Ask a Chef: New Hampshire Native Brett Cavanna

 

After coming up the ranks at FIG and Café Boulud, chef Brett Cavanna returned to his native New Hampshire to helm the kitchen at Louie’s, where he offers up comforting, handcrafted pastas and rustic Italian fare. For his upcoming Beard House dinner, Cavanna will serve a delicious, stick-to-your-ribs winter feast—the perfect antidote to mid-February doldrums. In anticipation of his comfort-fare fête, we spoke to the chef about his love affair with agnolotti, his Beard House menu inspiration, and why chicken tenders are still great at any age.

 

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Ask the Chefs: Sarah Simmons and Aaron Hoskins

 

Sarah Simmons has won many admirers through the elevated Southern dishes at her lauded hot spots City Grit and Birds & Bubbles. For her upcoming Beard House dinner, Simmons and partner Aaron Hoskins will create a Southern sweetheart feast to satisfy the heart and the soul. In anticipation of their event, we spoke to the two about the pleasures of gummy candies, the New York City meal they still dream about, and why they're eerily excited about beef stew.

 

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

Sarah: Aaron and I are opening a restaurant together next year and this menu pretty much encapsulates our vision for the new... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: New Orleans's Daniel Causgrove

 

We're having a Fat Tuesday Beard House fête when French Quarter institution the Grill Room at Windsor Court heads north to the Big Apple. Chef Daniel Causgrove will treat diners to a festive menu highlighting the best of the Grill Room’s classic and contemporary dishes. In anticipation of his jubilant event (we have our beads at the ready!), we spoke to Causgrove about his oyster Rockefeller redux, "badass" corned beef and cabbage, and his idea of a "baller" date.

 

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Tell us about your inspiration behind the menu for this Beard House event.

First, the most basic inspiration is the spirit of Mardi Gras... Read more >

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What New York Food Does Chef Kenny Gilbert Crave "All the Time?"

 

If Oprah likes your food, you’ve pretty much made it—big time. Such is the case with beloved Top Chef alum Kenny Gilbert of Gilbert's Underground Kitchen in Fernandina Beach, Florida, who brings his Southern fare to the Beard House on January 26Gilbert’s fun dinner starts off with a gator reception, which means the famous Florida-based chef will serve parts of alligator with gourmet riffs on favorite Southern fixin’s like South Carolina mustard barbecue sauce. The meal goes on to feature creative takes on the cuisine’s touchstones like baked Texas oyster with Tasso ham, creamed mustard greens, and cornbread gratin, and KG’s banana pudding with banana–bourbon panna cotta for dessert. ... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: The Stockton Inn's Alan Heckman

 

Once a Prohibition speakeasy and a hub for literati like F. Scott Fitzgerald, the storied Stockton Inn has satisfied diners since 1710. This month, chef Alan Heckman joins us at the Beard House to showcase the restaurant’s imaginative colonial America–inspired cuisine for a feast worthy of the inn’s fabled past. In anticipation of Heckman’s upcoming dinner, we spoke with the chef about his love of braised meats, his culinary past, and his recent fabulous dinner at Le Bernardin.

 

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

My inspiration for the menu comes from all of my culinary experiences. I wanted to do something that showcased the moments that have had the most influence on me and my style of cooking. Each course is different in that... Read more >

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Raising the Bar: How to Make Better Cocktails at Home with Audrey Saunders

 

We tapped the Pegu Club owner and 2013 JBF Gala mixologist to share her tips for better at-home mixology.

 

Simple Syrup, Simply Put

When it comes to cocktails, we don’t want to cook simple syrup; that increases its viscosity. There are exceptions, but we generally don’t want heaviness in a cocktail. Fill a bottle halfway with superfine sugar, which is gritless and dissolves instantly. (I like to repurpose 10-ounce glass soda bottles. They’re ideal for home use and a speed pourer fits perfectly into them.) Fill the other half with filtered, room-temperature water. Cap and shake well. The mixture will appear cloudy at first but will quickly settle. Top off with more water... Read more >

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Edward Behr on How to Eat Better in 2016

 

In his cookbook, 50 Foods: The Essentials of Good Taste, noted culinary expert Edward Behr guides readers on how to select, prepare, and most importantly, enjoy, some of the world’s best foods. To help us get the new year started off right, here are Behr’s top ten tips for a delicious 2016.

 

1. Eat better apples.

Most of the apples in supermarkets have been picked too soon, and even if they were stored well, they’ve spent too long in the distribution pipeline and then sat too long in displays without refrigeration. They’re not at their best. Instead go to a farmers’ market or a store that cares about fruit and offers great varieties with real flavor, such as Ashmead’s Kernel, Duchess of Oldenburg, Esopus Spitzenburg, Newtown Pippin, Wickson Crab, Pink Pearl, and Macoun (the best of the McIntosh family). Any of those are... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: Chris Fischer of Martha's Vineyard's Beetlebung Farm

 

Chris Fischer earned his culinary chops in Babbo’s bustling kitchen, but he’s found his true calling on idyllic Martha’s Vineyard, which his family has called home for 250 years. Inspired by Beetlebung Farm, the five-acre farm that once belonged to his grandfather, Fischer has written a nationally-acclaimed cookbook, and now, will treat Beard House diners to a winter feast dedicated to the heritage of the land. In anticipation of his upcoming dinner, we spoke to Fischer about his family's culinary legacy, his yearly post-Thanksgiving feast with friends, and his idea of a quintessential New York City night.

 


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

I’m very proud to be from Martha's Vineyard and this menu is meant to both showcase and celebrate... Read more >

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Ask a Chef: "Top Chef" Fan Favorite Kenny Gilbert

 

You may recognize Kenny Gilbert as a Top Chef fan favorite, but these days, he’s known for slinging seasonal Southern fare at his Florida hot spot, Gilbert's Underground Kitchen. With an impressive résumé and a roster of celebrity clients that includes Oprah, Gilbert is sure to impress Beard House diners next month with his sophisticated takes on Southern staples. In anticipation of his upcoming dinner, we spoke to Gilbert about his alligator-forward menu, his love for Asian food, and what his fellow Top Chef alums are up to.

 

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

I want to showcase my current culinary path. I've come full circle in my... Read more >

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Why is Boka Chef Lee Wolen Still Searching for a Favorite Mexican Restaurant in NYC?

 

Chef Lee Wolen knows New York dining—after all he spent three years as the sous chef at the city’s acclaimed Eleven Madison Park. But the Ohio native moved back to his Midwest home turf and now works as executive chef/partner at Chicago’s Michelin-starred Boka (1729 N. Halsted St., Chicago, 312-337-6070). This past week, Wolen returned to NYC for his Michelin Star dinner at the James Beard House. We asked Wolen for his NYC dining picks, and found out why he has yet to find a favorite Mexican spot in NYC.

 

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What is your favorite place to... Read more >

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