Awards Watch: Meet the 2014 America's Classics

Meet the 2014 America's Classics

 

Today we're excited to announce the recipients of one of our most popular awards: the America's Classics! This honor is given to regional establishments, often family-owned, that are treasured for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal. Read on to learn more about our 2014 America's Classics. (Read the full press release here.)

 

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Hansen’s Sno Bliz, New Orleans (Owner: Ashley Hansen)

 

The snow-ball, one of the city’s iconic desserts was practically invented at Hansen’s. Made of shaved-to-order ice, a Hansen’s snow-ball -- which the family calls a Sno Bliz -- comes doused in house-made syrups that run an extraordinary gamut of flavors.

 

Ernest Hansen built one of the first electric ice-shaving machines, receiving a patent from the US government for his crea... Read more >

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Daily Digest: February 27, 2014

cans

 

Think the big-name brands always outsell store brands? Think again. [WP]

 

Michelle Obama's initiative to curb childhood obesity to target junk-food marketing in schools. [WSJ]

 

New study shows that BPA, the chemical found in plastics that allegedly causes cancer, may actually be safe. [NPR]

 

In case you ever were ever torn between breakfast or lunch at Taco Bell, the chain's new the Waffle Taco hybrid is your solution. [... Read more >

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A Pot of Beans

Recipe for White Bean and Sausage Stew

 

The ultimate cold-weather food? A big pot of beans bubbling on the stove. Add a loaf of crusty bread and a bowl of mixed greens and you've got a meal comforting enough to brighten even the dreariest of winter days. 

 

White Bean and Sausage Stew 

This simple and satisfying stew couldn't be easier to make. For an extra hit of flavor, throw a diced Parmesan rind in with the kale. 

 

Salumi-Braised Beans 

A crowd-pleasing, hearty dish made with four types of cured meat. 

 

Black Bean and Squash Soup ... Read more >

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What’s a Vegetable?

rhubarb

 

Even the most hapless of cooks can take comfort in their ability to distinguish vegetables from fruits. Or can they? Maybe they already know about the tomato, the most famous crossover produce item. But we’re not sure if they’d correctly label eggplant (botanically classified as a fruit), rhubarb (a vegetable), or corn (every individual kernel, a fruit!). Even in this kale-cultivar-fluent era, our basic crisper-drawer taxonomy is still pretty out of whack.

 

What makes a vegetable a vegetable? There’s no hard and fast rule, but fruits are easier to define. The giveaway is seeds: botanists say that seeds are ripened ovules (i.e., eggs), which nest in ovaries that ripen into fruit. Cucumbers, bell peppers, avocados—all fruit.

 

Of course, the field guide should never dictate the fate of flavor. (Salty rhubarb? No thanks.) In the kitchen, good taste always rules.

 

 

About the author: Anna Mowry is senior editor at the James B... Read more >

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JBF Honored with 2014 Spirit of Hospitality Award

 

We would like to thank the Destination & Travel Foundation, a complementary organization to Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), for selecting JBF as the 2014 recipient of its annual Spirit of Hospitality Award! This honor—"the highest recognition presented annually to individuals and organizations that show exceptional dedication and commitment to the travel and tourism industry"—was bestowed last week at the annual Destination & Travel Foundation Dinner & Dream Auction at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

 

On top of a multicourse tasting presented by acclaimed chefs and winemakers, the event also presented the below video, which highlights our work and stars our friend and JBF Award winner Ted Allen. You can watch more clips from the award ceremony on DMAI's YouTube channel.

 

... Read more >

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Daily Digest: February 25, 2014

cheddar cheese

 

Everything you need to know about cheddar, the most popular cheese in the world. [Boston Globe]

 

Buddha's hand: it looks freaky, but actually has many uses in the kitchen. [Smithsonian]

 

Los Angelenos, you now have a chance to eat a cronut without hopping on a plane to New York. [LAT]

 

How is California's drought affecting the state's grass-fed beef industry? There's not very much grass to eat. [SFGate]

 

Five beers to sample... Read more >

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Valuing Vegetables

The James Beard Foundation reports on the rise of vegetable cookery


No longer sidelined, produce is having its moment.

 

“Pretty disheartening” is how Amanda Cohen described the limp, bland roasted vegetables placed in front of her at some of New York City’s top tables in the early aughts. Though at the time farmers’ markets and Whole Foods were busy making kohlrabi and rainbow chard mainstream, most restaurants had yet to embrace plant-centered cooking.

 

“If someone was a vegetarian,” recalls New York–based food critic Ryan Sutton, who was a waiter during this same period, “you either gave them pasta or the chef put together a couple of side dishes, called it a main course, and charged $18.”

 

Fast-forward directly to 2014 and vegetable menus aren’t just for vegetarians anymore. Among adventurous epicures, cauliflower steaks are as much in demand as aged rib-eyes, and you can blow your paycheck on a vegetable tasting menu at any number of the country’s top re... Read more >

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Join Us at the Kids Food Festival This Weekend!

 

Kids Food Festival

 

 

The James Beard Foundation is a proud partner of the Kids Food Festival, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday at New York City’s Bryant Park. Presented by the Creative Kitchen, the weekend will be full of delicious activities dedicated to educating families about making balanced food choices that foster lifelong wholesome eating. Little epicures and their parents can attend hands-on cooking classes in the James Beard Foundation Future Foodies Pavilion, where renowned chefs like Carla Hall, Jehangir Mehta, and Candice Kumai will share their recipes, skills, and love for all things culinary. Our own Izabela Wojcik and Victoria Jordan will host a class and demonstrate the recipe for James Beard’s Orange and Almond Cake Parfait.

 

The festival also includes free activities like the Balanced Plate Scavenger Hunt, where kids bounce between exhibitors and activities to samp... Read more >

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Daily Digest: February 24, 2014

beer

 

Everything you need to know about the various styles of hop-heavy IPAs. [LAT]

 

Using ice cream licks and electronic sensors, these musicians are making some sweet music. [Wired]

 

From a Chinese public-health conference to dinner tables worldwide: the history of the Lazy Susan. [Smithsonian

 

Proposed regulations of common farming practices have organic growers angry about potential new expenses and limitations. [LAT]

 ... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: Vedge

Vedge

 

If there’s anyone who knows his vegetables, it’s chef Richard Landau. His mission to make vegetables that appeal to a carnivore’s palate has been wildly successful—he cooked the first vegan dinner at the Beard House and, along with wife Kate Jacoby, opened the acclaimed vegetarian restaurant, Vedge, in Philadelphia. The duo’s new cookbook, Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking, offers innovative recipes, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and useful tips to help any cook extract the most flavor and satisfaction out of a plant-based diet. Below, Richard shares his advice for taking the veggie plunge.

 

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JBF: What are some essential pantry items for a vegetarian or vegetable-focused home cook?

 

Richard Landau: A great olive oil, fresh herbs, quality spices, and a great stock are essential. But most important, all of your ingredients should be high quality. When cooking without animal products, you don’t have meat fats, but... Read more >

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