James Beard, An American Foodie Addict
Every Foodie should know a little bit about James Beard, who is the icon of American cooking and entrepreneur of cookbooks and cooking shows. For those who know of him, his name conjures up the notion of the pleasure of real cooking with fresh ingredients and the trigger of mouthwatering, satisfying cuisine that leaves the palate engaged and the tummy full. With the cocktail party craze of the late 1930s, he capitalized on catering events which led him to teaching and writing and eventually he published a cookbook titled Hors D’Oeuvre and Canapés, which was a compilation of his catering recipes. This cookbook helped catapult him into celebrity status. He had the first cooking show on television called “I Love to Eat”. This was a live series on NBC that aired from August 30, 1946 to May 18, 1947 and per Julia Child, “Through the years he gradually became not only the leading culinary figure in the country, but ‘The Dean of American Cuisine’.”
Mr. Beard forged ahead with more cookbooks, contests, product endorsements and opened cooking schools that allowed him to promulgate his mentoring reputation and authority on American cuisine. Following the celebrity chef’s death in 1985, the James Beard Foundation was formed and housed at Beard’s renovated brownstone at 167 West 12th Street in Greenwich Village, and is North America’s only historic culinary center. It is maintained as a gathering place for emerging and established chefs along with the press and general public, to continue the legacy of James Beard and the nurturing of culinary talent.
The annual James Beard Foundation Awards celebrate fine cuisine and take place around Beard’s birthday, which falls on May 5. The awards ceremony is held on the first Monday in May, and honors American chefs, restaurants, journalists, cookbook authors, restaurant designers and electronic-media professionals.
If you are a Foodie Groupie, you may want to check out this year’s Taste America tour which highlights the following ten cities:
Sept 22-23: Phoenix
Oct 6-7: Los Angeles/New Orleans
Oct 13-14: Philadelphia/Seattle
Oct 27-28: Chicago/San Francisco
Nov 3-4: Austin/Boston
Nov 10-11: Kansas City
Each stop on the tour features a weekend of spectacular culinary indulgence. This event is a nationwide fundraising epicurean tour for the James Beard Foundation’s Scholarship Fund.
James Beard was the first “American Foodie Addict”, and his appreciation for the true epicurean experience and ability to teach and mentor others has inspired us to create our Foodie Addict website. Follow us on social media where we will share great recipes, entertaining ideas, restaurant recommendations and much more valuable Foodie content. After all, anyone who loves to eat can learn to cook!