Eating with James

If a James Beard award is the food world's equivalent of an Oscar, then cooking at the James Beard house must be a pressure-packed night for a chef. For many chefs, it's a step in gaining respect and recognition amongst their peers.

Since I enrolled at the French Culinary Institute last year, I've cooked alongside chefs from all over the country and world who come to the Beard house to cook dinner. I've rolled fresh spring rolls stuffed with lobster, deep fried delicate soft shell crabs, helped plate towering desserts of strawberry tuiles and anything else a chef and his assistants needed help with to pull off a successful dinner. I quickly learned some chefs handle the pressure cool and calmly while others sweat through the three-hour, multi-course meals.

Recently, I had a chance to be on the other side as a guest. Chef Evan Percoco of BOKX 109 American Prime was up for the challenge this time.

As usual, the evening started off with hors d'oeuvres (Nantucket Bay scallops, maitake fritters, prawns with a gremolata and saffron aioli) and flowing bottles of brut rose. But what I couldn't wait for was dinner.

Of the five courses, I still daydream about the bacon and egg dish. It's not as simple as it sounds. First the pork belly is seared on all sides for crispness before it's finished in the oven. Then the egg is delicately poached and cooled before it's rolled in some itty bitty bread crumbs and then quickly deep fried. With a glass of crisp Chardonnay, it couldn't get much better.

The fun you have as a diner is different from one you get in the kitchen. But when food prepared with care, it's something that everyone enjoys in the end.

Featured Culinary Schools

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses