The Bookshelf: Dan Barber's "The Third Plate"


This past spring JBF Award winner Dan Barber took the nose-to-tail and root-to-stalk philosophy a step further by transforming his acclaimed Blue Hill restaurant into the high-profile pop-up, wastED. The monthlong project tackled the food waste problem head-on, featuring dishes like monkfish wings and kale-rib stew. Barber credits his inspiration for the concept to the research he did for The Third Plate, which details his vision for the future of food, and won the medallion for Writing and Literature at our JBF Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards this year. Below, Barber digs into how our cultural history shapes our view of food, why wastED was so successful, and what chefs are doing to combat waste in the kitchen and on the table. 


JBF: In The Third Plate, you characterize America’s cultural conception of food as being based on everlasting... Read more >

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Buy 2014 Book Award Nominees in the JBF Amazon Store

The James Beard Foundation Amazon Store


Isn't it funny how your shelves always seem to have room for just one more cookbook? Good thing we just added this year's batch of JBF Book Award–nominated titles to our Amazon store. Go buy one—or anything else, for that matter—and the James Beard Foundation will get a cut of the purchase. Go on, you know you want to.

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The Bookshelf: Pandora’s Lunchbox


From Subway sandwiches that contain more than 100 ingredients to packaged cheese that won’t spoil for eternity, processed food accounts for 70 percent of America’s caloric intake. In Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal, former New York Times reporter Melanie Warner explores the depths of engineered food and its implications for our health and society. We got in touch with the author to learn about her investigation to uncover the truth, her most shocking discovery, and her advice for changing the way America eats.


(Join Melanie tomorrow at noon for a special installment of our Enlightened Eaters series at the Beard House.)




JBF: You started out as a business reporter for Forbes and the New York Times. How did you get interested in writing about food?


Melanie Warner... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: Vedge



If there’s anyone who knows his vegetables, it’s chef Richard Landau. His mission to make vegetables that appeal to a carnivore’s palate has been wildly successful—he cooked the first vegan dinner at the Beard House and, along with wife Kate Jacoby, opened the acclaimed vegetarian restaurant, Vedge, in Philadelphia. The duo’s new cookbook, Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking, offers innovative recipes, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and useful tips to help any cook extract the most flavor and satisfaction out of a plant-based diet. Below, Richard shares his advice for taking the veggie plunge.




JBF: What are some essential pantry items for a vegetarian or vegetable-focused home cook?


Richard Landau: A great olive oil, fresh herbs, quality spices, and a great stock are essential. But most important, all of your ingredients should be high quality. When cooking without animal products, you don’t have meat fats,... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook

Michael Anthony


Every year brings a fresh crop of dazzling, restaurant-driven cookbooks that renew our resolve to soar toward new technical heights in our home kitchens. But whether we actually reach those summits of thermal circulators and immaculate brunoise… well, that’s another story. This year’s batch included the eponymous title from New York City’s Gramercy Tavern, a restaurant anchored by a kitchen that’s never short on solid technique. But lightning-fast knife skills aside, JBF Award winner Michael Anthony says that The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook can actually make the leap from coffee table to kitchen counter. Intertwining two decades of the iconic restaurant's history with 125 seasonally inspired, contemporary American recipes, Anthony has crafted an invaluable resource for... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: What’s a Hostess to Do?

What’s a Hostess to Do? by Susan Spungen (Artisan Books, 2013)


Want to entertain flawlessly? So do we, so we enlisted recipe developer, food stylist, and author Susan Spungen to share five tips from her new book, What’s a Hostess to Do?, an invaluable resource chock-full of guidance, recipes, and helpful illustrations to help you become a party-throwing pro.—JBF Editors



Make It Ahead

Unless you’re a very confident cook, avoid last-minute cooking at all costs. A frantic or absent chef does not put guests at ease. For many of us, salads and stews are saviors.


Cook What You Know

The day of your party is not the time to practice something fancy that you’ve never even tasted, let alone cooked. Your tried-and-true pot roast may not seem exciting to you, but a solid dish done well is always better than a flashy one gone awry.


Think Like a Chef

Putting all of your ingredients in place... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: The Country Cooking of Greece

Diane Kochilas


In her new cookbook, The Country Cooking of Greece, Diane Kochilas offers vibrant recipes inspired by rustic tavernas, her own cooking school, and local artisans. We got in touch with the author to learn about her top picks for authentic Greek food in New York City, the distinct regional cuisines within the Mediterranean mecca, and an underlying philosophy of Greek cooking that everyone should master.


(Join Diane tomorrow at noon for a special installment of our Beard on Books series at the Beard House.)


JBF: What is your favorite aspect of Greek cuisine?


Diane Kochilas: There’s a tremendous variety of main-course vegetables and beans that sets Greek cuisine apart from other... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking

Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart


In their new cookbook, Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, JBF Award winner Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart share their expert guidance on classic Southern cuisine and traditions. We caught up with the authors to learn about their go-to restaurants for authentic Southern fare, their favorite food city in America, and the advice that every home cook should take to heart.


(Join Nathalie and Cynthia today at noon for a special installment of our Beard on Books series at the Beard House.)


JBF: Nathalie, you've been quoted as saying: "Southern cooking is the mother cuisine of America." Can you tell us a little bit more about that?


Nathalie Dupree: The Southerners took the lead. The Southern ports were active since the earliest days of the colonies, with many new food... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: Jasmine and Fire

Salma Abdelnour


After fleeing a war-torn Lebanon during her childhood and starting a new life in the United States, food and travel writer Salma Abdelnour always dreamed of returning to her homeland. Her poignant book, Jasmine and Fire: A Bittersweet Year in Beirut, chronicles her complicated return to Lebanon and its vibrant food culture. We got in touch with her to learn about her go-to Lebanese restaurants here in New York City, her favorite cuisines around the globe, and what makes Beirut’s food culture so extraordinary.


(Join Salma tomorrow at noon for a special installment of our Beard on Books series at the Beard House.)


JBF: You wrote that when you returned to Beirut and had to come to grips with so many changes in your life, you found solace in Lebanon’s food culture. Can you tell us a bit more about that?


Salma Abdelnour:... Read more >

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The Bookshelf: Hedy Goldsmith's "Baking Out Loud"

James Beard Award winner Hedy Goldsmith


Hedy Goldsmith, the James Beard Award–nominated pastry chef at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami, is known for her sophisticated and playful riffs on classic childhood treats, like the delicious peanut butter sandwich cookies on the cover of her new book, Baking Out Loud. Below are her five secrets to making a great cookie.


Have all your ingredients at room temperature.

This allows for the lightest and most delicate cookie. Creaming room-temperature butter traps more air, yielding a better-quality cookie.


Use great ingredients!

Period! Start with great quality and you’ll end up with great results: good-quality chocolate, vanilla beans instead of vanilla extract, good-quality butter, organic products if possible.
(I love... Read more >

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JBF Kitchen Cam