Winners of the 2018 Julia Child Award

Los Angeles chefs and restaurateurs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger have worked together since 1982. The pair are co-proprietors of the acclaimed Border Grill restaurants in Los Angeles, and are the authors of several popular cookbooks. They also starred in 'Too Hot Tamales' on Food Network in the late 1990s, and if you have ever browsed foodnetwork.com, you are sure to find their names on hundreds of that site's most popular recipes. 

Today this hardworking duo is being recognized again for the efforts, as they have been named the recipients of the fourth-annual Julia Child Award. Created by The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts in 2015, the Julia Child Award is given to an individual (or team!) who has made a profound and significant difference in the way America cooks, eats and drinks.  This is the first time a team has received this honor. The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts recognizes the pair's accomplishments as chefs, as well as their "track record of their mentorship, bridge building, and giving back to the community." 

Cookbooks by Feniger and Milliken

In addition to their groundbreaking restaurants, Milliken and Feniger are also committed to advancing the position of women in the restaurant industry. The duo will receive the Julia Child Award on November 1 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History gala. Past winners of the award are Danny Meyer, Rick Bayless, and Jacques Pépin. 

New cooking column from the NY Times

Alison Roman's recent cookbook Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes immediately garnered a loyal following for its simple, delicious dishes that are full of timesaving techniques. Roman has been a senior food editor at Bon Appetit magazine and formerly worked as a pastry chef at places such as Quince in San Francisco and Momofuku Milk Bar in New York.

Dining In by Alison Roman

She has also contributed to some of her favorite publications, including Cherry Bombe. Now Roman has a new gig:  a biweekly column in the New York Times food section. The intro to the column, titled "It's Easy. It's Impressive. It's Dinner." promises that the articles will contain "effortless and delicious recipes you can make in less than an hour." For those of us with hectic schedules (i.e. everyone), this could be a godsend. 

Roman says that due to her low-key approach to cooking, people call her 'an unfussy cook'. That label is fine with her, as she explains: "To me, unfussy doesn't mean boring - it means approachable and accessible. It means getting dinner on the table with ingredients that are simultaneously inexpensive and interesting, treating them in a mix of new and familiar ways and doing it in less time than it takes to start a new series on Netflix." We look forward to seeing more from Roman in the months to come. 

You'll 'bug out' over this cookbook

Are you interested in eating insects? For most US residents, the answer to that question is "not yet." Although alternative proteins are multiplying rapidly, people in the US are resisting items that are commonly consumed in other cultures such as grubs or insects. If you aren't ready for whole bugs, Robyn Shapiro (a former marketing executive with Ralph Lauren), hopes you will dip your toe into the water to sample bug flour. Shapiro is the founder of a new company called Seek, which recently launched a Kickstarter to bring its cricket flour to market. 

flour

Seek is offering all-purpose, gluten-free, and Paleo blended flours, which the company claims can be used cup-for-cup in any recipe using flour. Thinking that even cricket flour may be a tough sell for timid US consumers, Seek has enlisted several celebrity chefs to put together a cookbook featuring the company's products.  

The Cricket Cookbook includes recipes from Fany Gerson, the Sioux chef Sean Sherman, and former NOMA pastry chef Malcolm Livingston, along with other chefs from the world over. So far, people are taking the bait (so to speak): the Kickstarter has already raised about $13,000, so it will likely hit its $25,000 goal. The blended cricket flours will only be available via the campaign to start, but if there is sufficient interest, Seek will market them nationwide later this year. The cookbook will likewise initially be offered only through the Kickstarter, but will eventually go on sale on Seek's website. 

The end of one era, but the promise of something new

For the past 20+ years, Donna Hay has been a driving force in the Australian food scene. As Australia's leading food editor and best-selling cookbook author, she has shaped the conversation around food for decades. Recently, Hay announced that major changes were afoot: both Donna Hay Magazine and Donna Hay Fresh + Light) will soon be ceasing publication

Donna Hay collage

The announcement began with the words "Be brave" and explained that now is the perfect time to make a transition. "With the 100th issue of donna hay magazine drawing near, I feel clarity...it's time for change," Hay said, stating that the milestone issue "will be the last as you've known it." 

Fans can breathe a sigh of relief that while the change may signal the end of an era, it does not mean the end of the Donna Hay brand. A new cookbook is in the works, and Hay promises that a new subscription print publication will also be forthcoming. "We believe there is still demand for high-quality creative print publication, and we are working on a plan to create a new and different magazine," Hay notes.  Updates will be posted on the Donna Hay website when there is more information. Naturally, we'll be keeping our ears to the ground and as soon as we hear something, we will share it with you. 

World's 50 Best Restaurants for 2018

 cookbook collage

The 2018 list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants was just published. Unfortunately for Dominique Crenn, the prediction that her restaurant would be among this select group did not come true, as Atelier Crenn was shut out of the rankings entirely after debuting at number 83 last year. Last year's number one restaurant, Daniel Humm and Will Guidara's Eleven Madison Park, fell three places to number four. The 2016 winner, Osteria Francescana, led by chef Massimo Bottura, regained its place at the top of the rankings.

Spain's El Celler de Can Roca gained one place to land in second place (the same place it too occupied in 2016), while Mirazur, located in Menton, France, nabbed the third spot. Rounding out the top five were Gaggan (Bangkok, Thailand) and Central (Lima, Peru). The number of female chefs (or co-chefs) on the list increased from three in 2017 to five today: Central by Pia León and Virgilio Martínez, Arzak by Elena and Juan Mari Arzak, Hiša Franko by Ana Ros, Cosme by Daniela Soto-Innes and Enrique Olvera, and Nahm by Pim Techamuanvivit (one caveat: Techamuanvivit assumed the top chef job earlier this year, presumably after the voting ended).

Many restaurants on the list will be familiar to EYB Members from the cookbooks of the chefs who lead the eateries. A large number of those titles are published under the Phaidon imprint. Remember that EYB Members receive a 30 percent discount on books from Phaidon; visit the special EYB page to receive these great savings. 

Several of the stunning Phaidon cookbooks from top 50 chefs on this year's and previous lists are indexed, including El Celler de Can Roca by Juan Roca, Central by Virgilio Martinez and Nicholas Gill, Mexico from the Inside Out by Enrique Olvera, D.O.M. by Alex Atala, Mugaritz by Andoni Luiz Aduriz, Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef by Massimo Bottura, Fäviken by Magnus Nilsson, Coi by Daniel Patterson, and Peru: the Cookbook by Gastón Acurio

Non-Phaidon published books indexed on EYB include Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, Alinea by Grant Achatz, Origin by Ben Shewry of restaurant Attica in Australia, and several books by Alain Passard of Arpège in France and Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin in New York. Boragó: Coming from the South by Rodolfo Guzman, is currently being indexed. An English translation of Etxebarri by Jon Sarabia, representing the grill cookery of the number 10 restaurant Asador Extebarri, is expected this fall. 

World's 50 Best Restaurants to be announced next week, 51-100 out now

Dominique CrennNext week the annual list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants will be unveiled. This week we got to learn about the runners-up, the restaurants ranked from 51-100. The list contains restaurants on the move, either new restaurants working their way up the rankings, or older establishments formerly in the top 50 that have since lost their luster. 

One restaurant in the 51-100 rankings last year is notably absent this year, and as Eater explains, that could mean very good news for its chef, Dominique Crenn. Atelier Crenn debuted on the list last year, in the number 83 position. Since it is rare that a restaurant would completely fall out of the rankings after only a year on the list, all signs point to Atelier Crenn's inclusion among the top 50. 

This is notable because a restaurant helmed exclusively by a woman has never before broke into this upper echelon (three restaurants that were run by a team including a woman have made it there). Many industry professionals, including Crenn. have blasted the organization that assembles the rankings for its bias toward restaurants owned and run by (mostly white) males.

Other interesting news from the list includes the fact that Noma won't be on the list at all this year (it was closed for its move and did not open in time to be considered for the 2018 rankings). One of the biggest debuts this year was Enigma, the Barcelona tasting-menu spot by Albert Adria. It enters the list at 95, making it a long way to go to achieve the top spot which was frequently occupied by El Bulli, where Adria worked alongside his brother, Ferran.

Gabrielle Hamilton plans to run The Spotted Pig

Gabrielle HamiltonSay what you will about the New York restaurant scene, but you will never make the argument that it is boring. Today's surprise food news out of NYC comes from Prune owner Gabrielle Hamilton, who announced that she is going to partner with Ken Friedman to become co-owner of The Spotted Pig

Hamilton said that she and her wife, Ashley Merriman, plan to be chefs and co-owners of the restaurant, alongside Friedman. "We don't have a deal, but we're going to make one," she said. "We're going to be chef-owners. We're going to run the Pig." Friedman has not provided any comment as of this afternoon. 

The announcement came as a shock to industry insiders, who did not believe that such a prominent female chef would work with Friedman. His former partner, April Bloomfield, recently declared that she had ended their business relationship. Some people believe Hamilton's plans show disregard for Friedman's bad behavior, which includes several allegations of sexual assault. 

Others think that Hamilton is the right person to turn around the beleaguered restaurant. The chef herself thinks that is the case: "Everyone gets so excited when José Andrés goes into these natural disasters and helps people," she said. "They ought to be happy that these two women are going into a man-made disaster to help make things right." 

Ruby Tandoh quits food column due to "toxic" food culture

Ruby Tandoh cookbookAs a contestant and finalist on Great British Bake Off at age 20, Ruby Tandoh impressed the judges and the fans watching the show alike. She is the author of three well-regarded books, and began writing a weekly food column for The Guardian. She surprised fans last week by announcing in a series of tweets that she was quitting her Guardian recipe column.

In her tweets, Tandoh explained that she was leaving due to a "toxic and elitist" food culture. "There are some decent people in that world - people trying to make a difference and bring some joy and compassion to our food culture," she said, "but the stuff that makes the headlines again and again is toxic and elitist and supported by truly rotten foundations."

Tandoh felt that her efforts to promote healthy eating were futile, and that there were too few food writers with a positive message. She hasn't ruled out writing again in the future, saying "maybe sometimes I'll write stuff, maybe I won't! Either way, I'm done trying to fight a mouldy system from within."

There haven't been any follow-up tweets (Tandoh's two posts following her announcement were both tributes to Anthony Bourdain), so we don't know what her future plans may include. Fans will just have to stay tuned to her social media feeds to see what's next. 

Anthony Bourdain has died at age 61

Kitchen ConfidentialThe culinary world is reeling this morning after reports that chef, author, and television star Anthony Bourdain has died of an apparent suicide. Bourdain, 61, was in Paris filming an episode of his CNN television series 'Parts Unknown'. In a statement, CNN said "It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain. His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time."

Bourdain rocketed to stardom following his first article in the New Yorker which led to the publication of his tell-all memoir Kitchen Confidential. The book, along with the rise of TV shows glamorizing chefdom, helped lead to a renewed interest in the profession. 'Kitchen Confidential' also foreshadowed some of the industry's problems like substance abuse and sexism in the workplace. 

Through his pioneering television shows, which have aired for nearly 15 years on different networks, the former chef introduced people to new cultures and expanded their culinary horizons. His work led to several awards, including a Peabody Award in 2013 for 'Parts Unknown'. Recently Bourdain became an outspoken advocate for women in the #metoo movement. 

The star had battled several demons in his life, including substance abuse and depression. His death, along with other recent high profile suicides, shows that mental health issues affect everyone regardless of success or financial status.  If you, or anyone you know, is suffering from depression, please know that there are people who can help. Following is a list of free resources available to anyone who needs help:

  • In the United States, the National  Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • In the UK, visit www.samaritans.org to find a list of help lines
  • In Canada, visit suicideprevention.ca for an up-to-date list of Distress Lines across Canada by province and territory
  • In Australia, visit the website Lifeline or call 13 11 14. They also offer a online chat service
  • In New Zealand, Lifeline Aotearoa provides free 24-hour counseling and phone help lines. Call 09 5222 999 if you live within Auckland or 0800 543 354 for those outside of Auckland

Disney is launching an online food channel

Chef MickeyAt its annual presentation to advertisers of upcoming new video content, the Walt Disney Company announced that it was creating a new online channel and editorial site dedicated to food. The digital brand, called Disney Eats, will host culinary shows and products aimed at families.

The content, much of which was created in a partnership with global entertainment company  Tastemade, includes shows like "Kitchen Little," which features children working with celebrity chefs; "Tiny Kitchen," where chefs create small replicas of Disney food; and a kitchen science program. The shows will focus on "co-cooking" experiences, or parents and children cooking together. 

Disney hopes to draw in a new generation of viewers by pitching the shows at their parents, who grew up watching YouTube videos and are now looking for suitable content for their children. Naturally, there will be product tie-ins to the shows, with branded products, like kitchen utensils and bakeware, as well as cookbooks. While the online food channel may be new, Disney is no stranger to cookbook publishings; the EYB Library contains dozens of Disney-themed books

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