2015 America's Classics: Guelaguetza



3014 West Olympic Boulevard, Los Angeles

Owners: The Lopez Family


Guelaguetza, founded by Fernando Lopez in 1994, is the center of Oaxacan life in Los Angeles and the setting for countless quinceañeras, weddings, and anniversaries. A big sprawling place in Koreatown, it features live music on a bandstand most nights. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant draws both homesick Oaxacans and outlanders in search of honest Oaxacan foods. Bricia Lopez, one of the four children of Fernando Lopez and Maria de Jesus, now runs the restaurant along with her brother, Fernando Lopez Jr., and their sister Paulina Lopez. They have added a mezcal bar and often bring in top producers from Mexico for seminars. The real star remains the soulful Oaxacan dishes, including huevos enfrijolados, tamales steamed in banana leaves with mole, bowls of goat stew, and big rounds of tlayudas, baked flour tortillas topped with semi-dri... Read more >

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2015 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Melman

The Lifetime Achievement award is given to an individual whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and/or think about food in America.


Restaurateur Richard Melman has always given his three children the same advice: find something you’re truly passionate about and then work diligently at it. “It’s hard when you do things just for money,” he says. Especially, he notes, if you work in restaurants. “The restaurant business is too difficult if you’re not in love with it.”


Melman would know better than almost anyone. The founder and chairman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, he currently oversees more than 100 restaurants nationwide. But even though he got his start in the business early, helping out in his family’s eatery as a child and working at a soda fountain as a teenager, Melman wasn’t always convinced that the restaurant life was for him.


“I backed into the industry,” he says. “I was a horrible student; I quit college b... Read more >

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Winner Recap!


Best Chef: Northeast: Barry Maiden, Hungry Mother, Cambridge, MA


Best Chef: Midwest: Gerard Craft, Niche, Clayton, MO


Outstanding Baker: Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery, NYC


Rising Star Chef of the Year: Jessica Largey, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

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2015 America's Classics: Sally Bell’s Kitchen


Sally Bell’s Kitchen

708 West Grace Street, Richmond, VA

Owners: Martha Crowe Jones And Scott Jones


Sarah Cabell Jones met Elizabeth Lee Milton at the Richmond Exchange for Woman’s Work. Founded in 1883, the Richmond Exchange sold handmade goods produced by women. Jones and Milton opened Sally Bell’s Kitchen (then called Sarah Lee Kitchen) in 1924. By 1985 Martha Crowe Jones, the fourth-generation family proprietor, had taken the reins. Each generation of Jones women has proved a faithful steward of this beacon of female entrepreneurship. Sally Bell’s is a take-away operation. Step to the counter and order a chicken salad or egg salad sandwich, among other options. The counterwoman will hand you a white pasteboard box, tied with twine. Inside, along with your order, will be a paper cup of potato salad or macaroni salad, a deviled egg wrapped in tissue, a cheese wafer crowned with a pecan, and a cupcake enrobed in glaze. All will taste like... Read more >

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Interview with Chris Gould of Central Provisions, Nominated for Best New Restaurant

Photo: Meredith Purdue


It's hard to get more local than Portland, Maine's Central Provisions: the kitchen sources ingredients from regional farmers, foragers, and fishmongers, and the entire restaurant was built and decorated by Maine craftsman. We spoke with chef/co-owner Chris Gould (whose wife, Paige Gould, manages the front of house) to explore how the seasonal restaurant has handled acclaim, the challenges of a Maine winter, and Portland's burgeoning dining scene.




JBF: You’ve both worked in restaurants for many years. What experiences have each of you brought to the table?


CG: Attention to detail is the biggest thing. It’s something you only can develop through years of work.

JBF: The menu and space feature lots of products and details from Maine-based craftsmen. Can you talk about how local artisans are expressed in the food and t... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: Cristian Rebolledo


Coming up on Wednesday, May 6th, you have the chance to sail away to the impossibly serene Turks and Caicos Islands thanks to chef Cristian Rebolledo. Every bite of his vibrant island fare will transport you to this tropical wonderland of white-sand beaches and turquoise seas. Below, some of our favorite quotes from an exclusive interview with Rebolledo of Alexandra Resort, Blue Haven, and Kitchen 218 at Beach House:




What is your inspiration behind the menu for this Beard House event?
I use creativity, inspiration, and the freshest ingredients while paying attention to the latest technologies and trends to get the best results. I use artistic presentation to create a connection between the food and the guest.


What's a dish on your Beard House event menu that you're especially excited about or proud of, and why?
The red ceviche with... Read more >

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Interview with Ludo Lefebvre of Best New Restaurant Nominee Petit Trois

Petit Trois is a 2015 Best New Restaurant Nominee


It's tempting to refer to Ludo Lefebvre's ​Petit Trois as the little sister to his Trois Mec, but this Hollywood spot is a fully formed homage to Parisian bistro culture, from the space's feel-good, lively ambiance to the kitchen's technically precise omelette. Read on for Lefebvre's insights on his 2015 Best New Restaurant nominee. 




JBF: What made you want to open this restaurant? Had you been wanting to do a bistro? It’s a familiar concept—what details did you particularly care about getting right?


LL: I really wanted to do a restaurant with classic French food. I miss that a lot, as well as the ambiance. I wanted a little bistro where you know everybody and where you feel like you're in Paris, where life is happening, where there's magic, where there's good energy. No tables, just counters.The food is obv... Read more >

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Awards Prep: How to Tie a Bow Tie with Alton Brown


The red carpet's rolled out, the Champagne flutes are polished, and the meticulous food prep is underway. We're ready for you! But are you ready for us? The gowns and tuxedos may have already been selected, but what about the accessories? Gentlemen, don't get yourself in a twist: we've got you covered.


James Beard isn't the only culinary icon who has famously approved of the bow tie as a fashion statement (he often topped off his large, patterned suits with his most beloved accessory). Television personality and our 2015 James Beard Awards master of ceremonies Alton Brown can often be found sporting one—and, apparently, not just... Read more >

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What We're Reading: May 4, 2015


Cook up some celebratory recipes for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta. [NYT


Why Chipotle's new slogan "G-M-Over It" could just be a marketing scheme. [NPR


The Bon Appétit editors pack up and eat their way across the country. [Bon Appétit


Talk about mystery meat: pork from 2009 was served in Tennessee schools this past week. [FWF


Are we overloading on protein? [... Read more >

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Interview with Rajat Parr, Nominated for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional


Vintner and sommelier Rajat Parr can point to the exact vineyard and vintage of wine that changed his life, setting him on the path toward his nomination for this year's James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional. We spoke with him about that seminal sip and his current adventures in winemaking.




JBF: You've had a multi-faceted career in wine: the wine director for a restaurant group, part owner in a wine bar, and winemaker. How do you balance it all?


Rajat Parr: I am a full-time winemaker now. We have two vineyards: Domaine de la Cote in Santa Barbara and Seven Springs in Oregon. I oversee the wine programs within the Mina Group, but do not work on daily operations. The same is for [the San Francisco wine bar and restaurant] RN74. We have a great team that makes sure the restaurants are successful. I live in Santa Barbara now. It's quite a change, but after working in restaurants for 18 years, it's a good change.

 ... Read more >

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