. Curiously, we've tried other colors of cake from Amy’s, and while good, none of them measures up in terms of moistness to the cakes with the pink frosting. How can the color of the frosting affect the moisture content of a cake, we’ll wonder as we take just another “sliver” and lick our plastic forks clean? Now that we have the recipe from The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread, our current theory is that the fondant that Amy adds to her pink frosting seals in the cake’s moisture. To confirm, we’ll ask Amy, herself,

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Eat this Word: Sea Urchin

Sea UrchinWHAT? A no brainer. If you’ve stepped on one of these spiny creatures while strolling along the beach you’re not likely to forget the pain. Similarly memorable is the sea-kissed, faintly iodine taste of the custardy roe—when fresh. Sea urchins are brainless echinoderms that live on the ocean floor. Their hard shells (called tests) are covered with pointed spines that they use for locomotion, food gathering, and protection. Evidently, their unfriendly exterior is effective; in 2003 BBC News reported that sea urchins can live for over 200 years. To the urchins’ human predators, the saffron-colored roe (the only edible part) is considered a delicacy. Most sea urchins harvested in the United States are exported to Japan, where the roe, called uni, is used extensively in sushi and other dishes. WHERE? Michael Solomonov's Beard House dinner WHE

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Staff Recipe: Honeydew Soup

honeydew_427x318 Looking for the perfect way to cap off a summer meal? The recipe for this refreshing and delicately sweet fruit soup comes from JBF vice president, Mitchell Davis, and appeared in his encyclopedic cookbook, Kitchen Sense. The original recipe calls for honeydew melon, but Mitchell also gives a number of variations if you prefer to use cantaloupe, watermelon, or even peaches.

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Twitter Cook-off: Meet our Judges

gavel_427x318 The recipes have been pouring in, but who will be tasting these masterpieces? Our panel of esteemed judges hails from all areas of the food world—we’ve got a chef, a food stylist and cookbook author, and a few dedicated foodies too. Each has a keen eye for detail and a highly developed palate. First up is current Top Chef Masters contestant Anita Lo. One of our favorite NYC chefs, Anita’s restaurant Annisa has been at the top of critics’ lists for nearly a decade and her contemporary, elegant, and adventurous dishes always leave us wanting more. Next we have the dynamic husband-and-wife team of Chris and Jennifer McBride, founders and editors of the video restaurant guide www.savorycities.com. They’ve sampled the cuisine of top

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Ask a Chef: John Besh

John Besh JBF Award winner John Besh, of Restaurant August, Besh Steak, Lüke, and La Provence, tells us where to eat in the Crescent City.

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On the Menu: August 9 to August 15

Kitchen Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: Tuesday, August 11, 7:00 P.M. Del Frisco’s Divine Wine Dinner Moving beyond the chophouse template, the chefs at the helm of the acclaimed Del Frisco’s steakhouses have designed an elegant, European-inspired menu. Accompanying them at the Beard House will be the restaurant group’s wine director, David O’Day, who has chosen a heavenly selection of wines to pair with the meal. Wednesday, August 12, 12:00 P.M. Beard on Books In The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread: Cakes, Cookies, Bars, Pastries and More from New York City's Favorite Bakery Amy Scherber shares recipes for the sweet treats that make Amy’s Bread a perennial NYC favorite. The veteran pastry chef offers her expertise on techniques

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Scholarship Spotlight: Tim Hsu

Tim HsuWe thank Irena Chalmers, author of Food Jobs: 150 Great Jobs for Culinary Students, Career Changers and Food Lovers, for this remarkable essay about Tim Hsu, who won a scholarship from Chicago's Spring Restaurant (the funds were generated by a Friends of James Beard Benefit hosted by the restaurant). Hsu, the son of Chinese immigrants, once faced a maddening decision: pursue a secure, respectable career as a doctor, or follow his passion for food and become a chef. Hsu gravitated toward food during his college years, reaching for a cookbook instead of his MCAT prep textbooks time after time: Unbeknownst to his parents, who lived far away in China, Tim had been dabbling in the kitchen during his college years, and found himself watching the Food Network channel almost religiously. He loved food and cooking—so much so that t

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