Now that we've revealed the 2015 Beard Award nominations, it's time to familiarize yourself with the incredible culinary talent on this year's list. We'll be spotlighting our freshly minted nominees during the weeks ahead.
Today we start with Jennifer McLagan, author of the provocatively titled Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, one of three books nominated for this year's Single Subject Book award. "Bitter is a cultured, intriguing, and sophisticated taste, with a dangerous side," she writes in the book's introduction. "Who could be more fun to cook or to dine with?" A mix of cooking, science, and history, Bitter advocates for this oft-ignored flavor, with a recipe collection that brings more than just grapefruit and radicchio into the fold.
McLagan is no stranger to underappreciated or maligned ingredients. Her 2009 book, Fat, which took home our Cookbook of the Year award, argues that fat is an indispensable nutrient and flavor enhancer. McLagan's Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich, one of the book's many recipes that cleverly employ oil, butter, or animal products, includes a bacon fat–enriched mayonnaise. Get the recipe.