This years JBF nominee announcements were very novel for several reasons aside from the location. One of the other special aspects of the event was a series of interviews that Kevin Richards collected from 16 of the 19 Oregon-based chefs who had previously been nominated for a James Beard Award. The interviews were edited into a video explaining how the award and James Beards' legacy may have influenced each chef and their professional successes. The hope is that this video will help up-incoming cooks today be cognizant of this tremendously important Oregonian. Check out OCI’s YouTube channel for more.
Another awesome detail of this whole thing?
OCI found out that JBF was looking for a local charitable foundation to help. Turns out, the school fit the bill. A portion of the ticket sales from the large gala (held the day after the announcements) was donated to the school for their student scholarship fund.
In homage to James Beard and his hometown, students competed and the top 2 appetizers and 2 desserts, out of the 30 entries, won spots on a special lunch menu which was served post press conference. The tricky part of the competition was that each dish had to highlight both this culinary pioneer and Portland. The winning students presented their dishes to the entire room of press and chefs—quite an awesome exposure opportunity.
The Winning Dishes
Escabèche with True Cod with watercress, fresh tortilla chip and blood orange
– Created by Alyssum Wright
“I used fresh True Cod since it is local and sustainable and I chose blood orange because it was fresh and in season.”
Black Truffle and Parmesan Cheese Soufflé with crème fraiche, salmon caviar and dill
– Created by Karen Lujan
“I tweaked James Beard's cheese souffle recipe and added a few other ingredients. I made about 60 souffles for the lunch.”
Cherries, Pears, Brandy, Grand Marnier and Kirsch Cake with orange whip and candied hazelnuts
– Created by Daniel Edwards
Toasted Hazelnut Tart with lemon mousse and marionberry compote, strawberries and sour cream
– Created by Elizabeth Marek