America's Classics: Donnie Madia on Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap

Photo by Galdones Photography


Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap

Tucked away on a residential side street in what remains of Chicago’s Little Italy, Tufano’s Vernon Park Tap has been owned and operated by the same family since Joseph DiBuono and Theresa Tufano DiBuono opened their barroom in 1930. The original small table in the bar’s kitchen, where Joseph DiBuono worked his culinary magic, has since expanded to include two dining rooms that are regularly packed with businessmen, police officers, families, and pregame sports fans. Today the restaurant is run by Joey DiBuono, the grandson of the original owners, and he has maintained many of the details that ground Tufano’s in its history: chalkboard menus, a cash-only policy, and hearty Italian-American fare like fried calamari, eggplant Parmesan, and the DiBuono family’s legendary lemon chi... Read more >

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Ask the Chefs: San Antonio's Jeff Balfour and Les Locke Jr. on Great Brews and Texas Eats


Set in the historic former home of the Pearl Brewery, San Antonio’s Southerleigh combines modern coastal cuisine, Southern comfort fare, and housemade craft beers. Chef Jeff Balfour and brewmaster Les Locke Jr. will join us at the Beard House to treat guests to an evening of tempting flavors and robust brews. In anticipation of their event, we chatted with this dynamite duo about their Beard House menu inspiration, their favorite places to chow down in Texas, and why they always try to lead by example.




What is your inspiration behind the menu for this Beard House event?

Jeff Balfour: The inspiration behind the menu is to highlight the dish... Read more >

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Recipe: James Beard's Garlic Soup


Pungent garlic takes on a sweeter, more mellow disposition in this comforting, simple soup by the one and only Mr. James Beard. While the recipe calls for 30 cloves of the powerful allium, it softens into a creamy and aromatic version of its former self after simmering in a flavorful bath of chicken stock, fat, and spices. Egg yolks and fragrant olive oil are whisked in the final stage to give this inviting soup body and richness—and served in a big bowl along with some crusty bread, these basic pantry ingredients are transformed into a warming weeknight meal.


Get the recipe for James Beard's simple garlic soup.


Hungry for more? View our entire recipe collection.

 ... Read more >

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Sponsored Post: Announcing the 2016 Blended Burger Project™

Announcing the 2016 Blended Burger Project™


There’s ‘shroom for improvement in your favorite burger.


This summer, chefs nationwide will be re-imagining the classic American burger when they take part in our Blended Burger Project™, a competition challenging chefs to blend mushrooms with meat to create a more delicious, nutritious and sustainable burger.


Starting Memorial Day weekend, expect to see blended burgers on menus from the following chefs:


  • Hugh Acheson (5&10, The National, The Florence and Empire State South, all in Georgia)
  • Jenn Louis (Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, Portland, OR)
  • Jehangir Mehta (Graffiti, Me and You and Mehtaphor, NYC)
  • Mike Rakun (Marin, Minneapolis)
  • Maria Hines (Tilth, Seattle)
  • Alex Seidel (Fruition, Denver)
  • Tim Byres (SMOKE, Dallas)
  • Bernie Kantak (The Gladly, Phoenix)

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On the Menu: Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Here’s a taste of what’s on tap today at the Beard House.

Bay Area Buzz, 7:00 P.M.
Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow, Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, Aatxe, Café du Nord, Central Kitchen, flour + water, and Salumeria, San Francisco

Three-time JBF Rising Star Chef award nominee Thomas McNaughton and Mugaritz alum Ryan Pollnow of the hot San Francisco restaurant group Ne Timeas are joining forces to bring a taste of the Bay Area, their creative concepts, and their extensive travels to the James Beard House. Expect an ocean-hopping menu that draws from McNaughton’s and Pollnow’s passion for Italian and Basque cuisines while highlighting the elevated techniques that have won their restaurants such acclaim. Featuring dishes such as Cabbage Chips with Beef Tartare, Horseradish, and ChilesRamp–Ricotta Agn... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Lardo


WHAT? Chewing the fat. Though Corby Kummer described lardo as "heaven on bread" in a 2005 New York Times article, this porky product is actually made from the layer of fat located directly under a pig's skin, which is then seasoned and cured. For most Americans, a slice of pork fat wasn't always the most appetizing antipasto, but in recent years this delicious Italian delicacy has been winning over fans on this side of the Atlantic, thanks in part to celebrity chefs like Mario Batali, whose lardo pizza at his NYC eatery Otto has become a favorite of critics and diners alike. After all, what self-respecting carnivore can argue with paper-thin slices of seasoned, glistening, translucent fat delicately draped over pizza dough—or any other carbohydrate for that matter? But in Italy, long before it was the ingredient del giorno, lardo was traditionally peasant fare, made from the fat that remained after the pig was butchered an... Read more >

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Recipe: Truffle–Ricotta Panna Cotta with Lamb's Lettuce


We see a lot of chefs making panna cotta at the James Beard House. It's easy to see why: since the dish requires several hours of chilling in order for the gelatin to set, it's an obvious make-ahead dessert for a large crowd. At Sean Woods's Beard House event, he brought panna cotta over to the savory side, combining the requisite cream with a premium ricotta and some truffle oil. To offset the richness, Woods garnishes the starter with crisp lamb's lettuce and matchsticks of quick-pickled radishes.


Get the recipe here.


Hungry for more? View our entire ... Read more >

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America's Classics: Nancy Oakes on Duarte's Tavern

Photo by James Collier


Duarte’s Tavern
Pescadero, CA


Duarte’s has always been a destination; I probably went there for the first time in the early ’60s with my parents. Our coast up here is foggy a lot, or else it's sunny until 2 P.M. and then this frostbiting fog comes rolling in and everybody has to leave their beach day and head for some place where they can get something warm and wonderful. So you go to Duarte's and you have artichoke soup and some sand dabs and a berry pie.  


Photo by James Collier


The lesson that Duarte’s has to teach all of us is sense of place: you’re in the artichoke fields, you're right by the ocean where the sand dabs co... Read more >

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Happy Hour: Sarma's Gin Mare Cocktail


With winter in our rearview mirror, we can finally welcome spring with open arms. We think that deserves a toast, and we've got the perfect recipe for it. Brandon Rucker, beverage director of neighborhood darling Sarma in Somerville, Massachusetts, recently brought his skills to the Beard House when he joined his colleague (and 2016 JBF Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Northeast) Cassie Piuma for a modern Middle Eastern feast. Rucker paired this elegant, refreshing cocktail with Piuma's seven-layer hummus for a crowd-pleasing course that mixed seasonal ingredients with the flavors of the Fertile... Read more >

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Next Week at JBF


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


Tuesday, March 29, 7:00 P.M.

Bay Area Buzz

Three-time JBF Rising Star Chef award nominee Thomas McNaughton and Mugaritz alum Ryan Pollnow of the hot San Francisco restaurant group Ne Timeas are joining forces to bring a taste of the Bay Area, their creative concepts, and their extensive travels to the James Beard House.


Thursday, March 31, 7:00 P.M.

Southern Sophisticate

Get a taste of Jason McConnell‘s white-hot Southern cuisine when the esteemed chef heads north to the Beard House. He’ll celebrate a decade of spectacular service and exemplary food with a sophisticated menu that pays homage to McConnell’s Tennessee heritage. 


Friday, April... Read more >

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JBF Kitchen Cam