Throwback Thursday: James Beard's Technological Kitchen


Our recent 2015 JBF Food Conference focused on the future of food, from farm to kitchen to table, and beyond. Featuring leading experts in agriculture, gastronomy, design, history, and even a NASA scientist, the panels drew on the lessons of the past while painting visions of the potential of the future. But dreams of tomorrow are hardly a new thing, and technology has been just as much a driver of change in the kitchen as taste.


James Beard himself was known for embracing advances in kitchen technology, helping to develop Green Giant’s “boil-in-bag” vegetable products, Pillsbury’s refrigerated crescent rolls, and writing a cookbook to introduce Americans to the Cuisinart food processor. This TBT, we’re looking back one of our namesake’s endorsements that, well, didn’t have as much staying power. In the age of Pinterest, Epicurious, and our own sizable collection of online ... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday; Jim O'Lantern

Photo by Robyn Lee


From cakes, to sculptures, to even puppets, James Beard’s visage has graced his historic home in many a form. The pumpkin portrait above, however, has the distinction of being displayed while Beard was still alive. Event planner and former James Beard Cooking School student Robyn Lee shared this photo from her trip to New York over Halloween, 1983. According to Lee, it was JBF Award winner Larry Forgione’s team that carved the squash-based sketch. At that time, Forgione had just opened An American Place, his seminal restaurant that Beard helped usher into being. Beard would go on to eat at An American Place every week for the rest of his life, and saw Forgione's dishes as championing the kind of seasonally-based American cuisine he had always advocated for. We can't know if our namesake thought this was a treat or a trick... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Sam Kass and Michael Pollan Spar at the 2014 JBF Food Conference


When it comes to the areas of sustainability, nutrition, and food policy, it’s hard to find bigger names than Sam Kass and Michael Pollan. Kass will be honored at our upcoming 2015 JBF Leadership Awards for his work with the White House and Let’s Move, so for this TBT we’re looking back at a special meeting of the minds that took place during our Food Conference last year. In a discussion over the best means and methods for changing the American diet, Kass and Pollan debated the role of industry, government, and the individual in affecting change. Their back and forth emphasized the importance of constructive dialogue as we struggle to shift the priorities in our food system, and the rare opportunities to do so at events like our Food Conference. 

 ... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: A Night in Seattle's Chihuly Garden


Most of our focus during JBF Taste America events is on the delicious dishes being served during our superstar collaborative dinners, but it’s also worth a glance up from our plates to admire the setting. This TBT, we’re looking back to last weekend’s Taste America dinner in Seattle, where guests were treated to bites from some of the city’s top toques, first high above ground in the Space Needle, then beneath the awe-inspiring chandeliers in Chihuly Gardens and Glass. The photo above was taken from a table during the dinner, and serves as a reminder that sometimes we need to put our forks down and lift our faces up to appreciate these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.


There are still a few more stops in our Taste America tour. Get tickets... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Cooking School Memories


In honor of a wildly successful weekend at the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America in Phoenix, this TBT we’re looking back at a special moment event planner Robyn Lee and her mother shared with our namesake while attending one of his cooking classes. Robyn has continued her connection with Beard through her role as event planner for the weekend of Taste America events in Phoenix, where guests enjoyed an exclusive collaborative dinner by JBF Award winners Michel Nischan  and Chris Bianco, along with chef demos and tastings. While the chance to learn from the "Dean of American Cookery" is no longer possible, the next best way to get your fix is to visit the Beard House right here in New York City. Check out our calendar of events and plan your next visit.

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Throwback Thursday: Bitty Beard on the Move


We’re on the road again! Last week we kicked off the 2015 James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® tour, our national epicurean excursion to ten cities across the U.S. This Throwback Thursday, we’re placing a spotlight on our favorite travel companion, Bitty Beard, the pint-sized homage to our namesake with a full-sized globe-trotting addiction. Check him out on the shores of the San Francisco bay last year, and see where he’s off to in 2015 on Twitter through our #JBFTasteAmerica and #BittyBeard hashtags.


Want to meet Bitty Beard in person? Get tickets and more information here.

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Throwback Thursday: A Taste of Justice at the Beard House


The Beard House kitchen has played host to a panoply of culinary titans over the years, but on very rare occasions a guest upstairs will rival the star power cooking below. This Throwback Thursday, we’re looking back on one such evening, this past July 15, when Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice of the United States Supreme Court (and longtime JBF member) joined us in the dining room, only a few short weeks after the groundbreaking ruling which legalized gay marriage across the country. JBF Award winner Ted Allen and his husband Barry Rice were also on hand that night, and Allen noted the breadth of James Beard’s legacy on display that evening: “We were shocked and delighted, two weeks after the marriage equality ruling, that not only was Justice Sotomayor attending the Ristorante Rafele dinner at the Beard House—she was seated at our table. We enjoyed a whole evening—and a delicious dinner—with her. And when I thanked her for... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: End-of-Summer Peach Recipes


With summer's official end just a few weeks away (the equinox is September 23 this year), we're scrambling to hold tight to the gorgeous weather and easy-breezy, laid-back dishes that the warmer months bring. And that means hoarding the summer's best produce—funky looking heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, ripe berries bursting with flavor, and, of course, juicy peaches just dripping with the scent of pure summer. So on this #TBT, as we already feel the pangs of nostalgia during these last few warm days, we'd also like to remember something our namesake made sure to eternalize: "Few things in the food world equal the flavor of a ripe peach" (Beard on Bread, p.347). We couldn't agree with Mr. Beard more. 



When your hoarding becomes something of a problem, or if you're looking for inventive ways to... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: America's Classic Olneyville New York System


As we soak up the last few days of summer, we can't help but reminisce on all the great meals we've been able to indulge in these past few months—juicy burgers, smoky ribs, crisp vegetables, and the many hot dogs we swaddled in Martin's Potato Rolls. So on this TBT, while we look back on our summer eating, it only makes sense to revisit an old friend, the 2014 JBF America's Classic winner famously known for their hot wieners (the hot dog's beloved cousin), Olneyville New York System


Despite its name, this bastion of meat serves food that is distinctive to Rhode Island. Long ropes of wieners (a mixture of beef, pork, and veal) are slathered with mustard, topped with meat sauce, sprinkled with celery salt and onions, and served in a steamed bun. To round out an Olneyville signature meal, salt-and-vinegar French fries are a must, along with their famous coffee milk, another Rhode Island classic where milk is flavored with a sweetened coffee concentrate... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: America's Classic Sokolowski's University Inn


This Throwback Thursday we’re indulging our taste buds with a look at one of the 2014 JBF America’s Classics Award winners, Sokolowski’s University Inn. As Cleveland’s oldest landmark restaurant, Sokolowski’s is family-run, and spoons out generous portions of “stick to your ribs” Polish-American comfort food to eager diners from across the country. From stuffed cabbage to their renowned Salisbury steak, the hardworking sibling team of Mary, Bernie, and Mike proudly serve customers all the pierogies they can handle. At this American classic you’re guaranteed good company, polka music, and a satisfying food coma. Fortunately, the official James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics cookbook will be published by Rizzoli in February 2016, so you’ll soon be able to get a taste of Sokolowski’s without hopping on a plane to Ohio. If you’re craving Polish food, Sokolowski’s is the real deal, and with a roster of celebrity patrons including Jimmy Fallon, the president of Poland, and Bill... Read more >

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