Back in 1993 Food Network debuted when I was a college student and I was hooked for life on all things food. Long before Food Network Justin Wilson and Julia Child taught me basics on PBS. What I didn’t realize was that even further back James Beard was teaching people about barbeque and casseroles, hor’s d’oeuvres and cocktail parties. He was the original foodie and was known as “The Dean of American Cusine.” Once I started culinary school I became hyper aware of James Beard and the contributions he made in defining and elevating American Cusine. The most distinguished award in the restaurant industry is named for James Beard. The James Beard Award is like an Academy Award for chefs.
Upon his death in New York City, friends of James Beard purchased his home in order to preserve the space inhabited by the father of American Cusine. It is used as a space to showcase chefs from across the globe. James Beard Foundation members are eligible for seats in his former home to test food from the very best chefs across the country.
Somehow I’ve been given the honor of showing off what Yazoo County has to offer. I’m still stunned when I realize that on August 2 I will be in James Beard’s tiny kitchen in NYC cooking for people who love the American food experience. It’s thrilling and terrifying. I don’t even consider myself a real chef! With this opportunity I plan to showcase the best of what Yazoo County has to offer: kibbie, tamales, Mississippi Cheesestraws, Simmons Catfish, comeback sauce and of course, Ubons BBQ.
Our squad has been checking experiences off the ole bucket list for years: throw out the first pitch at a Cardinal’s game, stand on the 50 yard line at the Mile High Stadium, cook bbq on Madison Ave, guest Pitmaster In Australia. And now cooking at the James Beard House.
Cooking alongside me are Craig (The BBQ Ninja), Jacob (my son), and Terrance (the Frymaster.) We are nervous and thrilled and know one thing for sure: the food will be amazing.
Tickets are available here for both members and non members: https://www.jamesbeard.org/