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David Ross

The Legacy of James Beard

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Recently, the 2011 James Beard Award nominees for Chefs, Restaurants and Restaurant categories were announced. On March 21, the nominees for the 2011 James Beard Journalism Awards will be announced. Yet the legacy Beard left behind is decidedly more than awards and dinners at the Beard House in New York. Beard was truly one-of-a-kind in terms of his impact on American cuisine and he left behind a rich legacy of teaching, writing and images that place him alongside other iconic figures--most noteably his dear friend Julia Child.

I have my own personal reasons for celebrating the legacy of James Beard--our connection as native Oregonians and the foods we grew up with here. I've been a student of Beard's musings on food and cooking and his ability to turn the written word into a platform for his lesson plans on how to cook.

Did James Beard leave a legacy that has had an impact on the way you cook and think about the foods we eat?

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I learned to cook reading his Theory and Practice. I still turn to it. Lovely book.

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The pure pleasure in eating and his wonderfully evocative prose style... both have had an impact on my appreciation of food.

Also who could resist some of his phrasemaking? "Nothing better than saddle of bear!!" from the Outdoor Cooking book.

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To me, Beard is about the best pure "writer" that ever wrote about food. I actually forgot to even look at the recipes in "Beard On Food" until I was almost done with the book. I was so taken by the prose, that when the article ended, I skipped on by to the next one. Only when I was done with the prose, did I go back to actually read the recipes and decide which ones I'd like to try. An amazing talent.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Beard's "American Cookery" is first among the top five cookbooks I use. I go back to it over and over again. "The New James Beard Cookbook" less often.


Buen provecho, Panosmex

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Beard's "American Cookery" is first among the top five cookbooks I use. I go back to it over and over again. "The New James Beard Cookbook" less often.

me as well,plus I have a paperback of his from 1959 thats interesting..

Bud

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I have that paperback, too, plus another dozen James Beard cookbooks. I especially like his "Delights and Prejudices", sort of a biography. JB was my go-to cookbook authority, just before Julia Child came on the scene. He was primarily a big meat eater, but my favorites from him include Tuitti Fruitti Ice Cream, and a sort of creme brulee baked in a brioche shell for brunch.


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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I have a number of books by Beard in my personal collection. The most cherished cookbook being a first edition of "The Fireside Cookbook," Simon and Schuster, 1949. It's a special family heirloom if you will because it was my Grandmother's-who shared her strong Oregon heritage with Mr. Beard, also a native Oregonian.

Fireside Cookbook.jpg

Fireside #2.jpg

Fireside #3.jpg

This is what Beard wrote about Globe Artichokes in 1949-

"The globe-sometimes called the French-artichoke is in reality the bud of a thistle-like flower which is as decorative as the bud is palatable." Imagine such creative writing about an artichoke some 62 years ago.

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