Nancy Silverton, Sandwich Hero

 

“One of the great American arts,” wrote James Beard, “is the art of sandwichmaking.” Were he alive today, Beard would be happy to find that one of his favorite culinary mediums is thriving. And he’d probably thank Nancy Silverton.

 

In the late 1990s Silverton, already well known for her work at La Brea Bakery and inspired by the abundance and creativity of the sandwiches she ate on a trip to Italy, started dedicating Thursday nights to sandwiches at Campanile, the seminal, high-end Los Angeles restaurant that she opened with chef Mark Peel.       

 

“I had always loved a great sandwich,” says Silverton. “But the trip to Italy was eye-opening. It was like, ‘Wow! Here is this great thing that nobody is doing in this country.’”

 

After returning to the States, Silverton launched the weekly sandwich night at Campanile. It was one of the first times that a four-star, award-winning chef had lavished so much attention on the humble s... Read more >

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What We're Reading: August 5, 2014

 

Caviar poaching in the land-locked Midwest? [Medium]

 

A day in the life of a London food delivery cyclist. [Miracle of Feeding Cities]

 

Harvard scientists reveal the surprisingly diverse world of cheese rind microbes. [Wired

 

USDA expands the definition of “processed foods,” placing frozen fruit and Twinkies... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Hoecake

Hoe Cakes

Johnnycakes, ashcakes, battercakes, corn cakes, cornpone, jurney cakes, jonakin, jonikins, Shawnee cakes, and hoecakes (or hoe cakes) are all regional variations of flatbreads made with cornmeal, water, and salt. Since Native Americans showed the Pilgrims how to cook with corn, they are also most likely to have taught them how to make these precursors of our modern-day pancake. Hoe cakes were, as Culinaria United States notes, “supposedly created by slaves who cooked ‘journey’ cake batter on their hoes under the hot sun while working in the fields.” The original three-ingredient recipe has evolved during the last 400 years, and eggs, oil, butter, and even baking powder are now standard in most recipes. You can of course opt for a mix, but Aunt Jemima prefers wheat to cornmeal. Whichever recipe you use, the frying pan has become the cooking utensil of preference.

 

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Recipe: A Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich

A Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich

 

August is National Sandwich Month, so our programming here at Delights & Prejudices is switching to all things sammy.

 

To kick off our theme, we're reaching into the JBF Book Award archive for a sandwich from 2009's Cookbook of the Year, Fat, by chef, food stylist, and fat advocate Jennifer McLagan. Supported by common sense and science, McLagan comes to the defense of an often maligned ingredient, arguing that fat is an indispensable nutrient and flavor enhancer. The book features recipes that cleverly employ oil, butter, or animal fats, such as her Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich, which is slathered with a bacon fat–enriched mayonnaise.

 ... Read more >

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What We're Reading: August 4, 2014

Sundae

 

Dominique Ansel is at it again with a canned ice cream sundae. [Grub Street

 

It's a boat, it's a food truck, it's Nauti Foods! [Washington City Paper

 

José Andrés shares his top watermelon recipes for perfect summer treats. [National Geographic

 

South Korean activists send a sweet peace offering to North Korean factory workers. [Food Beast

 

The lowdown on heirloom tomatoes. [... Read more >

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Happy Hour: The Vermouth Cassis Cocktail

Vermouth Cassis cocktail, courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

 

"An ideal summer drink" according to James Beard, this fetching cocktail is anchored in French vermouth and club soda, with a whisper of crème de cassis to balance the bitter fortified wine. The next time you're in the mood for an Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, club soda), take the Vermouth Cassis for a spin.

 

Get the recipe.

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Sustainability Matters: August 1, 2014

 

A French supermarket chain aims to cut food waste by making “ugly” fruits and vegetables fashionable—and it’s working. [Grist]

 

Representative Rosa DeLaura has introduced a sugar-sweetened beverages tax act, known as the SWEET Act, in an effort to decrease soda consumption and raise funds for programs to combat diet-related disease. [Food Politics]

 

General Mills has released a new set of climate policies to cut emissions and reduce deforestation. [Mother Jones]

 

2014 could be the driest year in almost a century for California. Some scientists believe the drought could last for a decade or more, wreaki... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of August 4

Wine Glasses

 

Monday, August 4, 6:00 P.M 
Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner: New Orleans 
If you’re interested in hosting a benefit or would like to learn more, please contact Diane Harris Brown at dhbrown@jamesbeard.org or 212.627.1128. Proceeds support the Foundation’s scholarships and culinary programs.

 

Monday, August 4, 7:00 P.M 
Celebrity Chef Tour: Washington, D.C 
For reservations or more information, please visit celebritycheftour.com. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Julie Marshall at 212.633.9145 or jmarshall@jamesbeard.org

 

Tuesday, August 5, 7:00 P.M 
The Mission Gem 
“On every dish, Des Voignes and his team surprise the palate,” wrote San Francisco Chronicle critic Michael Bauer in his three-st... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Tom Colicchio at Chefs & Champagne '91

Colicchio

 

Here's Tom Colicchio at 1991's Chefs & Champagne, where he prepared grilled squab pastrami with caraway foccacia and corn relish. That year's benefit was held at the Water Mill estate on August 24.

 

Chefs & Champagne now takes place at Wölffer Estate Vineyard, but the rest of the formula endures: talented chefs, elegant food, and endless bubbly. Check out pictures from this year's event on our Facebook page

 

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Eat This Word: Burrata

Burrata

 

WHAT? On the outside, burrata appears to be fresh mozzarella. But the inside holds a surprise—an unctuous mix of cream and cheese curds. Burrata originated in Apulia and Basilicata in southern Italy and is one of several pasta filata cheeses. These cheeses—mozzarella, provolone, and cacicovallo are examples—begin with the formation of curd. The curd is heated in hot water so that it becomes melted and smooth, and then stretched, which forms the characteristically smooth surface. Burrata can also be filled with butter or a butter-and-sugar paste, hence its name. Another variation is Burrata di Andria, which is wrapped in the leaves of the aromatic asphodel plant, a member of the lily family.​

 

WHERE? The Rich Table 

 

WHEN? August 12, 2014 

 

HOW? Burrata with Strawberry Gazpacho and Chicken Skin​

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