21st Annual BBQ

It's almost that time again - this must-attend party during the National Restaurant Show is open to all industry personnel.  See you there!


Competing chefs this year include: Tony Priolo, Piccolo Sogno; Stephen "Smokey" Schwartz, Burnt End BBQ; Cory Morris, Boleo, Gray Hotel; David Chapman and Joe Frillman, Daisies; John Coletta, Quartino; Martial Nougier, Bistronomic; John Manion, La Sirena Clandestina and El Che Bar; Marcos Ascencio,Bar Lupo; James Lintelmann, Baptiste & Bottle and Noyane, Conrad Hotel; Derek Campbell, Big Bricks; Ryan McCaskey, Acadia; Brenton Balika, Margeaux Brasserie at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago; Tom Carlin, Dove's Luncheonette.

Lauded Chicago Chef Carrie Nahabedian Starts a New Chapter

Carried Nahabedian chatted with me about her emotional decision to close Naha, one of Chicago's most popular restaurants after 18 years, and completely revamp it in a new location. She also speaks out on women in the industry and the pride she takes in her Michelin stars. It's always a pleasure to hear her open and honest opinions on just about everything.

Lauded Chicago Chef Carrie Nahabedian Starts a New Chapter

She'll close her one-starred NAHA at the end of the month. Chef Carrie Nahabedian never stops. At the end of the month, she's closing and reconceptualizing NAHA, her 18-year-old Chicago stalwart, despite tearful pleas from neighborhood regulars. Reservations for the last few nights are pouring in. "It's exciting and mentally draining," she says.

NYT: Finding a Lost Strain of Rice, and Clues to Slave Cooking

Gullah chef BJ Dennis discovered hill rice in Trinidad, an important clue to the history of slave cooking. Read about it here in this New York Times article. We were honored to have BJ cook a Gullah lunch for our Flavor Foray group in Charleston. His collards cooked in coconut milk are to die for!

Finding a Lost Strain of Rice, and Clues to Slave Cooking

That's why B.J. Dennis, a Gullah chef from Charleston, was stunned to find the rice growing in a field in Trinidad, tended by a farmer descended from slaves who once lived in Georgia.

Congratulations Jose Andres!

Congratulations to Chef Jose Andres, who will receive the humanitarian of the year award from the James Beard Foundation for the wonderful work he did feeding the people of Puerto Rico following the hurricane. We are proud that his World Central Kitchen is a beneficiary of the Championship BBQ and Cook-Off coming up in Chicago May 20.

Click below to read more.

James Beard Foundation Names José Andrés Humanitarian of the Year

Global restaurateur and Eater Icon of the Year José Andrés is now also the James Beard Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year. A previous recipient of James Beard Awards for his cooking and empire building, JBF is recognizing Andrés this time around for the millions of meals (over 3 million and counting) he's provided to residents of Puerto Rico still working to piece together their lives following the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017.



Sweet Memories with Bâtard Pastry Chef Julie Elkind

Blueberries are Julie Elkind’s madeleines. They trigger memories of childhood summer days spent picking berries and baking with her much loved grandmother. There’s the day she’ll never forget when the blueberry cobbler they were baking exploded all over the oven. “It blew the oven door open and splattered all over the walls and the floor. We were covered head-to-toe in blueberries. We just laughed and laughed hysterically, and then started eating it off the counter tops,” she recalls.

Sweet Memories with Bâtard Pastry Chef Julie Elkind

A pastry chef paints her past in artfully plated desserts.

Regaining the Human Connection Through Food, by Jason Stemm, Padilla, Prosciutto di Parma

Regaining the Human Connection Through Food - The Buzz Bin

I can be old school. I like phone conversations, handwritten notes, and a drink (coffee or cocktail) with someone, rather than Skype, text or email. The latter are efficient, but I sometimes wonder if we lose personal connection with the kind of connection that technology empowers?

Hello, World!