On the Menu: Porkapalooza

Tomorrow night we're bringing pigging out to a whole new level. For a special Greens event—part of our ongoing programming for foodies under 40—Sara Jenkins, Anita Lo, Nick Morgenstern, and Ryan Skeen are preparing a dinner that will feature pork in every course. The menu includes such porcine morsels like tête de cochon sandwiches, a baby pig tasting, and apple pie with a pork lard crust—and there will be plenty of premium beer and wine pairings to wash it all down. See the complete Porkapalooza menu here.

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Tastebud: An Encore for the Intermezzo

Intermezzi make a comeback at the James Beard House

Italian for “interval,” an intermezzo is an icy interlude, a small dish to be consumed between courses, rejuvenating the palate and prepping it for the rest of the meal. Also known as palate cleansers, intermezzi tend to be sorbets, granitas, or other icy treats that are usually flavored with fruit, especially highly acidic citrus. While the fat and salt of previous courses deaden your taste buds, acidity perks them up; following a couple of savory dishes with a spoonful of lemon sorbet is like hitting a “reset” button on your tongue. Auguste Escoffier encouraged chefs to serve sorbets or other ices between courses, which helped popularize the intermezzo in 19th-century Europe. (The French legend himself was fond of Punch Romaine, an alcoholic lemon–orange ice that refreshed the tongues of diners aboard the Titanic.)

Over the past year intermezzi have popped up on an unusually high number of Beard House menus. We've seen a wide range of f

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On the Menu: May 31 to June 6

Here’s what happening at the Beard House next week: 1beardhouse03amitzimorris1 Monday, June 1, 7:00 p.m. Bordeaux Wine Lovers’ Dinner Mitchell Altholz, Highlawn Pavilion and the Manor, West Orange, NJ Wednesday, June 3, 7:00 p.m. Luxurious Retreat Brian Lewis, The Farmhouse at the Bedford Post, Bedford, NY Thursday, June 4, 7:00 p.m. Key West Seafood Celebration Chris Otten and Owner/Wine Director Stuart Kemp, Nine One Five, Key West, FL Friday, June 5, 7:00 p.m. Sophisticated Summer Luncheon Philip Campanella, Liberty House Rest

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Q & A: Marc Vetri

Marc Vetri

JBF Award Winner Marc Vetri, who joined us at the Beard House last night to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his eponymous restaurant, answers our questions about lessons learned in the kitchen, artisanal products, and his least favorite food (it may surprise you).

James Beard Foundation: What would you eat for your last meal on earth? Marc Vetri: Pork, pork, and then maybe some pork. JBF: What’s your least favorite food? MV: Garlic. JBF: What’s your earliest food memory? MV: Sunday dinners at my grandmother’s. JBF: What life lessons have you learned in the kitchen? MV: Integrity, passion, diligence, comraderie, balance, self-respect, and humility. JBF: Why do you support local, artisanal producers? MV:... Read more >

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Plates of flourless chocolate cakes with dark chocolate–Grand Marnier truffle centers, milk chocolate domes, almond tuiles, and almond cream line the Beard House kitchen counter during Rossano Giannini's Tuscan dinner. May 15, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Erin Gleeson)

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Recipe: Carrot–Vadouvan Soup

Carrot–Vadouvan Soup

Named Chef of the Year by Esquire in 2008, Dominique Crenn is at the helm of San Francisco’s Luce, where she expertly prepares internationally influenced California cuisine. At her Beard House dinner this past February, Crenn served this sophisticated vegetarian soup, which is accented with vadouvan, a fragrant spice blend from southern India.

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Eat this Word: Conch

ConchWHAT? Multi-purpose mollusk. Over the centuries, Caribbean islanders have played tunes on the conch, drunk from it, made tools from it, adorned homes with it, used it as a primitive form of money, and--best of all--eaten it. "There is no doubt that since time immemorial, man has been breaking open conch shells in order to get at the succulent flesh inside," according to Culinaria, A Culinary Discovery: The Caribbean. The meat of this sea snail is tough and needs tenderizing with lime or by pounding before cooking. Its taste has been compared to clams and scallops. Conch, which propels itself along the ocean floor with its foot-like muscle, is used to make stews, chowders, and fritters. In the 17th century, the beautiful spiraled pink shell of the Queen Conch was prized in Europe. Today, entire conch orchestras make beautiful music in Key West at the island's annual Conch Blowing Contest. WHERE?

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Fried Kumamoto Oyster Nigiri

A fried kumamoto oyster with yuzu kosho aïoli and squid ink bubbles, one of many inventive nigiri sushi served by Tim Cushman of Boston's O Ya.

April 20, 2009, The Beard House, NYC

(Photo by Michael Johnston)

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Food Matters: Tongue Map

Tongue Map Beginning in the 1940s, images of the tongue map featuring four distinct tastes popped up in grade-school science classes, psychology textbooks, and wine-tasting notes, resulting in some head-scratching for those who’d noticed that the sensation of saltiness wasn’t limited to the tip of their tongues or sweet to the back. Several years ago, taste researcher Linda Bartoshuk set the record straight with her findings that show that all tastes are perceived on all areas of the tongue, and what’s more, taste is also sensed in other areas of the mouth, including the margin between the hard and soft palate and the throat. Still, the myth persists. Further debunking the map, it is now widely accepted that there is at least one more taste, umami, the pleasant savory taste provided by glutamic acid and alanine, and experts believe more taste discoveries are surely on the horizon.

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America's Classic: Yank Sing

Whether it’s a clam shack near the shore, a barbecue joint on the outskirts of town, or a sub shop on the busiest city street, chances are your favorite local restaurant is a James Beard Foundation America’s Classics Award winner. Each week at Delights & Prejudices we'll profile one of these classic restaurants. This time it's the Bay Area dim sum mainstay Yank Sing. Henry Chan has made it his life's work to "uplift dim sum." At San Francisco's Yank Sing he has been serving dim sum classics like har gow and Shanghai dumplings alongside newer innovations such as phoenix shrimp and cabbage salad with honeyed walnuts to thousands of diners every day for over half a century. His mother opened Yank Sing's

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