Q & A: Alexandra Guarnaschelli

Alexandra GuarnaschelliOn Thursday night the Beard House will host Cocktails and Canapés, a casual party with hors d'oeuvre prepared by a team of fantastic New York chefs (not to mention some creative cocktails shaken up by master mixologist Junior Merino). Among them will be Butter's Alexandra Guarnaschelli, who cooked at our Awards Gala last year. Here's what she had to say about what she would eat for her last meal, lessons learned in the kitchen, and the importance of farmers. James Beard Foundation: What would you eat for your last meal on earth? Alexandra Guarnaschelli: A grilled cheese and tomato sandwich on whole wheat bread with bacon (cooked in duck fat) and fried potato skins. For dessert, a whole, fresh black truffle thinly sliced and drizzled with sherry vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt. JBF

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Recipe: James Beard's Cold Minted Pea Soup

MintThis wonderful soup highlights the fresh combination of peas and mint. It can be made with yogurt instead of cream if you prefer a tarter soup with fewer calories. Many people are surprised that the recipe calls for frozen peas, a convenience during the months when fresh peas are not available. It’s not unusual, though, when you recall that James Beard was a spokesperson for the Jolly Green Giant brand.

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Recipe: James Beard's Cold Minted Pea Soup

MintThis wonderful soup highlights the fresh combination of peas and mint. It can be made with yogurt instead of cream if you prefer a tarter soup with fewer calories. Many people are surprised that the recipe calls for frozen peas, a convenience during the months when fresh peas are not available. It’s not unusual, though, when you recall that James Beard was a spokesperson for the Jolly Green Giant brand.

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Test Your Eat-Q: Frozen Desserts

Ice cream Summer officially arrived on Sunday, and we welcome the hot weather as an excuse to gorge on ice cream, sorbet, gelato... We can feel the brain freeze setting in already. Before you're seduced by the chirpy tune of a passing ice cream truck, take a stab at this question: Which of these educational programs is based in St. Louis, Missouri?
A. The Frozen Dessert Institute B. The Ice Cream Academy C. The College of Custard D. The Institute for Ice Cream
Find out if you guessed correctly and learn some other trivia about frozen treats.

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Eat this Word: S'mores

S'moreWHAT? Treats we can't get enough of. Classically, s'mores are made from Graham crackers, Hershey bars, and store-bought marshmallows. They are the darlings of Girl Scouts and campers everywhere. The name, of course, derives from eager campers asking for "some more." Over the course of the last decade, the snack has gotten the gourmet treatment at upscale restaurants like the French Laundry. A recipe from 27 Standard (now closed), posted on Epicurious.com, instructs cooks to make their own Graham crackers, marshmallows, malt sauce, and frozen cocoa mousse. Whew! Who has the energy to sing around the campfire after whipping that up? In contrast, a recipe in the 1927 Girl Scout handbook had just three ingredients, and the chocolate of choice in our summer camp days was Hershey's milk chocolate bars. Then there's the Luna™ S'mores bar, made of soy nuggets, brown rice syrup, and decaffeinated green tea extract. That version would probably please 19th-century diet reformer Sylvester G

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Spring Pea Soup

A crew member tops shot glasses of spring pea soup with jamón ibérico froth during a dinner prepared by Mitchell Altholz of Highlawn Pavilion and the Manor in New Jersey.

June 1, 2009, The Beard House, NYC

(Photo by Bobbi Lin)

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On the Menu: June 21 to June 27

Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: 1beardhouse03amitzimorris1 Monday, June 22, 7:00 P.M. Artisanal European Wine Dinner Not long ago Shin Thompson and friends began hosting an underground dining club out of their tiny Chicago apartments; within a couple of years they had opened a restaurant. Today Bonsoirée thrills diners with carefully composed tasting menus, all of which feature chef Thompson’s imaginative French cuisine presented with Japanese precision. Tuesday, June 23, 7:00 P.M. Chefs of Steel At the D.C. area’s acclaimed 2941 restaurant, chefs Jonathan Krinn and Jon Mathieson won awards and accolades for their creative modern American cuisine. Now, as co-chefs of Inox (French for

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Tastebud: Introducing the Sudachi

Looking to put some pep on your plate? Consider the zesty sudachi, a prized Japanese citrus that remains largely unknown to American diners. Despite its humble size—its average weight hovers between one and one and a half ounces—a sudachi packs more zippy flavor than lemons or limes. The perfume of its skin fades as the fruit matures, so growers harvest the sudachi when still green and unripe. Japanese chefs use it to garnish sashimi and season grilled fish, soups, and hot pot dishes. Sudachi trees thrive in the warm, gentle climate of Tokushima, a prefecture on the southern coast of Japan, where they are a cheap commodity. But throughout the rest of the country sudachi are considered a delicacy and fetch sky-high prices. Beyond Japan’s borders, the fruit is rarely seen.

Fortunately, chefs who cooked at the Beard House this spring gave diners a taste without asking to see a passport: Asiate’s Brandon Kida served sudachi granita, while David Myers and Noriyuki Sugie paired sudachi with fluke sashimi. And next Monday, Shin Thompson of Chicago’s Boinsoirée will serve the citrus with sea beans, pickled radishes, duck skin, cucumber... Read more >

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Recipe: James Beard's Steak Pizzaiola

SteakThis saucy, savory steak is sure to impress your friends at your next weekend barbecue. In James Beard's Treasury of Outdoor Cooking, Beard suggests serving this grilled steak (which is then quickly simmered in a garlicky tomato sauce) with a side of buttered noodles (to soak up the sauce), a mixed salad with garlic croutons, and a bottle of Valpolicella.

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Recipe: James Beard's Steak Pizzaiola

SteakThis saucy, savory steak is sure to impress your friends at your next weekend barbecue. In James Beard's Treasury of Outdoor Cooking, Beard suggests serving this grilled steak (which is then quickly simmered in a garlicky tomato sauce) with a side of buttered noodles (to soak up the sauce), a mixed salad with garlic croutons, and a bottle of Valpolicella.

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