James Beard Foundation Announces 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

 James Beard Foundation Announces 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists

The James Beard Foundation has just announced its list of Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists for the 28th annual James Beard Foundation Awards. After receiving more than 20,000 entries, semifinalists were chosen for each of the  21 categories like best new restaurants, outstanding bar programs, and rising star chefs under 30.  

The foundation will announce the final nominees for each award category on March 14th during a press conference held at Stephen Starr’s restaurant, Parc.

About the James Beard Foundation’s awards

After receiving entries, the Restaurant and Chef Committee reviews them to determine eligibility and regional representation. Based on the results and eligibility requirements for each award, the committee then produces a nominating ballot that lists the semifinalists in each of the 21 Restaurant and Chef Award categories. The list is then voted on by 600 regional restaurant critics, food and wine editors, culinary educators, and past James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Award winners to determine the final five nominees in each category. The same judges then vote on these five nominees to select the winners.

The James Beard Foundation Awards Gala will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 7, 2018. During the event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, and America’s Classics. A gala reception, featuring acclaimed chefs and beverage professionals from across the country, will immediately follow.

Winners of the 2018 James Beard Media Awards will be announced at an exclusive event honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City April 27th.

Read More

America's First Vegan-Certified Vertical Farm Leaps Into the Future of Agriculture

America's First Vegan-Certified Vertical Farm Leaps Into the Future of Agriculture
  • Metropolis Farms is the world’s first solar-powered urban vertical farm which will be 100 percent energy-efficient.

  • Metropolis Farms grows over two million pounds of nutritious produce — without the need for harsh chemicals or animal products.

In this episode of “Sustain,” we learn how former venture capitalist, Jack Griffin,  helped build Philadelphia’s first vertical farm, Metropolis Farms.

“I became obsessed with the idea that we could feed ourselves within cities. It started out as a hobby, became an obsession…” says Griffin, president of Metropolis Farms, the first vegan-certified farm of America.

Metropolis Farms prides itself in growing over two million pounds of nutritious produce — without the need for harsh chemicals or animal products. On top of that, the farm uses far less space per square feet at a cost that is less than $2 billion to build.

The company has its own proprietary technology, which helps grow food more effectively and at a higher quality than conventional and organic farms can achieve. Through indoor vertical farming, the produce is not vulnerable to the weather, bugs, heavy metals, blight, and bacterial contaminations that are present in today’s outdoor agriculture.

At a recent TEDx talk event in Wilmington, N.C., Griffin explained “...the technology is accessible to anyone. It’s easy to use, cheap to build, and it’s profitable… For things to be sustainable, it has to be profitable!”

Read More

The Debate Over Sugar Tax Sparks Again, Following Cook County’s Repeal

The Debate Over Sugar Tax Sparks Again, Following Cook County’s Repeal

Last week, the penny-per-ounce soda tax on consumers, implemented by Cook County early August of this year, was repealed after much push-back from the public and heavy lobbying from Chicago’s business community.

Foodable first reported on the controversial tax last year, when five U.S. local governments (San Francisco, Oakland, Albany, Boulder, Cook County) passed tax measures on sugary drinks following the example of cities like Berkeley, Ca. and Philadelphia, Pa.

Cook County was the largest local government to implement the soda tax and the only entity to tax consumers directly rather than the distributors of the sugary beverages like in the rest of the cities.

After just two months of being in effect, the sugar tax will end by Nov. 30, the end of the Cook County budget fiscal year, thanks to a 15-2 vote by the county’s Board of Commissioners, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.

Critics of the tax repeal point to aggressive ads by the beverage industry criticizing commissioners for plans to allocate the revenue from the soda tax to help cover budget deficits as one of the reasons why big soda was able to convince the public the measure was not a good idea in the first place.

Read More

“Angeleno” Food Cart Brings Traditional LA Tacos to Philly

FCN-S06EP08-Taco_Angelino-gem.jpg

Watch this episode on

Los Angeles-native Vanessa Jerolmack has been making traditional Mexican tacos all her life, but it wasn't until she moved to Philadelphia that she thought to open up a shop dishing out the craveable bites. Now, on a lot on Baltimore Avenue, Taco Angeleno serves customers fully customizable tacos, burritos and quesadillas with an array of options, even catering to the vegan crowd.

“We make a homemade seitan here, and that's from my vegan days,” Jerolmack explains. “Like, I wanted something meaty tasting that I could eat with all the normal toppings that the other people with a meat taco were eating.”

Using a commercial kitchen ten blocks away, Taco Angeleno preps all its ingredients before bringing them to the food cart to be served. Customizable toppings like Salvadorian curtido, and staples like onions, cilantro, and lime take the tacos to the next level.

Being an outdoor restaurant, Taco Angeleno is only open from May through October to avoid the cold and rainy Philadelphia weather, but you can visit Taco Angeleno year-round by watching the episode above!

 
FCN-Logo-Horiz-sm.png
 

Buena Onda's Scratch Kitchen Stands Out in Fast Casual

Watch this episode on

Aside from earning the prestigious title of Iron Chef in 2009, Jose Garces has many other claims to fame such as his many restaurant brands in Philadelphia. Volvér, Distrito, and Amada are just a few of his successful concepts. But you don't have to pay an arm and a leg to get a taste of the chef's famed fish tacos.

The Garces Group’s only fast casual concept, Buena Onda, takes Garces’ culinary excellence and serves it up at affordable prices. Take, for example, their 5-dollar margaritas available on Taco Tuesdays! The Vice President of Culinary Operations for the Garces Group, Gregg Ciprioni, helped Foodable understand how Buena Onda is able to create top-level dishes keeping costs low.

“We featured mahi-mahi when we first opened here but there was an issue with overfishing in the past year and so it became prohibitively expensive,” Ciprioni explains. “You have to be really flexible with what you’re serving. You have to find what works right in this concept and we found that [Perch] is super consistent, it’s sustainable and delicious.”

Taking tips from its upscale big brothers, Buena Onda makes its flour tortillas from scratch daily. The tacos are topped with delicious garnishes like pickled purple cabbage, scallions and chipotle remoulade. With all this flavor, Greg also gave us some tips on retaining freshness for delivery. Watch the episode above to see how they’re doing it!

 
FCN-Logo-Horiz-sm.png