Q&A with Matt John Wells of Fung Tu

Photo by Todd Carroll

 

You won’t find chicken lo mein or chop suey at Fung Tu, the Chinese-American hot spot earning raves from the New York Times and Eater. Instead, chef Matt John Wells (alongside chef/owner Jonathan Wu) integrate the breadth of the American culinary spirit into the Chinese oeuvre, turning out inspired creations like “china-quiles,” which transforms ma po tofu into the classic Mexican brunch dish. Wells and Wu are bringing their elevated fusion fare to our upcoming Chefs & Champagne®. We sat down with Wells to get his take on his C&C debut, summer favorites, and what he thinks defines a chef’s personal cuisine.

 

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JBF: What is the inspiration behind your dish for Chefs & Champagne?

 

MJW: It was kind of on the fly! We had to... Read more >

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Reel Food: Behind the Scenes at the Beard House with the Berkshires' Nicholas Moulton and Daire Rooney

 

Long before farm-to-table was a food culture buzzword, the Berkshires were renowned as a treasure trove of producers and farmers. The region’s restaurants continue to benefit from this legacy, including local hotspots Allium and Mezze. At their recent Beard House dinner, Mezze's Nicholas Moulton and Allium’s Daire Rooney brought the Berkshires to Manhattan, highlighting the delicate and delectable fare of the area’s first thaw. Diners were introduced to the region’s vast bounty through a locally-sourced menu that ranged from bread to pheasant to local cheese. Watch the video above to go behind the scenes at the dinner, learn how a seasonal restaurant copes in the winter, and discover the surprising link between chefs, tattoos, and produce.

 

 

To learn more about upcoming events, ... Read more >

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What We're Reading: July 7, 2015

 

Use this grocery delivery app to avoid the crazy lines for smoked salmon at Zabar's. [NYT]

 

The history of ice: how an unfathomable luxury became a daily necessity. [MUNCHIES]

 

April Bloomfield teaches us how to conquer some of summer's strangest farmers' market veggies. [NPR]

 ... Read more >

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Q&A with Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy

 

Amanda Cohen does not run a vegetarian restaurant. Instead, Dirt Candy, her perennially packed New York City hot spot, is a palace for produce, simultaneously a shrine to and science lab for the myriad possibilities of vegetable-based cooking. Cohen is taking her green thumb to the Hamptons for the 25th anniversary of our Chefs & Champagne® fundraiser, so we chatted with her about moving to “Big Candy,” the public’s appetite for vegetables, and what’s she’s bringing to Wölffer Estate Vineyard.

 

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JBF: What is the inspiration behind your dish for Chefs & Champagne?

 

AC: I’m serving one of Dirt Candy’s most iconic dishes: tomato! It’s tomatoes with smoked feta, tomato cake, and tomato leather. A long time ago, I was developing a tomato dessert, but rapidly realized that I could have a lot more fun making... Read more >

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Eye Candy: CakeSpy's Things That Ice Cream Does Not Like

Art by Jessie Oleson Moore

 

We may all scream for ice cream, but have you ever thought about how it feels on the other end of the cone? Fortunately, CakeSpy’s Jessie Oleson Moore has braved brain freeze to explore the psychological disposition of your average scoop and swirl. 

 

July is National Ice Cream Month! Get the pint-by-pint on all our content here.

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What We're Reading: July 6, 2015

 

Guac-a-purists beware: these recipes may offend your sensibilities. [Food52

 

Serious Eats’s ice cream expert busts some persistent churning myths. [Serious Eats

 

Drink like an Egyptian this summer by choosing low-alcohol brews. [The Atlantic

 

Julia Child’s Georgetown home is on the market. [Curbed

 

You’ll need gouda credit to qualify: one Italian bank accepts cheese as loan collateral. [FWF] ... Read more >

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On the Menu: Week of July 6

 

Here’s what’s coming up at the James Beard House and around the country:

 

Tuesday, July 7, 7:00 P.M.

Boston Softshell Crab Blowout

Who better to headline our annual softshell crab extravaganza than a group of wicked talented Boston-area chefs? They’ll be collaborating on a bold, New England–inspired menu featuring the limited-time-only, crave-worthy crustacean in every savory course.

 

Wednesday, July 8, 12:00 P.M.

Beard on Books

Ex-pat Elizabeth Bard thought she had the life of her dreams with a gorgeous French husband and a home in the heart of Paris, but a chance trip to Prov... Read more >

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Trending: July and August at the Beard House

 

Arguably the most compelling part about dining at James Beard’s historic townhouse in New York City’s West Village is experiencing the constantly evolving snapshot of what’s happening in restaurants around the country. Over 250 nights per year, celebrated chefs from coast to coast take the stage in our kitchen, preparing one-night-only menus that showcase their culinary style. 

 

Summer is in full swing because here at the Beard House, menus are bursting with heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, and watermelon in ways we never imagined (watermelon butter, anyone?). In July and August we're featuring the renowned international cuisines of Oaxaca, Lima, Austria, as well as chefs and restaurants closer to home—Indianapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Virginia Beach. We caught up with JBF director of house programming Izabela Wojcik to fill us in on what's trending this month.

 

 ... Read more >

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Recipe: Miso Butterscotch Sundae

 

Whether you prefer your ice cream unadorned, handheld, or decked out in sensational sundae style, our selection of recipes from JBF Award winners are guaranteed to please fans of all flavors. Next up:

 

Miso Butterscotch Sundae

JBF Award Winner Christina Tosi
Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC

 

Christina Tosi first created the unusual, slightly savory topping for this sundae when building the dessert menu for the Momofuku restaurant group. Seeking to bridge dinner and dessert, Tosi incorporated the flavor profile of the restaurants’ main dishes by transforming basic pantry staples into a sweet, salty, umami butterscotch-like spread... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Surprising Scoops at the Beard House

 

From sour cream sorbet to toasted sassafras ice cream, unusual frozen treats are all the rage at upcoming Beard House events. In his Spring 1996 Beard House Magazine article, “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for… Crab Ice Cream?”, former JBF associate editor Adam Rapoport, whom we all now know as Bon Appétit's editor-in-chief, reported on a similar phenomena. Check out some of the funky flavors that appeared at Beard House dinners in 1996, then continue reading for a preview of the innovative ice creams at our upcoming events.

 

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Survey the variety of ice creams recently served at the Beard House, and the notion of 31 Flavors seems quaint. Filling in for strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla have been tempting tastes like saffron, cardamom, and Amarene sherry. At his Discovery Series dinner on January 31, Bruce Cooper of Jake’s in Philadelphi... Read more >

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