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God Bless America

Long ago, I got a chance to cook at the James Beard House. (Owned now by the James Beard Foundation, the renovated brownstone that Beard actually lived in serves as the facility for many a big-name-chef dinner and much more.) I certainly wasn’t famous, but it was my class’s graduation from Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School (now called the Institute of Culinary Education), and we were lucky enough to be aligned with the Beard House.

It was a big night, but for some reason, what stuck with me the most is that I recall the house having an outdoor shower (maybe I’m crazy, but I’m pretty sure about this). Let’s just say the idea of the larger-than-life gourmand, James Beard himself, showering in nature in the middle of Greenwich Village made a lasting impression.


Cindy Pawlcyn, just one of the big-name
chefs that at your service for TasteAmerica.


But I digress. The reason I’m writing today is to let everyone out there know that New York is no longer the only place to experience one of the fabulous James Beard events. On September 28—in 20 cities across the nation—The James Beard Foundation is throwing one big national dinner party called TasteAmerica. This year, it will feature our cities’ wonderful female chefs which means James Beard Award-winners Traci Des Jardins (this is your chance to look her in the eye and ask her if she’s the next Iron Chef America, although she’s a woman of steel so I doubt she’ll let on), Nancy Oakes, Joanne Weir and Cindy Pawlcyn, as well as special guest, Gale Gand, from Tru Chicago. Bay Café host Joey Altman will be the emcee. Tickets are $250 each. The dinner benefits the James Beard Foundation. A portion of the proceeds will also go to the San Francisco Food Bank. I’ll be there, so if you attend, say hi.

Come one, come all. Click here to get your tickets now before they run out.