America is home to more than 100,000 head chefs, and last night, a select handful — along with a few restaurateurs, general managers, and wine and spirits professionals — took home a James Beard Award, the industry's top prize. Wondering what makes these names such a big deal? Then get to know the people behind the country's best restaurants and bars.
Today, San Pellegrino and Restaurant magazine unveiled their annual list of the top 50 restaurants in the world. Considering their varied locations, highly competitive reservation spots, and steep price tags, it'll be a while before I cross most of the restaurants off my list — but hey, a girl can dream. Are you in the same tough spot? Then, in the meantime, take a virtual tour of the world's top 10 restaurants, where you can feast on all the avant-garde cuisine with your eyes.
The Best New Chefs Dinner is a highlight at the annual Aspen Food & Wine Classic, but for the festival's 30th anniversary celebration, Food & Wine switched things up, showcasing this year's award winners at a Grand Tasting booth throughout the weekend. Take a look at what they offered — and what we devoured.
Photo: Donna Lee
Over the past few years, Indian food, much like Vietnamese and Korean cuisines, has made giant strides in the landscape of American cuisine. No one can speak to this more than chef Sachin Chopra, the creative force in the kitchen at Bay Area restaurants All Spice and Arka (where he's chef-owner and consulting chef, respectively). Chopra, who was recently named one of the four new chefs to watch by Esquire, had garnered accolades for his unique marriage of Indian and West Coast flavors. I spoke to the chef about his creative twists on classic Indian cuisine, the benchmark dish for a truly great Indian restaurant, and what spices you need in your pantry to create restaurant-worthy Indian food.
YumSugar: Where do your menu items (like chilli cheese uthappam and tomato basil biryani, both on the menu at Arka) come from?
Sachin Chopra: Working in various upscale restaurants over the years, both Indian and American, I developed a passion for combining the best elements of each. Arka's menu is a reflection of that passion; it is my interpretation of classic Indian food, presented with Californian sensibilities.
YS: I've noticed a trend toward the fusion of Indian and Latin ingredients. Does that influence you at all in your menu development? Do you think the Latin-Indian fusion concept has mainstream potential?
SC: We have an abundance of fresh produce here [in California], and it so happens that some of the same ingredients that make Latin cuisines delicious also work well with Indian food. Sure, there could be a market for Latin-Indian fusion, provided the chef respects each cuisine and is masterful in combining them.
YS: What are some other trends you're seeing in Indian cuisine today?
To find out his answer, keep reading.
With as many recipes that we make, we've learned plenty of simple tips from sheer experience. But over the years, we've also taken guidance from culinary celebrities, cooking demos, and restaurant chefs. Everyone from Michael Symon to Ming Tsai has played a role in how we cook and entertain at home. Curious to know the sagest advice we've gathered from famous chefs? Keep reading to find out.
Regardless of whether you think she hosts the best Italian cooking show, Giada De Laurentiis has made a tremendous mark on home cooking in America. Over the years, Giada's evolved from fresh-faced home caterer to full-blown celebrity TV personality — and today, the Food Network star turns 41 years young. To pay tribute to her influence, I thought I'd show you a glimpse of her best moments over the years. Check it out when you keep reading.
What are you up to for the rest of this week? We'll be busy attending the third annual SF Chefs, a gathering of chefs, restaurateurs, and other individuals respected in the food industry. To get you excited for our upcoming coverage of the festival, I thought I'd quiz your knowledge of Fog City's top chefs and dining establishments. I'll name the celebrated chef, and I want you to try to guess his or her signature restaurant. Ready? Let's get started!
Source: Flickr User joey.parsonsTake the Quiz
Last night at the James Beard Awards, Spaniard José Andrés took home the most coveted title, that of outstanding chef in the nation. The chef and father has five restaurants in Washington DC, one in Los Angeles, and two in Las Vegas. When receiving the award, Andrés said, "food can change the life of people. Use food in the right way." He's not just making waves with his cuisine; he's also using food to promote social change. To learn more about the chef who trained under Spain's famed Ferran Adría, read on.