The good folks at the James Beard Foundation know a thing or two about food. Work involves food, and free time involves food, too.
Over the year, they keep a running list of dishes that have wowed them. Three dishes from New York City made it: Rotisserie-Crisped Beets from Narcissa, the Seafood Salad from Hearth, and Spaghetti With Clams, ‘Nduja, Sugo, and Parsley from Bar Primi.
Senior editor Anna Mowry said the clearest trend this year they have seen was the “star treatment for vegetables,” which started in 2013 but really took hold in 2014. Vegetables are now getting the treatment that only used to be reserved for protein.
She fell in love with the Beef Tartare with celery, benne, smoked goat’s curd, and pancakes at Two Boroughs Larder in Charleston, S.C. When she emailed chef Josh Keller about the dish, she didn’t expect to get back a thoughtful reflection on celery.
“It went from being a tartare to a dish about celery,” he wrote back to her. “I wanted not only to highlight our in-house celery vinegar that we were so proud of, but also to show the versatility of that vegetable: the dish included celery juice, raw celery, pickled celery, celery seed, and celery leaves. I suppose we took a whole animal butchery approach to a head of celery.”
For the full list, see http://www.jamesbeard.org/blog/our-favorite-dishes-2014