Last week at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, where Julia Child’s famous Cambridge, Mass., kitchen now lives, the first-ever Julia Child Award was presented to Jacques Pepin, her longtime friend and cooking partner. At a gala dinner emceed by Alton Brown, Daniel Boulud presided over the menu, which featured dishes from Child’s repertoire of French classics. As the evening progressed, chefs including Boulud, Sara Moulton and Marcus Samuelsson took the stage to share the many ways that Child influenced their lives and careers. Here’s just a snapshot of what they learned from the iconic “French Chef” who brought French cooking, as well as a love of gastronomy, to mainstream America. Read more
After waiting in meaty anticipation for 12 long months, burger enthusiasts from across the country converged upon Midtown Manhattan tonight to welcome the New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s much-beloved Burger Bash back to the Big Apple. This year’s fan-favorite event marked the eighth annual celebration of all things between the bun and the second time it took place on the roof of Pier 92, where the hundreds of hungry partygoers could enjoy sprawling city sights and glowing Hudson River views. Once again, Rachael Ray was on hand to host the sold-out bash, and she was joined by fellow Food Network favorite Robert Irvine, who was one of four of this year’s esteemed judges. Josh Capon, who’s won Burger Bash at both the New York City Wine & Food Festival and the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, was on hand as well, but this year he wasn’t cranking out his now-famed Bash Burger. Instead, he joined Robert, Coolio and New York Jets player Nick Mangold as a judge of the entire menu of burgers up for grabs.
It was up to the partygoers to vote for the burger they thought was the best of all, and after the votes were tallied, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer scored the coveted people’s choice award, thanks to its blue cheese-laced Kobe beef burger. One of the team members from the restaurant joined Rachael on stage to collect the $1,500 prize.
With plenty of tangy tomato sauce at the ready, and tender meatballs and cheesy margherita pizzas on hand, the stage was set for the 2015 New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s opening night bash on Thursday: an Italian feast hosted by who else but Food Network’s own queen of Italian cuisine, Giada De Laurentiis. Along with Giada, more than 30 chefs gathered high atop Manhattan’s Pier 92 to serve the ultimate Sunday supper-style menu complete with Old-World favorites, from classic red-sauce gravy and pillowy gnocchi to succulent porchetta and even sweet-tooth-satisfying cannoli.
FN Dish caught up with Giada as she mingled with fans, and she told us that when it comes to Sunday supper at her house, it’s a kid-friendly feast. “Usually it’s Jade and I cooking, and then it depends on what friends or what family is available to come over,” she said. And as for what’s likely on the menu at her house? According to Giada, “Pasta is Jade’s favorite.” At Giada’s station on Thursday night, however, there wasn’t pasta but a pair of golden-brown arancini — one filled with artichoke and the other with lemony crab, both nestled in a bright tomato sauce.
By Joseph Erdos and Sara Levine
Portland, Oregon, should be on any food fanatic’s radar. If you want to sample food from more restaurants than you could ever possibly visit over a single weekend, plan a trip during Feast Portland, the city’s annual food festival. Feast celebrates all the great eats and drinks the city and region has to offer, plus tastes from more top chefs and restaurants across the country. Portland in September is gorgeous and green, perfect weather for walking off the food (and wine, and craft beer …) you’ve consumed. We just returned from the fourth annual Feast and can confirm that the festival’s name couldn’t be more appropriate. Here’s just a handful of our favorite bites. Read more
Chicago pride was on display last night at the 25th James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards, which have temporarily migrated from New York for a three-year run at the Windy City’s Lyric Opera. The ceremony’s host, Food Network’s own Alton Brown, may be a Southerner, but he was joined on stage by gala co-chairs Grant Achatz, Rick Bayless and Paul Kahan, three of Chicago’s greatest chefs. Rich Melman, founder of prolific Chicago-based restaurant group Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award with a speech packed with pride for his hometown. Mayor Rahm Emanuel applauded the city’s food scene on the red carpet and in remarks on stage. When Food Network asked the mayor if he had any favorite places to travel outside of Chicago for great food, he didn’t miss a beat in retorting, “Yeah, Chicago!” And every time Chicago took home an award, the opera house boomed with cheers. Read more
And the award for the Best Food Moment of this year’s Oscars goes to …
No, not Academy Awards host Ellen DeGeneres’ pizza delivery to the stars, funny (and real) though it was, but rather to Best Actor winner Matthew McConaughey‘s mid-acceptance speech shout-out to his late father, who he said was looking down proudly from above surrounded by his favorite foods: “a big pot of gumbo,” “a lemon meringue pie” and “a cold can of Miller Lite.”
“And he’s dancing right now,” the Dallas Buyers Club star said, breaking into a little dad shuffle.
You can watch the father-food tribute by clicking play on this video (find it around 2:04), then set to creating your own McConaughey-inspired piece of heaven by cooking up some gumbo (perhaps a Shrimp Gumbo, a Louisiana Seafood Gumbo, a Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo or Food Network Magazine’s Vegetable Gumbo (pictured above) — or one you can make in your slow cooker) and lemon meringue pie (Alton Brown’s recipe is a classic, and Trisha Yearwood’s is so simple it’s almost magic).
Michael Symon still feels bad about getting chopped last season on Chopped All-Stars, but not because he’s a sore loser. The Iron Chef was competing for Autism Speaks, and says it still gets to him that he wasn’t able to win $50,000 for this charity that’s near and dear to his heart. “You feel like you’ve let down a greater cause, not just your own well-being,” he says. “It beat me up a little bit.”
Michael got his chance to give back by serving as the host of this year’s Autism Speaks Celebrity Chef Gala, which took place Tuesday in New York. More than 90 chefs from coast-to-coast, including fellow Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Next Iron Chef contender Nate Appleman, descended on Wall Street to cook for this worthy cause.
It was a brunch buffet fit for an army and an army of Paula Deen fans did indeed turn out for her Sunday Jazz Brunch at Gotham Hall in New York City. From her own Eggs Benedict to delicious dishes from guest chefs, there wasn’t an empty plate in the place. Paula, her sons and her husband addressed the large crowd and thanked them numerous times for their support of the Food Bank of New York City and Share Our Strength: “I appreciate so much y’alls support and helping solve this big problem we have in America…you’ll never realize what it means to me.”