The Bookshelf: Marion Cunningham’s Empty Plate Mac & Cheese

macandcheese_427x318 Recently inducted into our Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, Clark Wolf learned many things from his friend James Beard, but perhaps the best lesson was this: “Food is the most important thing.” We couldn’t agree more. Wolf's new book American Cheeses: The Best Regional, Artisan, and Farmhouse Cheeses, Who Makes Them, and Where to Find Them includes information about how cheese is made, how to store it, and how to serve it. He also traveled all over the country meeting cheesemakers and tasting an absurd amount of cheese. Rough life! At Wednesday’s Beard on Books, where Wolf dished about American cheese, he left us with these final words of advice, "Live a life worth living, with lots of cheese." A sentiment Beard surely would have second

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News Feed: Luncheon Aboard the Queen Mary 2

Next Friday some lucky JBF members and guests are leaving dry land and boarding the legendary Queen Mary 2—where the number of tomes in the library (about 10,000) doesn’t quite reach the number of bottles in the wine collection (11,000). The diners will be treated to an opulent lunch at the ocean liner’s restaurant, the Britannia, as it docks in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. Over on the Atlantic’s Food Channel, Wendy Littlefield is currently reporting on her own transatlantic voyage aboard the Queen Mary 2 in a multi-part series. Her latest account includes some staggering facts about the ship’s culinary operations: the kitchen crew, which includes no fewer than 230 employees, goes through 400 pounds of veal and beef bones for stock every day. Click here to read more about Littlefield’s sea voyage.

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JBF News: Chefs & Champagne® New York Online Bidding

Chefs and Champagne Chefs & Champagne, our Hamptons bash honoring Four Seasons Restaurant owners Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini, may still be ten days away, but, for the first time ever, you can bid on a variety of auction packages that would make any foodie salivate. We’ve got a cooking class for two at DeGustibus Cooking School, a Belgian beer dinner for six at New York City’s Markt, and a two-night getaway to historic Charleston, South Carolina. Online bidding is available through Wednesday, July 22. The silent auction will take place at Chefs & Champagne on July 25, 2009, in Sagaponack, New York.

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Staff Recipe: Chilled Zucchini Soup

Zucchini Soup Izabela Wojcik toiled on the line at several NYC restaurants before hanging up her clogs and becoming our director of programming. She whips up this flavorful and refreshing summer soup for a quick weeknight supper, or serves a little taste as an impressive prelude to a more elaborate menu.

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Tweet Eats: American Artisanal Cheeses

Cheese You guys sure love American cheese! We asked our Twitter followers about their favorite artisanal American cheeses and the responses were fast, furious, and delicious. Here are just a few to whet your appetite. Got cheese on the brain? Which ones did we miss? @kmistry73: Rogue Creamery’s Smoked Blue @Jnil88: Grayson Cheese from Meadow Creek Farm, VA.. Stinky is good! @kasekaiserina: Estrella Family, Meadow Creek, Lazy Lady, @TwigFarm, Consider Bardwell, Cato Corner, Andante, Capriole. Could name so many more dairies/cheeses. Point is: the American Cheese Revolution is here! So jazzed to be a part of it. @Gaaa79: fresh goat cheese made with cranberry and honey, i think it’s made in Broksville, found it at a market in union square! @DTarch: Gr

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MemorEATS: Christopher Lee

"I was cooking dinner for my family and I forgot the garlic bread in the oven under the broiler. By the time I got to the oven, the bread was blazing and the only thing to do was to open the sliding door and throw a flaming sheet tray across my yard. I wrecked the oven, but the neighbors got a good show." –JBF Award Winner Christopher Lee, Aureole, NYC

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Recipe: James Beard’s Moules Marinière

Mussels This deliciously simple recipe from Beard’s American Cookery puts us in the Bastille Day spirit. Make sure you have plenty of fresh, crusty baguette on hand to soak up the buttery, aromatic broth. 2 to 3 quarts mussels, scrubbed and bearded 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 large onion, thinly sliced 2 to 3 sprigs parsley 1 stick unsalted butter 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper ½ cup white wine ½ cup chopped parsley ¼ teaspoon Tabasco Place the garlic, onion, parsley sprigs, 4 tablespoons of the butter, salt, and pepper in a large pot. Add the mussels and pour the wine over them. Cover tightly and cook over low heat until the shells open. Transfer the mussels to a soup tureen or serving dish. Add the remaining butter, chopped parsley, and Tabasco to the pot. Adjust the seasoning and serve the mussels in soup plates along with some of the broth and plenty of crusty bread.

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The Bookshelf: Clark Wolf on Cheese

American CheesesBack when America's idea of cheese amounted to electric orange slices of, well, American cheese, Clark Wolf was stocking the shelves of his San Francisco shop with artisanal cheeses from around the country. These days small-scale American cheese production is something to be proud of, and Wolf continues to follow the transformed industry’s every move. Wolf, who now owns his own consulting company, Clark Wolf Company, will stop by this week’s B

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Reel Food: Chefs for Scher Benefit

Last night’s Friends of James Beard Benefit at the Bowery Hotel was a walk-around tasting event that featured dishes from Bobby Flay, Scott Conant, Laurent Torondel, and scads of other chefs who got together to raise money for the Steven Scher Memorial Scholarship, in honor of the late, great restaurateur Steven Scher. The Feedbag caught it on tape—watch the video here.

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