A Curated Meal Kit Crafted by James Beard House Fellow

A Curated Meal Kit Crafted by James Beard House Fellow

Salad Course: Don’t Be Late

Grilled Peach with Smoked Paneer, Mustard Greens, Mint–Basil Salad,
Pistachios, Goan-Spiced Watermelon Vinaigrette

Main Course: Trial by Fire

Berbere-Spiced Lamb Loin with Preserved Lemon Couscous,
Katchkie Farm Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini, Cucumber, Moroccan Mint Yogurt

Dessert: High on the Cob

Dark Chocolate Bon Bon with Grilled Corn and Salted Caramel Ganache

James Beard always welcomed students, authors, chefs, and other guests into his home—his kitchen was truly at the heart of America’s burgeoning food scene. After his death in 1985, a group of his friends and colleagues heeded a call from Julia Child to do something with Beard’s house.

A Curated Meal Kit Crafted by James Beard House Fellow

The James Beard Foundation officially opened the James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village on November 5, 1986 “to provide a center for the culinary arts and to continue to foster the interest James Beard inspired in all aspects of food, its preparation presentation, and of course, enjoyment.”

For decades, cooking at the James Beard House has been an aspiration for many chefs and considered a career milestone. In May of 2021, they launched the Beard House Fellows program, which re-envisions the potential of the historic space into a hub of training and professional development for talented emerging chefs.

A Curated Meal Kit Crafted by James Beard House Fellow

Emerging Chefs

May 2021 – Nicole Merino

June 2021 – Mimi Chen

July 2021 – Theodore Coleman

Curated Meal Kit by Chef Theodore Coleman

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Kick Off Grilling Season with Lamb Leg Steaks

Kick Off Grilling Season with Lamb Leg Steaks
Kick Off Grilling Season with Lamb Leg Steaks

It’s the time to honor our Fallen while we celebrate our Freedom. Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off the summer grilling season. It’s a day to balance solemnity with revelry. A day to pay our utmost respect to those who have laid down their lives to defend our freedom and ensure our liberty…we fire up the grill in celebration.

Lean, large, and very flavorful – the cross-section through the center of the hind leg – lamb leg steaks are great for grilling. Appropriately kicking off the year’s grilling season with this bold esoteric cut of lamb…as a prelude to summer adventure around the BBQ!

Grilled Lamb Leg Steaks Recipe 

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A Virtual Merino Lamb Adventure in New Zealand

Silere Merino Lamb Loin Fillets Mustard Seed Sauce, Cannellini Beans Pickled Fennel, Carrot, Parsnip Cilantro, Mint, Borage

Silere Merino Lamb Loin Fillets
Mustard Seed Sauce, Cannellini Beans
Pickled Fennel, Carrot, Parsnip
Cilantro, Mint, Borage

Are you up for an adventure? Come with me on a virtual culinary trip to New Zealand. Our voyage of discovery takes us to the South Island where we climb high up in the Southern Alps. As we explore an area rich in flora, covered with tussock grasses and wild herbs and flowers, we navigate the pristine silence of nature in rarefied air and brilliant sunshine. We breathe in nature’s sweet fresh bouquet.

Notice the snow-capped peaks that feed the clear alpine streams. Take note of the fauna too. Exquisite Merino sheep, historically treasured for their fine soft wool, are nibbling on those herbs and lapping up that pure water. This is an ancient breed, originally from central Spain, whose fleece has been prized for centuries and is made into the finest luxury clothing.

In recent years, particular strains of Merino sheep have been bred for their meat and are recognized as the finest breed for eating. Breed (Merino) plus Appellation (Southern Alps) equals 5 star blue-ribbon meat suitable for the world’s top restaurants. And now, us! Merino lamb just became available to the U.S. market, courtesy of the fine folks at Marx Foods here. “Good on ya, mates!” And “chur” for the free lamb samples.

Unlike cattle, lamb meat has not been designated by breed. Chefs and diners alike know the difference between Angus beef and Wagyu beef. But lamb, up until now – has been marketed by appellation – such as Colorado or New Zealand, regardless of the breed. Like wine, though appellation is important, it does not tell the whole story. That fine glass of Burgundy you sip, reflects the terrior where the grapes were grown, yes. But are you enjoying Chardonnay or Pinot Noir? Very different, indeed.

Readily distinguishable from their lowland cousins who chew on grass and lollygag around the flat plains, Merino sheep are hearty. Their healthy athleticism makes them well suited to forage for their tasty meals in the steep mountain ranges where this highland lifestyle produces a meat that is naturally leaner and less gamy, in fact, barely gamy at all. Their slower rate of maturation results in a more nuanced and refined flavor of meat.

My friend, you must be starving after our long hike in the Alps. Do come back to the lodge with me, and I will prepare Silere Merino Lamb Loin Fillets for dinner – a dish designed to showcase the elegance of the meat.

The fillets are not coated nor crusted. They are simply rubbed with olive oil and seasoned with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, then seared in a hot pan. This way, you can focus your attention on its rich delicate savoriness. To accompany the meat, I pair it with a range of flavors, spices, and textures that are well-known to complement lamb dishes over the globe.

Merino Lamb Loin Recipe

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A Lesson in Butchery and Cooking

michael fiorelli, lamb bolognese, terranea mar' sel

Slow Cooked Lamb Bolognese
Paccheri Pasta, Homemade Ricotta

FA and I had the pleasure of attending a class offered at the Chefs’ Summer Cooking Series @ Terranea Resort where we were invited in to the Mar’ Sel restaurant kitchen for a step-by-step lamb butchering demonstration by the talented and engaging Chef Michael Fiorelli. After the lesson we, along with 8 other guests, were seated in the beautiful dining room overlooking the Pacific Ocean to feast on a fabulous luncheon highlighting lamb.

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Lamb Medallion Stack, Warm Anchovy-Pine Nut Vinaigrette

Leg of Lamb Medallion, Dijon Mustard Anchovy Crust
Polenta Cake, Spinach, Parsley, Tomato
Warm Anchovy – Pine Nut Vinaigrette

I’ve been testing leg of lamb recipes for an upcoming event. One of the requirements of the challenge is that the entire recipe use no more than 10 ingredients (not including salt & pepper). So my goal is to get as many colors, textures, and memorable flavors into the lamb main-course dish as possible. Another guideline stipulates that all ingredients must be commonly available – so no Italian summer truffle, no foie gras (now banned here in California).

  1. Leg of Lamb Roast
  2. Olive Oil
  3. Polenta
  4. Spinach
  5. Parsley
  6. Tomato
  7. Anchovy
  8. Pine Nuts
  9. Dijon Mustard
  10. Sherry Vinegar

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