James Beard Foundation Announces 2019 Host

The James Beard Foundation announced today that Jesse Tyler Ferguson will return to host the 2019 James Beard Awards. Ferguson previously hosted the Awards to rave reviews in 2017, and will return to this year’s awards ceremony and gala, taking place on Monday, May 6, 2019, at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Ferguson is a five-time Emmy nominee for his work on the landmark ABC comedy Modern Family which will be entering his 11th and final season next year, making it one of television’s longest running and most awarded comedies. He is also an accomplished stage actor having recently appeared on Broadway in the one-man solo show, “Fully Committed”. Ferguson continues to explore his love of food and cooking on his recipe-driven food blog, Julie + Jesse, in partnership with former Saveur magazine staffer Julie Tanous. A longstanding advocate for marriage equality, Ferguson co-founded Tie The Knot in 2012 with his husband, Justin Mikita, where they design limited-edition bow ties with all the proceeds going to various organizations that fight for civil rights for LGBTQ Americans.  nnounces “I am so excited to be coming back to the wonderful city of Chicago to be a part of this year’s James Beard Awards,” said 2019 host Jesse Tyler Ferguson. “Even if it doesn’t go as well as the last time I hosted, at least I know I’ll leave well-fed.”

This year’s theme, “Good Food For GoodTM” is synonymous with the James Beard Foundation’s mission. It is the simple summation of what the organization stands for, from unique and delicious dining experiences at the James Beard House and around the country, to scholarships, mentorships, and a variety of industry programs that educate and empower leaders in the food community. The Foundation has built a platform for chefs and asserted the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food. With this theme, the annual Awards aim to bring attention not only to its deserving winners but to the Foundation’s overall mission as well. 


Pittsburgh claims 7 James Beard Award Semi Finalist Slots

The James Beard Foundation just released  the Semi-Finalists for its 2019 Awards, and Pittsburghers should be Proud of the Showing by local Food & Beverage Personalities:

The winners in each category will be announced on May 6 at the James Beard Gala in Chicago. Here are the semifinalists from the Pittsburgh region: 

  • Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic: Jamilka Borges, The Independent Brewing Co.; Kristin Butterworth, Lautrec at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort; Wei Zhu, Chengdu Gourmet
  • Outstanding Restaurateur: Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik, Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group (Poulet Bleu, Fish nor Fowl, Butcher and the Rye, Tako and Meat and Potatoes)
  • Outstanding Wine Program: Bar Marco
  • Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Producer: Meredith Meyer Grelli, Wigle Whiskey
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Becca Hegarty, Bitter Ends Luncheonette

We offer our Congratulations to All, and We Wish them well during the ongoing Awards Process.


Nonino launches Amaro

What a delight to receive a sample bottle of Amaro, recently added to the Liquor Portfolio of our great good friends, the Nonino Sisters. Delicious! Magnifico! www.grappanonino.it/en/amaro-and-liqueurs/amaro-nonino-quintessentia/


Nathan Outlaw to open New Restaurant at London’s Goring Hotel

2 of our London Favorites get together.  Just back from Cornwall and a great lunch at Nathan’s Fish Kitchen, we’re delighted to hear from Nathan’s team that will be opening a New London spot at the legendary Belgravia hotel.  We’re told that the Restaurant, due to open in May, will offer views of the hotel’s elegant Garden – a view of which is in our OTM in Pictures.  When we stayed there, our room overlooked this beautiful space, and rumor has it that Duchess Kate’s parents were housed here at the time of the wedding. So make a note to follow our footsteps. And until the opening head for “Doc Martin land”  (Port Isaac) as we did just a couple of weeks ago – you’ll be glad you did.


Hear Eater London's Awardees on OTM

Check out OTM’s interviews with Eater London’s 2018 Selection as Chef of the Year and Restaurateur of the Year, when we talked to them at the Food on the Edge in Galway a few weeks ago; Clare Smyth of Core By Clare Smith – Chef of the Year; Iré Hassan-Odukale, of Ikoyi – Restaurateur of the Year.  Congratulations to both!!  Listen to the interviews at On the Menu Audio Archives, program date November 11, 2018 or direct at http://edge1550.com/podcasts/OnTheMenu-20181111.mp3.  


Dominique Crenn joins Elite Group of Female Chefs with 3 Michelin Stars

This News off the Wire.  Many congratu;ations & Good Wishes to you Dominique!!  We expected great things when we first met Dominique when she was moving from her Kitchen at SF's Intercontinental Hotel - marvelous to see this come true.

The chef Dominique Crenn has become the first woman in the United States to receive three stars from the Michelin Guide, its highest rating, for her modernist San Francisco restaurant Atelier Crenn.

The guide’s 2019 stars for the Bay Area were announced Thursday afternoon amid intense speculation that Ms. Crenn, who has already won many of the culinary world’s top prizes, might break that barrier.

The restaurant Single Thread, opened in Sonoma County just two years ago by the chef Kyle Connaughton and his wife, Katina Connaughton, also won three stars. That brings the number of three-star restaurants in the Bay Area to eight, more than in any other metropolitan area in the world except Paris and Tokyo. (New York City currently has five three-star restaurants.)

This news off the wire:

 

 


2019 MIchelin Ratings announced for Britain & Ireland

When Michelin’s Red Guide announces its New Year ratings, the event brings excitement & disappointment.  This year’s Britain & Ireland Stars are no exception.  Clare Smyth of 2018 opening Core leads the pack, and is one of two restaurants winning 2 Stars – and Clare’s Alma Mater, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay retained 3 Stars.  Bubbledog’s advanced from 1 to 2.  Two of our Favorite Chefs got their first stars for London dining rooms; Simon Rogan’ re-opened Roganic (to go with the 2 Stars he has at L’Enclume in Cartmel).  Nieves Barragan Mohacho, formerly of Fino & Barrafina, and her Partner Jose Etura, get a Star for Sabor.  Several Star spots in Ireland, in West Cork & Dublin, show that Emerald Isle fine dining continues to grow.  We’ll be at 2 of our favorites, Aniar & Loam (both in Galway), in the next 2 weeks.  For the full story - https://guide.michelin.com/hu/news-and-views/michelin-guide-great-britain-ireland-2019-results/news.  


Massimo Bottura on CBS’ 60 Minutes, October 7 program.

 OTM was truly proud to view this tribute to our Great Good Friend and his Devoted Wife Lara.  Recognized as the World’s Best Restaurant 2 of the last 3 years, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, is a Truly Wonderful dining experience.  But Massimo speaks more about the Six Refettarios he has established around the world, which feed disadvantaged populations with meals made from Foodstuffs that are saved from being wasted.  Kudos to 60 Minutes for telling the story of Massimo, a Great Chef and a Great Human Being!!  For more about this initiative - https://www.foodforsoul.it/


Western PA Lamb Fest Features Pure Bred

OTM first enjoyed the Luxurious Lamb grown by Keith Martin of Elysian Fields, of Waynesburg PA more than 30 years ago.  Keith used to drop off butchered ½ lambs for our family when he was making deliveries to Pittsburgh restaurants.  Elysian became known to fine restaurants across the country, one of whom was The French Laundry.  In 2006 Keith & Chef Thomas Keller decided to establish a joint venture. Pure Bred, to greatly expand availability & distribution of Elysian’s exceptional quality Lamb.

Pittsburghers will have a rare opportunity to sample Pure Bred Lamb at the 2nd Annual Western Pennsylvania Lamb Cookoff – “Lamb Fest”- taking place Sunday July 22 at East Liberty’s Ace Hotel.  10 Teams including Top Local Chefs and Visiting Chefs from all over the country will vie for the honor of being designated Best. 

Table Magazine is the organizer of this very special event and tickets are $65, in advance.  Get more information and tickets via http://sustainablepghrestaurants.org/site/event/2018-western-pa-lamb-festival-cook-off/. Or http://www.tablemagazine.com/table_live_posts/western-pa-lamb-fest/.


Chef Henry Harris re-emerges at London's The Coach

For more than a decade, Chef Henry Harris thrilled diners wih a taste for French Bistro classics at Racine in Knightsbridge.  OTM being part of this fraternity, we were pleased to dine with and interview Chef during our 2012 coverage of London Dining and saddened by Racine's closure.  Eater London just gave the recently opened The Coach an excellent review - and we're not surprised.  Get details at https://thecoachclerkenwell.co.uk,