Eat This Word: Conch

 

WHAT? 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.

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2015 Women in Culinary Leadership Grants Now Available

2015 Women in Culinary Leadership Grants Now Available from the James Beard Foundation

 

The James Beard Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2015 Women in Culinary Leadership Grant. Women with at least two years of professional hospitality or culinary experience are encouraged to apply for a chance to participate in a six- or twelve-month mentor/grantee program with top industry leaders. The deadline is December 16, 2014.

 

Mentorship programs are available with the following chefs and restaurateurs:

 

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What We're Reading: November 12, 2014

 

Discover the difference between "sofrito" and "soffritto" with these infographics on aromatics. [FWF]

 

Unilever's lawsuit over mayo leads to a condiment identity crisis. [WaPo]

 

How Americans can be incentivized to eat more fresh, local produce. [NPR]

 

A debate on lexicon and labels: should "natural" be regulated the same way as "organic"? [NYT]

 

Business-minded foodies now have the ultimate academic haven at the Culinar... Read more >

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JBF Wants to Know: Hard Cider or Pumpkin Beer?

When the leaves start to change, what's your autumnal happy-hour order? Do you stick by the perennial pumpkin, or have you joined the cider trend? Vote for your seasonal quaff below!

 

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Expo Milano: USA Pavilion Flag Raising

 

Flag Raising at the future USA Pavilion in Milan

 

Last week, with the assistance of U.S. Consul General Philip T. Reeker, the American flag was raised atop the in-progress structure of the USA Pavilion at next year's Expo Milano. Taking place May 1–October 31, Expo Milano will be the first world's fair to focus exclusively on food. The James Beard Foundation, along with the International Culinary Center, is leading the conception and buildout of USA Pavilion, whose theme will be American Food 2.0. Be sure to check out the USA Pavilion website, which will launch its own blog later this week.

 

View our complete archive of Expo Milano coverage.

 

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What We're Reading: November 11

 

A Connectticut town removes its final remnants of Prohibition. [NYT]

 

Up your brining expertise in time for Thanksgiving. [Epicurious

 

Would you drink Doritos-flavored soda? [Eater

 

Le Laboratoire: bringing edible packaging to a store near you. [NPR

 

Check out this season's hottest new restaurants from around the country. [... Read more >

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Eye Candy: Roasted Lamb Chops with Polenta and Smoked Chiles

Roasted Lamb Chops with Crunchy Polenta and Smoked Chiles

 

After honing his skills as Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s youngest-ever sous chef and Nougatine’s executive chef, Westchester native Beck Bolender has returned to his roots at the newly revamped One Twenty One, where he has rebooted the menu with an innovative, globe-spanning selection of small plates. At his recent Beard House dinnerBolender treated guests to a luxurious six-course tasting menu of his signature elegant fare—including this spectacular treat: roasted lamb chops with crunchy polenta and smoked chiles. This robust, juicy, stick-to-your-ribs dish emerged as favorite among Beard House diners and is sure to have Manhattanites hopping on the commuter rail to Westchester county for an encore feast.  

 

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Awards Watch: 2015 Book Award Entries Due December 15

2015 James Beard Book Award Entries Due December 15

 

With the 2015 Book Award submission deadline a little over a month away, our shelves are starting to crowd with cookbooks and other food-themed works on every imaginable subject,  including the foods of Texas, the Brooklyn craft-spirits scene, and bourbon-soaked desserts. If last year's submissions are a reliable gauge, we're expecting more than 150 entries to land in the JBF offices the coming weeks.

 

Want to add yours to the mix? The deadline for 2015 Book Award submissions is Monday, December 15. You can submit entries here. Reacquaint yourself with all James Beard Award categories here.

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What We're Reading: November 10, 2014

 

Tips on how to rock your gravy boat this Thanksgiving. [Daily Meal]

 

With organic foods growing in popularity, Whole Foods aims to be bigger and better, nationwide. [WaPo]

 

The myths and truths of the cast iron skillet. [Serious Eats]

 

Get more out of your spaghetti squash than just faux noodles. [Bon Appétit]

 

Iberian Double Stuf: introducing the Oreo churro. [GrubStreet]

 

How Modern Farmer magazine came to... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Native Dancer

Native Dancer cocktail from Pouring Ribbons

 

Feeling weary from the workweek? Brighten your Friday evening with a little tiki-inspired magic from the mixology masters at New York City's acclaimed Pouring Ribbons. The aptly named Native Dancer riffs on the ubiquitous daiquiri while adding welcome notes of citrus, cinnamon, and kaffir lime. According to owner/bartender Joaquín Simó, “Don the Beachcomber (the inventor of Tiki) famously stated that what one rum can't do, three rums can. I decided to one-up him and stretch that to four rums.” We recommend making large batches of the cinnamon bark syrup and Don's mix, so you can keep the building blocks for this vibrant cocktail on hand and drift off to your imaginary island paradise as frequently as you like. Get the recipe.

 

Elena North-Kelly is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find h... Read more >

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