Interview with Jeremiah Stone and Fabian von Hauske of Best New Restaurant Nominee Wildair

 

With its unfussy food and vibe, it's no surprise that Wildair, the second effort from Contra's Fabian von Hauske and Jeremiah Stone, has become both a critical and industry favorite. In our final interview with chefs who oversee our 2016 Best New Restaurant nominees, the duo discusses Wildair's origins, broad appeal, and signature dishes. 

 

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JBF: Wildair is named after an 18th-century prize-winning racehorse that lived in the neighborhood. First of all, how did you find out about this random historical fact? How much is the neighborhood’s history reflected in the menu and atmosphere?

 

JS and FvH: Jeremiah found the name while looking on Wikipedia. We liked that it had a historical connection to the Lower East Side. We... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Jenner Tomaska of Chicago's Next

JBF Award nominee Jenner Tomaska of Next in Chicago

 

For Jenner Tomaska, it's already been an eventful year in a still-young 2016: the Next chef earned a Rising Star nomination in March, then a promotion to executive chef following the departure of JBF Award winner Dave Beran. Tomaska's debut service at Next will take place this Saturday, just two days before the 2016 James Beard Awards. Below, find out what you can expect from his forthcoming "South America" menu and more. 

 

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JBF: The last menu at Next was inspired by the Alps. What was one of your favorite dishes on this menu? We’d also love to hear more about how the menu was developed. 

 

Jenner Tomaska: We developed the menu to reflect traveling through the Alps, starting in the outskirts of France and Germany, ascending to the "top of the mountain" for a vantage point of all the countries, and then... Read more >

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Interview with Jen Hidinger and Ryan Smith of Atlanta's JBF Award–Nominated Staplehouse

 

One of Atlanta’s hottest seats to snag is at Staplehouse, a neighborhood restaurant known for its warm hospitality, locally sourced ingredients, and thoughtful menus. In addition to their expertly crafted fare, another standout feature of the 2016 Best New Restaurant nominee is the fact that it contributes 100 percent of its post-tax profits to the Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides emergency assistance grants to metro Atlanta restaurant workers facing unanticipated hardship. We spoke with business manager Jen Hidinger and head chef Ryan Smith about Staplehouse’s history, their favorite places to eat out, and why their goal is to make memorable food.

 

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Ask the Chefs: Finger Lakes Toques on Top Wine Region Eats

 

New York State’s picturesque Finger Lakes region beckons travelers and oenophiles with its extraordinary beauty and award-winning wineries. For an upcoming Beard House dinner, a group of local and Big Apple chefs will collaborate on a stunning late-spring menu paired with critically acclaimed wines from Bloomer Creek Vineyard. In anticipation of this dinner, we caught up with winemakers Debra Bermingham and Kim Engle, the proprietors of Bloomer Creek Vineyard; along with chefs Shaina Loew of New York City hot spot Prune; and Justin Paterson of Hazelnut Kitchen in Trumansburg, New York. Read on to see what they have to say... Read more >

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Interview with Ravi Kapur from San Francisco’s JBF Award–Nominated Liholiho Yacht Club

 

With appearances on best-of lists from Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Eater, and the San Francisco Chronicle, Liholiho Yacht Club has taken the Golden Gate City by storm. Lauded for its heritage-driven, Hawaiian-inspired fare, the menu also pulls from Northern Californian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Indian culinary traditions with inventive dishes like pork belly with pineapple and Thai basil; and beef tongue steam buns with kimchi. We spoke with chef Ravi Kapur about the inspiration behind the restaurant’s concept, where to get the best noodle soup in the Bay Area, and how spam has been woven into Hawaii’s culinary fabric.

 

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JBF: How would you describe Liholiho Yacht Club’s culinary style? What do you hope to share with your diners?

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Ask a Chef: Matthew Dolan on Sustainable Seafood and San Francisco Eats

 

At his pair of superb San Francisco eateries, Twenty Five Lusk and Tap [415], chef and co-owner Matthew Dolan combines his classic European technique with Northern California ingredients and sensibilities. For his Beard House reprise, Dolan will delight seafood lovers with a decadent and sustainability-minded feast, proving just how delicious conscious consumption can be. In anticipation of his dinner, we spoke to the industry vet about perfecting his octopus preparation, some of his favorite places to dine in the Bay Area, and why he'll eat any and all types of pizza. ... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Angela Dimayuga of Mission Chinese Food

Angela Dimayuga of Mission Chinese Food in New York City

 

At Danny Bowien's second incarnation of Mission Chinese Food, executive chef Angela Dimayuga presides over one of New York City's most ambitious and idiosyncratic menus. (Where else can you find both caviar service and "hot cheese pizza" on offer?) But the 2016 Rising Star Chef nominee and her team's throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach goes beyond the kitchen: Dimayuga is also an advocate for work-life balance and effective management, and she's willing to think creatively in her pursuit for a better workplace culture. Below, find her tips for fostering a healthy and productive kitchen staff, her recommendations for ordering off the current MCF menu, and her highlights from a recent trip to South Korea. 

 

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JBF: We read your piece on Grub Street... Read more >

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Ask the Chefs: Diego Galicia and Rico Torres on San Antonio's Dining Scene

 

Mixtli’s small space belies the impressive ambitions of its staff: every six weeks, the kitchen presents a fresh new menu that showcases ingredients and techniques from one of Mexico’s 31 states, a concept that JBF Award–winning food personality Andrew Zimmern has praised as “brilliant, progressive Mexican cuisine.” Later this week, Mixtli's own Diego Galicia and Rico Torres will showcase their progressive Mexican cuisine at the Beard House for a dinner filled with ceviche, mole, and more. In anticipation of their event, we spoke to the two toques about their Beard House inspiration, the best advice they've ever received, and the best date-night spot in San Antonio's booming dining scene.

 

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What is your inspiration behind the... Read more >

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Interview with JBF Award Nominee Matt Rudofker of NYC’s Momofuku Ssäm Bar

 

After rising through the ranks at Vetri, Daniel, and London’s Fat Duck, Matt Rudofker caught the eye of industry titan David Chang, who has given him executive chef duties at not one, but two anchors of the international Momofuku empire, Má Pêche and Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York City. We chatted with the 2016 Beard Award nominee for Rising Star Chef of the Year about the most enticing new dishes on his menus, his favorite local haunts, and a precarious competition in the Ssäm Bar kitchen. 

 

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JBF: Your first cooking gig was at Vetri in your hometown of Philadelphia. Were there any great lessons from that experience that have shaped you as a chef?

 

Matt Rudofker: I learned quite a lot of great lessons there, but the two things that always stuck with me are:... Read more >

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Interview with Rene Ortiz, Laura Sawicki, and Margaret Vera of JBF Award–Nominated Launderette

Photo: Giant Noise

 

Rene Ortiz and pastry chef Laura Sawicki had already won over Austinites with their Mexican and Thai-inspired eateries La Condesa and Sway, so it should come as no surprise that their latest venture, Launderette, was a roaring success since its opening last year. With its far-ranging menu featuring “feel-good food” from across the globe, the Launderette team has created a neighborhood joint that extends far beyond East Austin. Read on for our conversation with Ortiz, Sawicki, and co-owner Margaret Vera about the restaurant’s genesis and how the menu reflects their overall philosophy.

 

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JBF: Can you tell us the story behind your restaurant's name?

 

Launderette Team: The property had been a laundromat for 50 years, and we wanted to carry on the tradition of neighbors and friends coming together. “Launderette... Read more >

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