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Chefs Gather for James Beard Seafood Policy Think Tank

Chefs Gather for James Beard Seafood Policy Think Tank

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Fifteen chefs will gather for the fourth annual James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change

A team of chefs will gather for a weekend of workshops focusing on sustainable seafood.

Between April 27th and 30th, a team of 15 chefs will gather for the fourth official James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change at Costanoa Lodge in Pescadero, Calif.

The three-day program will focus on sustainable seafood and aims to help participating chefs to become “influential advocates in the food world and realize the difference they can make beyond the kitchen.”

To date, more than 450 chefs have applied to the Chefs Boot Camp. Participants were selected to represent different regions and a range of topics, and based on their levels of local and national influence.

This year’s team will include Ari Taymor of Alma, Kathleen Blake of The Rusty Spoon, Spike Mendelsohn of Béarnaise, Jonathan Sawyer of The Greenhouse Tavern, and others.

The program will feature discussions on sustainable seafood policy, successful outreach in the culinary community, as well as farm activities at the lodge and Green Oaks Creek Farm, and a fishing trip off the waters of San Francisco Bay.

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.

The Gourmand’s Way

If American cuisine has a patron saint, it is James Beard. As early as the 1940s and 1950s, when frozen food and other convenience products were popular, Beard advocated the three elements so commonly cited among chefs today that they&rsquove become a menu mantra: fresh, local, and seasonal. He founded a cooking school, wrote essays for newspapers and magazines, and from 1946 to 1947, long before Julia Child became television&rsquos most popular cooking star, he hosted the first-ever network food program, I Love to Eat. He published more than twenty cookbooks before his death in 1985, encouraging Americans to embrace the pleasures of eating good food&mdashnot just elegant French meals but simple dishes prepared with care. &ldquoA much misunderstood word&mdashgourmet,&rdquo Beard wrote in How to Eat Better for Less Money (1954). &ldquoA boiled potato&mdasha potato cooked to the point at which it bursts its tight skin and shows its snowy interior&mdashcan be gourmet food.&rdquo

John Birdsall&rsquos lively biography of Beard, The Man Who Ate Too Much, grew out of an essay he wrote in 2014 for the magazine Lucky Peach, titled &ldquoAmerica, Your Food Is So Gay,&rdquo in which he argued that Beard, along with fellow gay food writers Richard Olney and Craig Claibourne, brought to American cuisine an appreciation for &ldquofood that takes pleasure seriously, as an end in itself.&rdquo In the preface to the book, Birdsall explains that his stimulus was &ldquorage&rdquo:

Lucky Peach was a representation of America&rsquos chef culture, a space where queerness was allowed to flicker only at the margins. A code of straightness ruled the nation&rsquos restaurant kitchens, an ethos oozing corrosive gender tropes. If you were queer in the kitchen, chances were you didn&rsquot dare let your guard slip all the way down&mdashan injustice still aching within me, a gay veteran of those battle zones, years after I&rsquod left cooking to become a writer. Lucky Peach had built an arena for chefs, yet queer voices didn&rsquot rise there. The silence flooded me with grievance&mdashespecially since every chef I knew wanted to win a James Beard Award.

Didn&rsquot they realize Beard was gay? Couldn&rsquot they see the irony of thirsting after a medal molded with his image, these chefs for whom homophobia was a scar on the face of kitchen culture?

After his essay won a James Beard Award, Birdsall found himself haunted by the late chef. &ldquoI kept thinking about the complicated ways Beard lived a gay life&hellipin the decades after World War II, a period of brutal oppression for queer Americans,&rdquo he writes. &ldquoHow did Beard, at precisely the same time, become the joyful face of American food?&rdquo

Born in 1903, Beard grew up in Portland, Oregon. His mother, Elizabeth, a former boardinghouse manager and adept cook whose marriage to his father, John, was cold and unhappy, never overtly discussed her own sexuality with her son, but often told him stories about a trip she made from San Francisco to New York via Panama and the Caribbean in 1888 with Stella Chase Ainsworth, her close friend and likely lover. Her descriptions, replete with details of unusual fruits like mangoes, pineapples, and alligator pears, were, according to Birdsall,

a signal she knew James would be capable of decoding&hellip. It was a lesson James absorbed, if only unconsciously: how to ascribe to food all the thoughts and feelings too dangerous for one to avow openly.

Beard enrolled at Reed College in the fall of 1920 but was expelled during his freshman year after being caught &ldquoin an act of oral indecency&rdquo with a male professor. He spent the next two years living at home and participating in local theater. When a director suggested that he study voice and acting abroad, his mother encouraged him, and he went to London in the spring of 1923. He failed his audition at the Royal Academy of Music but was taken under the wing of a writer named Helen Dircks, who, Birdsall writes, ordered him &ldquohis first London dry martini&rdquo and introduced him to her gay friends. He spent the next five months living in London and Paris, where he learned the joys of fresh Warwick peas and boeuf bourguignon.

In the fall of 1923 Beard returned to the US, bouncing from New York City to Portland to Hollywood to Seattle, before returning to Portland in the early 1930s, where he directed a small repertory theater company and cooked at friends&rsquo dinner parties. In 1937 he moved back to New York and, after failing to find work in the theater, began teaching at a girls&rsquo day school in New Jersey. At the same time, he was gaining a reputation for the cocktail parties he threw at the West Village apartment where he rented a room from his wealthy friend Jim Cullum. Beard would pour martinis and old-fashioneds, make jam with the fruit left over from their brandy-and-champagne punch bowls, and even prepare breakfast for overnight guests.

In late 1938, at one of these parties, Beard met the siblings Bill and Irma Rhode, who had grown up in Berlin and were living in New York. Bill had just published a cookbook, Of Cabbages and Kings, based on the cooking lessons Irma had taken at a school in Badenweiler. A month later, Beard, who had no real training in food aside from his mother&rsquos instruction and what he had picked up from friends, quit his teaching job to launch a catering business with the Rhodes: Hors D&rsquoOeuvre, Inc. Bill was the front-of-house manager, charming the hostesses of the Upper East Side, and Beard worked alongside Irma in the kitchen, assembling fried corned beef hash balls or radishes spread with butter and cinched with anchovies to slow the absorption of copious martinis.

Over the course of several juicy chapters, Birdsall traces Beard&rsquos ascent into the elite of New York&rsquos food-obsessed. While working with Hors d&rsquoOeuvre, Inc., Beard was befriended by Jeanne Owen, the president and secretary of the New York chapter of the International Wine and Food Society. Birdsall describes her as

arguably the best-educated gourmet in New York City and a rare connoisseur of wine, ferocious achievements for a woman at a time when men supposed that female culinary ambition could rise no higher than unlocking the secret to perfect angel food cake.

Owen introduced Beard to her gourmet friends, including Hub Olsen, an editor at M. Barrows and Company, who in 1940 offered him a contract for a book on entertaining. Beard wrote Hors D&rsquoOeuvre and Canapés, with a Key to the Cocktail Party in six weeks, scraping together what he had learned over years of hosting parties and traveling abroad.

When Hors D&rsquoOeuvre and Canapés was published in October 1940, it established Beard&rsquos voice as an enthusiastic host happy to share his party tricks it also marked his break with the Rhodes, whom he had not told about it. Over the next several decades he published many more cookbooks wrote widely for magazines like Apartment Life, House & Garden, and Gourmet had a widely syndicated newspaper column consulted with restaurants and food brands and struck endorsement deals with companies including Planter&rsquos Peanuts, Omaha Steaks, Green Giant, and French&rsquos mustard. Though these products didn&rsquot always align with Beard&rsquos culinary sensibilities, he used the income to fund the cooking school he founded in the mid-1950s, where he taught until his death.

Beard&rsquos exuberant method of food preparation focused not just on practicalities but on performance and pleasure. One of his most famous bits of showmanship in his classes&mdashwhich from 1959 on were held in his West Village townhouse&mdashwas to demonstrate how to properly whip egg whites for a soufflé by turning the copper bowl of beaten whites upside down over his head to prove that they were whipped to the correct stiffness. His language&mdashbuoyant, colorful, campy, and &ldquounabashedly queer,&rdquo as Birdsall puts it&mdashwas a departure from formulaic how-tos and community cookbooks. In Cook It Outdoors (1941), for example, Beard subverted the hypermasculine tone of many books on barbecue and grilling by using words like &ldquodoodadery&rdquo and &ldquochichi&rdquo and adding a sly wink to his explanation of garlic&rsquos appeal in a recipe: &ldquoNo refinement here, but like most of the roughnecks, it is fun to have around.&rdquo

Beard said that he brought emotion to his recipes because, to him, it was as essential to cooking as correct measurement. &ldquoThe ability to recall a taste sensation, which I think of as &lsquotaste memory,&rsquo is a God-given talent,&rdquo he wrote in his memoir Delights and Prejudices (1964), comparing himself to Proust:

When Proust recollected the precise taste sensation of the little scalloped Madeleine cakes served at tea by his aunt, it led him into his monumental remembrance of things past. When I recollect the taste sensations of my childhood, they lead me to more cakes, more tastes: the great razor clams, the succulent Dungeness crab, the salmon, crawfish, mussels and trout of the Oregon coast the black bottom pie served in a famous Portland restaurant, the Welsh rabbit of our Chinese cook, the white asparagus my mother canned, and the array of good dishes prepared by the two of them in that most memorable of kitchens.

In 1954 the chef and cookbook author Charlotte Turgeon nicknamed Beard &ldquothe Dean of American Cookery&rdquo in her review of James Beard&rsquos Fish Cookery in The New York Times. The label stuck. Beard&rsquos work represented a new perspective on American food&mdashthat it was not a poor translation of the cuisines of France or Italy but its own vernacular, one worthy of being preserved and celebrated. He embraced cooking from scratch, advising his audience to &ldquobuy good food, and buy often,&rdquo and to celebrate local fresh produce and eggs.

Beard&rsquos method was, in Birdsall&rsquos words, &ldquotaking a traditional dish and swapping out its signifiers with ones that seem new.&rdquo His Brioche en Surprise, for example, took a traditional European Jewish snack of raw onion on rye bread with a layer of schmaltz and switched out the rye for brioche, adding parsley and mayonnaise. He altered the Provençal recipe for roast chicken into his classic chicken with forty cloves of garlic by increasing the quantity of garlic and paring down the traditional herbes de Provence to just parsley and tarragon. Beard wrote recipes for Parker House rolls, Boston baked beans, and spaghetti with prosciutto and frozen green peas. He transformed traditional French daube into Braised Beef, Peasant Style, a pot roast with red wine, cognac, and thyme.

But in doing the swapping, Beard often failed to credit the contributions of other cooks to his recipes, claiming authorship of dishes he had not originated or significantly altered from their source. He did not mention in Hors D&rsquoOeuvre and Canapés that the Rhodes were the originators of some of the recipes he published under his own name, and Birdsall makes clear that this behavior was not limited to that first book. Far from it: in his later books, Beard frequently lifted work from friends, acquaintances, and others&mdashmany of them women&mdashwith little or no acknowledgment.

Birdsall also points out that Beard&rsquos work frequently benefited from uncompensated editors, including his friend Ruth Norman, who often had to rewrite his sloppy, free-associating prose. He apparently thought that using their labor was a fair exchange for praising them in public and angling for opportunities for them, a situation familiar to anyone who has been asked to do work for so-called exposure.

Beard&rsquos appropriation could be shameless. When he was collaborating with his close friend Helen Evans Brown on The Complete Book of Outdoor Cookery (1955), he copied her recipe for Escabêche de Pescado and published it without attribution in Jim Beard&rsquos Complete Cookbook for Entertaining (1954), a book he kept secret from her until after it came out. In the same book he also took several recipes from Elena Zelayeta, a Mexican cookbook author, with minimal attribution.

Earlier, for his sprawling compendium The Fireside Cook Book (1949), he had enlisted Norman&rsquos help to test and write up about 1,200 recipes&mdashno mean endeavor, particularly considering that his apartment at the time was so small that he had to wash dishes in the bathtub. Despite her crucial contribution, Beard made no acknowledgment of her work in print. In The Fireside Cook Book he also engaged in another dubious practice that continued throughout his career: what Birdsall describes as &ldquobrazen acts of self-plagiarism.&rdquo In the food world, it became an open secret that Beard copied his own and others&rsquo recipes.

Recipes are not covered by American copyright law unless &ldquoaccompanied by substantial literary expression.&rdquo Certainly Beard&rsquos habit of liberally borrowing other people&rsquos techniques and formulations wasn&rsquot unique, but it was theft, and his ethical violations are an indelible part of his legacy and the culture of food media he helped create. &ldquoJames&rsquos plagiarism was inexcusable,&rdquo Birdsall writes. &ldquoIt also gave James&rsquos books a Whitmanic quality, a democratic eclecticism, and a sweeping sense of the American character.&rdquo Birdsall explains:

Erasing the authorship of others fit two of James&rsquos mythologies. One was personal. It had to do with James&rsquos encyclopedic knowledge and experience of food&mdashfor James to cite all of his sources would have challenged the narrative of his vastness.

The other was cultural: his conviction that building an American cuisine was a collective effort, a group project of readers who mailed in recipes to the New York Times, women and men who entered Pillsbury Bake-Offs, and home cooks like [Beard&rsquos friend] Emil Kashouty, a Lebanese American who&rsquod moved to New York City to find enough breathing space to live a cautiously queer life in private.

Birdsall points out that in Beard&rsquos lifetime,

by far the most popular American cookbooks were compendiums such as Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book and Betty Crocker&rsquos Picture Cook Book, the work of teams of uncredited recipe developers, writers, and editors.

He argues that what Beard did was &ldquosomething similar, in a way, only under his own name and mythic persona.&rdquo

As Beard&rsquos star ascended, there was practically no part of the American food world he didn&rsquot touch. He cooked on live television, took over a hamburger stand in Nantucket for a summer to dish out fresh blueberry pies and experimental chowders, and wrote a cookbook dedicated to the Cuisinart food processor. In 1961 Judith Jones, an editor at Knopf (who went on to win a James Beard Award for her contributions to the cookbook industry), sent him an early manuscript of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck. Beard was one of Child&rsquos earliest champions, and they became fast friends, spending time together cooking and writing at the house of Child and her husband in France.

Paul Child/Schlesinger Library, Harvard Radcliffe Institute

Julia Child and James Beard, New York City, 1964

Beard&rsquos circle was studded with famous names. Truman Capote and Alice B. Toklas both make appearances in The Man Who Ate Too Much, and Birdsall points out that the majority of people he spent time with were lesbian or gay. They understood how important it was for him to publicly conceal his sexuality, even as his long-term partner, the architect Gino Cofacci, lived with him for more than twenty years. As far as his readers and fans knew, he was single.

Beard remained closeted until the very last years of his life, when he came out in the revised version of his memoir Delights and Prejudices, published in 1981. The image he projected before that, helped along by publicists, was almost cartoonish: a large-proportioned, bald, fussy bachelor with a singular obsession and no connections, like a character in a fairy tale. &ldquoJames built a myth of himself as a man so focused on eating that nothing else mattered,&rdquo Birdsall explains. &ldquoIt was easier to paint himself as a single man intent on solitary conquests of food.&rdquo Any question of his sexual orientation was transformed into a charming foible. An ad for his television program The James Beard Show appeared in Variety in December 1965 with a closeup of his face under the heading &ldquoLadies&rsquo Man,&rdquo playing on his public image as the opposite while signaling that his intended audience was housewives.

The Man Who Ate Too Much unsparingly dismantles the mythology of the jolly asexual bachelor gastronome. According to Birdsall, Beard was often lonely, insecure, and depressed. He had trouble sleeping, to the point that he sometimes dozed in the middle of a party&mdash&ldquoblacking out in his chair provided a rare bit of rest.&rdquo In his later years, when his relationship with Cofacci had moved from romantic to platonic, Beard had a pattern of chasing much younger men, often using his fame to draw them in. &ldquoHe was always looking for the next younger man to help and perhaps pursue&mdashhoping to conquer him emotionally,&rdquo Birdsall writes. He describes several occasions when Beard&rsquos flirtations cross the line into what today would be called harassment, including two incidents of Beard inviting young men seeking professional advice to his private rooms, where he met them in an open bathrobe. According to Birdsall, Beard didn&rsquot go further than that&mdashhe closed his robe when it became apparent that neither man was interested in him sexually.

What might have seemed harmless to Beard is difficult to look past today, after the Me Too movement and the slew of harassment revelations that followed, several of them against celebrity chefs. Birdsall doesn&rsquot dwell on either incident, but he notes that one of the men, Carl Jerome, whom he describes Beard forcibly kissing, went on to work for him for several years of the second, a young restaurant worker named Michael Butusov who had gone to Beard for advice about finding work as an apprentice pastry chef, he concludes, with a somewhat alarming note, presumably from Beard&rsquos perspective, &ldquoThe boy had to learn how the world worked&mdashthe truth that need was what kept it grinding.&rdquo

The Man Who Ate Too Much is a nuanced and absorbing portrait of an imperfect man, one who reshaped the way several generations of Americans thought about cooking and turned the lens of culinary appreciation away from canned truffles, Swiss Gruyère, and other ingredients imported from Europe and toward Kentucky ham, California wines, and the bounty of local farm stands. Beard helped build American food media into what it is today, and who and what it celebrates. His legacy is kept alive through the work of the James Beard Foundation, which awards medals every year to the country&rsquos best chefs, restaurants, and food writers in a ceremony known colloquially as the Oscars of the food world. Beard&rsquos name is a literal institution, one that seeks to perpetuate his vision of playfulness in the kitchen and attention to the riches of American cookery.

Last year the James Beard Foundation canceled its annual awards for both 2020 and 2021, citing the devastation that the Covid-19 pandemic had wrought on restaurants. Behind the scenes, the foundation was also grappling with allegations of harassment and abuse leveled against some of their nominees, as well as the realization that, in the midst of nationwide protests against police brutality toward Black people, there were no Black winners in any of the restaurant and chef categories. One chef, Jessica Koslow of Sqirl in Los Angeles, took herself out of the running after facing backlash for allegedly serving customers moldy jam and claiming credit for employees&rsquo recipes. Former employees of the foundation also came forward with stories of pay disparities and a lack of diversity in the organization&rsquos leadership. Faced with a shifting consensus about what behavior from chefs is acceptable and what equity means in the culinary world, the foundation is reassessing its criteria.

Beard&rsquos legacy is complicated. Among the many merits of Birdsall&rsquos biography is the extent to which it illuminates not just the importance of this foundational American chef, but also the enduring force of his prejudices and delights.

Chatting With Alton Brown, Master of Ceremonies for the 2012 James Beard Awards

This coming Monday, the James Beard Foundation will host its annual Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception at Lincoln Center to honor the chefs and restaurateurs who made the food industry unforgettable in 2011. This year, the foundation has asked Food Network's own Alton Brown to host the awards. A true entertainer and culinary superstar, Alton's no stranger to hosting gigs. Between Next Iron Chef, Iron Chef America and previous seasons of Food Network Star, the James Beard Foundation should rest easy knowing they have a pro on stage.

Last year, Alton Brown was awarded the Best TV Food Personality Award for Good Eats. Prior to that, in 2003, he was awarded the Book Award in the Reference category for his first book, I’m Just Here for the Food (2002).

We recently caught up with Alton to ask him about this honor, especially since the foundation will be celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.

You’ve hosted numerous shows on Food Network, but this somehow seems different. What are you doing to prepare? Are you nervous?

Prepare? Absolutely. A couple of jokes and an escape route. Nervous? Let's say I'm appropriately aware.

To host this event any year would be an honor, but you’re doing it for their 25th anniversary. What are you looking forward to most?

It's a very big night in the culinary world, and to be tapped for the 25th anniversary is humbling. But what I'm looking forward to the most is not mispronouncing any names.

Is there a specific award category that you’re most interested in (Best New Restaurant, Rising Star Chef, etc.)?

I'm not really eyeing any one category in particular. It's the big picture of what's going on in food and who represents true excellence that I'm interested in.

In a world full of mobile, do you think there will be a time when we’ll see eBooks or food applications nominated for James Beard Awards?

Seeing as how I'm working on several e-projects right now, I sure hope so.

What do you think James Beard would say about the food industry today?

I think he might admonish us all for being a tad too self-important, a bit big for our britches. But then he'd give us a wink.

My Take on James Beard’s Recipe for Beef Hash

I had about 3/4 of a pound of Slow Cooker German Style Beef Roast leftover from the other night. I am one to use every little last bit of food possible and let nothing go to waste. Lately I have not done such a good job as I had to throw out an entire roast today that got pushed to the back of the refrigerator before I could freeze it. That upsets me so I made sure to set this aside and plan ahead on a dish to make with the leftover beef.

I knew I wanted to make hash but I had to search for a recipe. I wanted something a bit different from what I normally make when I make Roast Beef Hash. Usually it is potatoes, peppers, onions, garlic and beef mashed together.

When I saw this recipe on Pinterest for James Beard’s Beef Hash from Chewing the I knew I had to try it. I am a home cook. I cook by feel so sometimes it is hard for me to put what I do down on my blog but I have great admiration for chefs who create new dishes all the time that have to be the same dish after dish, after dish.

So below is my take on James Beard’s Roast Beef Hash Recipe. No, I do not think I am a better cook than James Beard but I use what I have on hand and my family likes a bit more flavor than this originally had so I made it to suit my family and my families tastes. I hope you will take this recipe and do the same for yours.

It was flavorful and the best tasting hash I think I have ever eaten. I would have never had added heavy cream to the dish, which I didn’t it was fat-free half and half (but close enough), it was amazing. The picture is pretty washed out and looks bland but it tasted great!

It was all gone by the end of dinner. I served this with a small side of scrambled eggs for dinner.

The 10 Dishes That Made My Career: Jeremiah Tower

Before 1975, most chefs were antisocial proles. They kept to their kitchens, wielding terror, and sometimes genius, behind the swing doors. It was restaurateurs—most famously Henri Soulé at Le Pavillon and Sirio Maccioni at Le Cirque—who were the bearers of their establishments’ glory, lubing up VIP guests till they gleamed like aspic. But by the early 1980s, Jeremiah Tower, whose legacy as a founder of California Cuisine and New American cooking is the focus of a newly released documentary and a revised edition of his memoirs, had put stardom within the scope of a chef.

By all rights Tower was America’s first kitchen celebrity, when that meant more than having a signature look and the skills to bang out 30-minute chili on TV. He was a defining voice in the early years of Chez Panisse, who went on to open Stars in San Francisco in 1984. The visible center of his restaurant, Tower charmed and elevated in a kitchen exposed like the stage at a theater in the round. He was tall, svelte, and elegantly ruddy in whites. He knew how to work a room, flattering socialites, laughing with drag queens, throwing an arm around James Beard or Rudolf Nureyev. He spoke with an accent you couldn’t place (sort of Connecticut country club, gilded with public-school England) but you knew it belonged to a man who had seen and tasted things you never would.

“They were the first fuckable chefs,” Anthony Bourdain told me last year, as he talked about Tower, Marco Pierre White, and the changes of the 1980s. Bourdain is executive producer of the Tower documentary, The Last Magnificent. Directed by Lydia Tenaglia, it premiered last year at the Tribeca Film Festival its theatrical release began this past Friday, April 21, in New York and Los Angeles. Earlier this month, Bourdain’s imprint for Ecco published Tower’s revised memoirs, Start the Fire: How I Began a Food Revolution in America. Tower’s original memoir, California Dish: What I Saw (and Cooked) at the American Culinary Revolution, rolled out in 2003. Since Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain's mission has been to explicate the culture of cooks. In Tower—as with Norman Van Aken, the Florida chef who formalized "fusion cuisine" in the 1980s—Bourdain saw a seminal chef the food establishment had pretty much left for dead.

“By all rights Tower was America’s first kitchen celebrity, when that meant more than having a signature look and the skills to bang out 30-minute chili on TV.”

Tower was one of the most influential chefs of the 1970s and ‘80s, but by the 1990s much of the food world, fascinated by Emeril and The Frugal Gourmet, had lost interest. When Tower resurfaced on social media in 2010, tweeting from Merida and Cozumel, in Mexico, it was as if he’d returned from exile. His talk at the MAD symposium in Copenhagen in 2014 played like a homecoming.

The title of Tenaglia and Bourdain’s film is a tweak of "The Last Magnifico," the name of a 1998 Gourmet profile by James Villas of Lucius Beebe. Beebe, who died in 1966, was an opulently swank, unapologetically queer columnist, a chronicler of Manhattan’s café society in the early twentieth century. In Start the Fire, Tower acknowledges his debt to Beebe as the example of a man who fashioned his life as a fuck-you to narrow convention: “‘If anything is worth doing,’ [Beebe] once said, ‘it is worth doing in style and on your own terms—and nobody goddamned else’s.’”

Besides Alice Waters, no other goddamned chef still alive has Tower’s history, or can claim to be a bridge between the present and the vanished twentieth-century world of Beard, Richard Olney, and Elizabeth David, Tower’s friends and mentors. To read the dishes that shaped his career is to brush, like an archeologist, through a stratigraphy of pike timbales and truffled capons, only a degree or two removed from Fernand Point, Curnonsky, and the founders of modern cuisine.

Here are the 10 dishes that shaped Jeremiah Tower's career.

James Beard Award semifinalists include Michael Cimarusti, Josef Centeno, Niki Nakayama and more Los Angeles chefs

The James Beard Foundation has announced its restaurant and chef award semifinalists, and among them, chefs who have been instrumental in elevating the Los Angeles dining scene. They were chosen from a list of more than 20,000, by a group of culinary professionals and media from around the country.

Josef Centeno (Orsa & Winston), Michael Cimarusti (Providence), Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon), Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), Travis Lett (Gjelina), Niki Nakayama (n/naka), Carlos Salgado (Taco Maria) and Tony Xu (Chengdu Taste) are all semifinalists for the Best Chef West award that includes nominees from California, Nevada and Hawaii.

Last year, the foundation snubbed Cimarusti, Fox, Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec, Petit Trois, Trois Familia) and Lett, who were all nominated for the award, which went to Corey Lee of Benu in San Francisco.

This year’s list reflects a new set of criteria for those who vote and submit chefs and restaurants for the awards. A page on the James Beard Foundation’s website titled “our values” cites “respect, transparency, diversity, sustainability and equality” as guiding factors in the awards submissions and asks that “everyone who works in and with the foundation shares similar values and operates with integrity.”

In light of the sexual misconduct allegations plaguing the entertainment and restaurant industries, as well as others, some might argue the new wording was both necessary and long overdue. This year’s list of semifinalists is noticeably more diverse than years prior in terms of the types of restaurants recognized (La Casita Mexicana, a casual Mexican restaurant in Bell, is a semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurant) and the chefs behind them.

Alongside Nakayama’s n/naka, and Cimarusti’s Providence, the Koreantown restaurant Park’s Barbeque was named a semifinalist for the Outstanding Service award.

Also on the list are Evan Funke’s Felix Trattoria in Venice, Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson’s Kismet in Los Feliz and Jordan Kahn’s Vespertine in Culver City, all semifinalists for the Best New Restaurant award.

Liz Johnson of the new Freedman’s deli in Echo Park, Miles Thompson of Michael’s in Santa Monica and Jonathan Yao of Kato in Sawtelle are all semifinalists for the Rising Star Chef of the Year award.

Margarita Manzke of Republique is a semifinalist for the Outstanding Pastry Chef award (last year, she lost to Ghaya Oliveria of Daniel in New York City).

Downtown newcomer Bar Clacson, run by Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman of 213 Hospitality, along with Eric Alperin of the Varnish and Richard Boccato of Dutch Kills in Queens, N.Y., is a semifinalist for the Outstanding Bar Program award.

Caroline Styne of the Lucques Group (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, etc.) is once again a semifinalist for the Outstanding Restaurateur award (last year, she was edged out by Stephen Starr of the Philadelphia-based Starr Restaurants.). Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan of the Rustic Canyon Group are also semifinalists for the award. And Styne’s wine program at a.o.c. was named a semifinalist for the Outstanding Wine Program award.

A full list of the semifinalists can be found at

This year’s winners will be announced at the Lyric Opera in Chicago on May 7.

Regional Best Chef Awards

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)

  • Andrew Brochu (Roister, Chicago)
  • Abraham Conlon (Fat Rice, Chicago)
  • Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark (Parachute, Chicago)
  • David Posey and Anna Posey (Elske, Chicago)
  • Lee Wolen (Boka, Chicago)

Eater endorses. Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark

“Once again, Chicago chefs swept the nominees, for good reason — all of them are deserving of a Beard Award — and once again I am betting on Beverly Kim and Jonny Clark. It’s about time these two get it, after missing out on Best New Restaurant three years ago and this award last year and the year before. Their food, and the restaurant as a whole, is one of the most distinctive and influential offerings in the country, hands down.” — Daniel Gerzina, Eater Chicago editor | All Parachute Coverage [ECHI]

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)

  • Amy Brandwein (Centrolina, Washington D.C.)
  • Tom Cunanan (Bad Saint, Washington D.C.)
  • Rich Landau (Vedge, Philadelphia)
  • Jeremiah Langhorne (The Dabney, Washington D.C.)
  • Cindy Wolf (Charleston, Baltimore)

Eater endorses. Tom Cunanan

“Is Tom Cunanan solely responsible for the Filipino food boom that continues to enthrall D.C. diners? Some might say so. But it’s unlikely the electrifying chef at one of the city’s most sought-after restaurants even has time to contemplate such theories with dozens of eaters continuing to line up outside critically acclaimed Bad Saint each and every night it’s open. First-timers and seasoned vets are treated exactly the same at the no-reservations, 24-seat temple to Pinoy dining: everyone waits in line, and is ultimately treated to a carefully choreographed journey through Filipino cuisine. Crowd favorites include grilled pork belly flanked by chile-spiked soy dipping sauce garlicky pasta tossed with rendered crab ‘fat’ and sea urchin and curry dishes that bring tears of joy to the faces of spice addicts.” — Warren Rojas, Eater DC editor | All Bad Saint Coverage [EDC]

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)

  • Karen Bell (Bavette La Boucherie, Milwaukee)
  • Steven Brown (Tilia, Minneapolis)
  • Justin Carlisle (Ardent, Milwaukee)
  • Gavin Kaysen (Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis)
  • Ann Kim (Young Joni, Minneapolis)

Eater endorses… Gavin Kaysen

“It’s been 10 years since Gavin Kaysen won the James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef. In that time, the chef has delivered on the promise of his early career, but not by doing what was expected. In 2014 he opened his first restaurant in his home state of Minnesota and soon began pulling in positive reviews. Last year he opened his second and proved that even while fine-tuning Spoon and Stable, he could pull off a feat of flawless French bistro service out in the suburb of Wayzata: Bellecour. Kaysen has not only improved the culinary offerings of this area, but also strengthened the community, working with other chefs and often repeating his mantra: ‘Many ships raise the tide.’ His success, and his high profile, creates a spotlight to shine on the Midwest.

“That said, this is about the food, and his cooking has never been more inspired, sharper, or more delicious. Perhaps it’s because of the collaborators he’s picked up along the way, but somehow, the ex-New Yorker found his footing in the quaint, quality, persistent ways of this part of the country. Kaysen might be the somewhat obvious choice as a winner in this category, but it isn’t because his name is familiar or his face has appeared on all the food TV shows, it’s because he has earned it.” — Joy Summers, Eater Twin Cities editor | All Spoon and Stable Coverage [ETC]

Best Chef: New York City

  • Amanda Cohen (Dirt Candy)
  • Ignacio Mattos (Estela)
  • Missy Robbins (Lilia)
  • Alex Stupak (Empellón Midtown)
  • Jody Williams (Buvette Gastrothèque)

Eater endorses. Ignacio Mattos

“Last year, Eater endorsed Ignacio Mattos for this very same category for his cooking ‘that feels uniquely his and more modern than ever.’ That sentiment hasn’t changed, but what has is the breakout success of his two newer restaurants, Flora Bar and Cafe Altro Paradiso. While Estela established Mattos as a chef who can take overused ingredients (burrata, tartare) and somehow still surprise and delight, Altro Paradiso and Flora Bar cemented his status as a leading chef in New York City. The two venues display the same qualities that make Estela special — buzzy vibes, standout wine, and banging food — while proving that Mattos is not a one-hit wonder.” — Stefanie Tuder, Eater NY senior editor | All Estela Coverage [ENY]

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY State, RI, VT)

  • Karen Akunowicz (Myers + Chang, Boston)
  • Tiffani Faison (Tiger Mama, Boston)
  • Tony Messina (Uni, Boston)
  • Cassie Piuma (Sarma, Somerville MA)
  • Benjamin Sukle (Oberlin, Providence)

Eater endorses. Cassie Piuma

“Really feeling the deja vu this year… and I’m pretty sure I said that last year as well! Karen Akunowicz has been in this category every year since 2015 Cassie Piuma was in it in ’15 and ’17 and it’s the second year for Benjamin Sukle. With Tiffani Faison and Tony Messina rounding out the category, there’s just incredible talent all around, and I’ll be thrilled for whoever takes home the prize. They all do our region proud. But if I had to predict which one will win, I think it’s Piuma’s year. Sarma has really become an institution at the level of its big sister Oleana — it’s probably one of the hardest reservations in town to land these days, and it’s been creeping onto the national scene in a way that will help earn Piuma this recognition. But can’t we just change the rules and give them all awards? This category has me feeling great about the state of the Boston food scene.” — Rachel Leah Blumenthal, Eater Boston editor | All Sarma Coverage [EBOS]

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)

  • Edouardo Jordan (Salare, Seattle)
  • Katy Millard (Coquine, Portland OR)
  • Bonnie Morales (Kachka, Portland OR)
  • Justin Woodward (Castagna, Portland OR)
  • Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi (Joule, Seattle)

Eater endorses. Bonnie Morales

“Bonnie Morales did something amazing with Kachka: She took a restaurant that was deeply personal and made it irresistibly fun. Her old-school family recipes are fresh and stylish, from her gorgeous, causa-like herring under a fur coat to those dreamy pelmeni dumplings. Kachka is a place to sip vodka shots with half-sour picklebacks, but it’s also a place to taste thoughtful, surprising dishes rich with context and history. It’s hard to pull off both, and Morales does so with sophistication.” — Brooke Jackson-Glidden, Eater PDX editor | All Kachka Coverage [EPDX]

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, Puerto Rico)

  • Vishwesh Bhatt (Snackbar, Oxford MS)
  • Nina Compton (Compère Lapin, New Orleans)
  • Jose Enrique (Jose Enrique, San Juan PR)
  • Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus (Coquette, New Orleans)
  • Brad Kilgore (Alter, Miami)
  • Slade Rushing (Brennan’s, New Orleans)

Eater endorses. Nina Compton

“Nina Compton could have continued to ride her success on Top Chef, but instead she created a restaurant that contributes meaningfully and thoughtfully to to the inevitable evolution of New Orleans’s revered culinary canon, Compère Lapin. At her newest restaurant, Bywater American Bistro, she chose to empower and highlight another promising chef by partnering with Levi Raines, her Compère sous. Empowering those who work with you and respecting their work in such a profound way is, to me, one of the most important qualities of a great chef or any great leader.” — Stephanie Carter, Eater NOLA editor | All Compère Lapin Coverage [ENOLA]

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)

  • Mashama Bailey (The Grey, Savannah GA)
  • Katie Button (Nightbell, Asheville NC)
  • Cassidee Dabney (The Barn at Blackberry Farm, Walland TN)
  • Rodney Scott (Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Charleston SC)
  • Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman (Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis)

Eater endorses. Mashama Bailey

“Mashama Bailey should absolutely win Best Chef: Southeast. If for nothing else, she deserves this title for peeling back the culinary narrative of Savannah, Georgia, once dominated by disgraced butter queen Paula Deen, to reveal a more honest approach to Southern cuisine and its ties to African culture. Bailey’s restaurant the Grey sits in a former Greyhound bus station transformed from a segregated space to a knockout dining room and bar staffed with a diverse group of front- and back-of-house employees. Her food combines fine dining techniques with modern Southern flavors, as in foie gras served with grits, applesauce, and red wine gravy: The flavors and ingredients are folded together so beautifully that one can’t helped be impressed with the complexity, yet still wonder, ‘Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?’” — Erin Perkins, Eater Charleston editor

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)

  • Michael Fojtasek (Olamaie, Austin)
  • Bryce Gilmore (Barley Swine, Austin)
  • Steve McHugh (Cured, San Antonio)
  • Martín Rios (Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe NM)
  • Alex Seidel (Mercantile Dining & Provision, Denver)

Eater endorses… Bryce Gilmore

”It’s about time for Odd Duck/Barley Swine’s Bryce Gilmore to win, since this is his sixth nomination. There’s a good reason why one of his restaurants, Odd Duck, was named one of Eater’s 38 essential restaurants of the state: The chef is Texas through and through, and his commitment to using local ingredients from local farms leads to inventive dishes that hit the spot every time. (As a side note, it’s ridiculous that Austin’s Kemuri Tatsu-ya — one of Texas’s most exciting dining experiences right now — did not make the shortlist for Best New Restaurant.)” — Nadia Chaudhury, Eater Austin editor | All Barley Swine Coverage [EATX]

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)

  • Michael Cimarusti (Providence, Los Angeles)
  • Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn, San Francisco)
  • Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica CA)
  • Jessica Koslow (Sqirl, Los Angeles)
  • Travis Lett (Gjelina, Venice CA)

Eater endorses. Dominique Crenn

“After years as one of SF’s top chefs, Crenn has received her fifth nod from the Beard Foundation. She’s been nominated for Best Chef: West twice, and made it to the semifinalist category twice — perhaps this is the year that the phenom with a growing restaurant empire and two-Michelin-starred flagship will seal the deal. Though in good company, Crenn has been operating at the top of her game throughout the year, opening a Parisian wine bar, hiring top talent to lead her teams, and using every opportunity to speak out on gender and equality in the restaurant industry.” — Ellen Fort, Eater SF editor | All Atelier Crenn Coverage [ESF]

and also. Jessica Koslow

“In his December 2012 review of Sqirl, Jonathan Gold declared that the counter-service breakfast and lunch restaurant in Los Angeles was ‘as dedicated to eggs and green vegetables as Animal is to dangling bits of swine.’ In April of 2018, when counter-service breakfast and lunch restaurants dedicated to eggs and green vegetables dot every aspirational neighborhood in America, and the offal-laden late-’00s are an overstuffed dream, Gold’s review reads like a changing of the guard. Koslow’s vision, creativity, and brilliance as a chef have shaped our culinary moment in an unmatchable way — and this is only her first nomination.

“The Beards tend to favor established careers in the Best Chef categories, and I wouldn’t be mad in the slightest if Dominique Crenn finally gets her due, but part of Koslow’s achievement was helping to fuel a culinary revolution from a tiny kitchen in a cramped storefront serving breakfast. It would be a welcome change for the Beards to honor Koslow now, and celebrate the singular small, everyday restaurants transforming how, where, and what we eat.” — Meghan McCarron, Eater special correspondent | All Sqirl Coverage [ELA]

10 Questions for James Beard Award Nominee, Chef Sue Zemanick

We had a chance to chat with Sue Zemanick, the talented and personable chef at Gautreau&rsquos in New Orleans. Sue is one of five nominees up for Rising Star Chef of the Year. The winners will be announced at Lincoln Center, NYC , on May 3.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with a fellowship in seafood/fish, Chef Zemanick has accumulated quite a cache of accolades in her young career. She was a 2008 Food & Wine &ldquoTop 10 Best New Chef,&rdquo named 2008 &ldquoChef of the Year&rdquo by New Orleans Magazine, and one of &ldquo5 Chefs to Watch&rdquo by Louisiana Cookin&rsquo, among other honors.

Here are her answers to our 10 questions.

1. How long have you been in the restaurant business?

I started cooking when I was 15, and I&rsquom 29 now, so, how long is that?&mdash I guess 14 years!

2. Where are you from?

I&rsquom from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a small coal-mining town in the Northeast. I had an uncle in the catering business and that&rsquos where I got started. I popped around at, like, three different restaurants when I was in high school there, so I could get into culinary school.

3. What were the restaurants from those early days?

I worked at K Medici, the Sabre Room, and the Westmoreland Club.

4. Are you married/do you have any children?

5. Where did you first learn to cook?

From my grandmother and my father. I was about 9-years-old at the time, baking cakes and taking pictures of them. I received my professional training at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.

6. How did you get the news that you&rsquod been nominated for the James Beard award?

The owner of Gautreau&rsquos walked into the kitchen and gave me a high five (laughing). That&rsquos how I found out.

7. What are some of your favorite/signature dishes? What makes them special?

I think one of our signature dishes that&rsquos very popular is the Duck Confit. Our little trick that makes it different from some other places is that, after we cook it slowly in the fat, when we pick it up for a customer, we crisp up the skin in duck fat.

Another one is the jumbo lump crabmeat with gnocchi, English peas and Parmesan Cream. People just love the crabmeat down here and it just flies out the door. I think everybody loves crabmeat and it&rsquos so plentiful down here in Louisiana. Kind of why I moved here (laughs).

8. What do you like most about your job?

I like making people happy. In the restaurant business, you know, every day we come in, and the customers come here, taste the food and hopefully they have a good time and come back for more. It&rsquos gratifying.

9. Why do you think you were nominated for Rising Star Chef of the Year?

To be honest, I don&rsquot know, have you seen my competition? I don&rsquot know if I&rsquom even at the same level as some of these people! They&rsquore all so very, very talented.

10. What will you do to celebrate if you win?

I don&rsquot know. Hopefully work a lot, because the restaurant should be busy if I do win. Just probably have some drinks and celebrate. I&rsquoll be in New York to find out.

Tomorrow: 10 questions for James Beard Award nominee Gabriel Rucker.

  • A16 (San Francisco)
  • Bern's Steak House (Tampa, FL)
  • FIG (Charleston, SC)
  • McCrady's (Charleston, SC)
  • Spago (Beverly Hills, CA)

Eater endorses.

"That Shelley Lindgren is made to look like Susan Lucci each year by these awards is totally ridiculous. Shelley was a pioneer of a whole half of Italy that was being completely ignored, wine-wise, in this country. She brought in amazing vino for downright cheap prices, she spread the gospel far and wide through A16 and her writing, and she is beloved by customers, staff, and other wine folks alike. GIVE HER THE DAMN AWARD ALREADY! Last year JBF gave this award to a restaurant with a time capsule wine list seemingly straight out of 1999. Time to wake up, James Beard." — Levi Dalton, Eater NY wine editor

Three Arizona chefs earn semifinalist spots for James Beard Awards

PHOENIX — Three Arizona chefs have been named Southwest semifinalists for James Beard Awards, the annual honors for excellence in cuisine, culinary writing and education.

Charleen Badman of FnB in Scottsdale, Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Urbano in Phoenix and Jeff Smedstad of Elote Cafe in Sedona are three of 20 contenders up for awards in each of the categories in the Beard Awards.

Meet the 2017 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists. Congrats to all! #jbfa

&mdash Beard Foundation (@beardfoundation) February 15, 2017

Badman and Esparza are no strangers to the awards, having both advanced to the semifinals in recent years. Badman has been nominated four straight years, but was still excited.

She tweeted out her appreciation for the recognition and told KTAR’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes on Thursday, “It’s always an honor.”

Newcomer Jeff Smedstad also shared his excitement on social media.

I just found out that I was nominated for Best Chef Southwest 2017 by James Beard! #jamesbeard

&mdash Jeff Smedstad (@SmedstadJeff) February 15, 2017

The consideration was open to any all chef and restaurants who applied online for the awards. The restaurant and chef committee, panelists, judges and past Beard Award winners all help in deciding the new winners.

Five finalists will be narrowed down on March 15, and the winners will be announced on May 1 at the awards Gala in Chicago, according to the James Beard Foundation website.

The James Beard Foundation created the awards in 1990 to highlight and recognize culinary artists making delicious dishes in the food and beverage industries.

There are about 12 chef and restaurant categories at the James Beard Awards.

Besides Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma and Texas also represent the Southwest region.

Arizona has had nine best chef winners, which is more than any other state, Mouth by Southwest reported.

The Epicurious Blog

It&aposs pretty much impossible to think of what the American culinary scene would be like had it not been for James Beard. The Dean of American Cooking died in 1985 but his influence and legacy lives on through the foundation that bears his name. For American chefs, there&aposs the honor of the annual James Beard Awards that celebrate distinguished chefs from across the country. But Beard himself was a dedicated and passionate home cook whose love for American food in all its forms helped propel tastes and trends, and it&aposs celebrated in The Essential James Beard Cookbook: 450 Recipes That Shaped the Tradition of American Cooking (St. Martin&aposs Press). Edited and updated by Rick Rodgers and John Ferrone, this cookbook demonstrates the breadth of American cuisine. For the modern cook, the collection probably won&apost surprise you but when you take into consideration the time and place of when Beard was actively promoting these recipes as part of the American food scene, the appreciation deepens.

Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, took some time to answer some questions about James Beard, the Foundation&aposs work, and what she might cook for Beard.

Epicurious: Does James Beard still matter today?

Susan Ungaro: Absolutely! Our Foundation&aposs work--from our "Oscar-like" food industry awards and Beard on Books series to our more recent annual food conferences and Leadership Awards--are all based on our namesake&aposs legacy. Beard was a mentor to many of today&aposs still famous chefs--Wolfgang Puck and Alice Waters, to name just two. His belief that "food is our common ground" and that the best ingredients are seasonal and local, are as true today as they were 50 years ago, when he came into fame. He also was America&aposs first celebrity chef, authoring over two dozen cookbooks and teaching Americans how to cook on national television. So much of today&aposs television programming is reflective of what he and his best friends, Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, started. And, anyone who watches all the chef competition television shows knows that the greatest honorific is being identified as a James Beard Award-winning chef.

Epi: Are his recipes relics. Or have they come back in style with today&aposs tastes?

SU: There&aposs no doubt that we are seeing a trend that "everything old is new again" not only in food but on the cocktail front as well. As president of this Foundation, it has been exciting to see a few of James Beard&aposs cookbooks being republished. We worked on bringing Beard on Food back into print five years ago and since then we have seen three more of his titles republished: The Fireside Kitchen, American Cookery and this month, The Essential James Beard, which is a compilation of several of his best cookbooks! So, no, his recipes are not relics. I&aposd call the "oldies but goodies!"

Read more of the Q&A with JBF President Susan Ungaro and get recipes from The Essential James Beard Cookbook, after the jump.

Epi: His love for American cookery is quite palpable. How do you think he would view the state of American cooking today?

SU: I believe he would be overwhelmed with the fame associated with his name and the importance of our James Beard Awards and the glamour of their being presented every Spring at Lincoln Center. I also am sure he would be delighted with the growth of the farm to table movement and how chefs from all ethnic backgrounds are creating menus based on seasonal and local ingredients. (Many people are still not aware that it was James Beard&aposs idea to name the iconic New York City restaurant, The Four Seasons, and that the restaurant commit to changing its menu with the seasons. This was back in the late 1950&aposs--and idea that was way ahead of its time.) So I believe he would think that the state of American cookery is very good!

Epi: What would James Beard make of the JBF and its mission? In the next 5, 10 years, what direction do you hope to take JBF?

SU: There&aposs no doubt that he would be thrilled to know that we are celebrating our 25th anniversary that we have awarded over $4.2 million in financial aid to deserving students and that we have expanded our mission to recognize visionaries making this food world a better, healthier, more sustainable place through our new James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards. I hope that years from now, when we are celebrating our 50th anniversary, our Foundation will be even more successful in helping advance the influence of good cooking nationally, making the role of the farmer and artisanal vendors even more important to consumers and helping to educate America&aposs future chefs. If we do our jobs well here at our Foundation in the next five to ten years, I trust James Beard&aposs name will become better known internationally, as well as nationally.

Epi: If you had to serve James Beard a meal, what would it be?

SU: First of all, I&aposd remember that he once told the late Michael Batterberry, his good friend and a recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award, that he was sorry that so many people were afraid to invite him to dinner. So I would try not to be nervous.

And for the menu, I&aposd take a few from the latest compilation of his favorite recipes and theme it to the fall season and my Irish roots (my maiden name is Kelliher). So I&aposd start off with offering him one of his favorite cocktails: An Old-Fashioned with a good Irish whiskey. For appetizer, I&aposd serve one of his favorite classics: Onion Sandwiches (Or "Brioche En Surprise"). [The main course would be] Irish Stew (made with lamb), and for dessert, Pumpkin Pie (I love that his recipe called for canned pumpkin) and Lemon Meringue Bars (a favorite in my family).

Watch the video: New documentary explores the life of James Beard (May 2022).


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