This year marks the 25th anniversary of the James Beard Foundation, which was established to honor the cookbook author and culinary teacher. Most food savvy folks are familiar with the organization’s annual restaurant and chef awards that are given out each year at a red-carpet/black-tie affair in Manhattan.
The the Beard organization also supports culinary students through educational initiatives and scholarships. To commemorate the quarter-century milestone, the institution has established the James Beard Foundation Silver Anniversary Scholarship Drive. Restaurants around the country are offering special selections on their menus through September 3, 2012 and will donate one dollar from the sale of each of the special items to the scholarship fund.
Seven restaurants in Central Florida are participating: K restaurant, Cress, Spanish River Grill, Taverna Opa, 4Rivers Smokehouse, Mi Tomatina and the Rusty Spoon.
Here’s a rundown of the dishes they are offering:
Arni Exohiko which is lamb, potatoes, carrots, peas and Manouri cheese all wrapped in phyllo dough and baked in the oven.
“Duck a la Orange”…. Maple Leaf Farm’s Duck Breast, Fennel Dusted Duck Leg Confit, Duck Fat Potatoes, Orange Scented Marmalade, Candied Orange Peel
4 Rivers Restaurant
Breaded porklet with chipotle aioli, dill & arugula
Seafood Sampler with fresh fish, jumbo lump crab cake, shrimp and James Beard’s remoulade and sauce creole / Breast of Grimaud Farms Duck
Living Roots Farm Deviled Duck Egg- crispy, smokey bacon & Tomazin Farm cucumber / Cioppino- local grouper and clams, black mussels, blue crab in tomato broth, grilled bread & orange rouille
A Butcher Board with Rilette, Scotch Eggs and Pate de Campagne, all sourced locally from Lake Meadow Naturals and Palmetto Creek. Dessert Bread & Butter pudding
Pan-roasted duck breast with white wine poached pear and pear glaze
The scholarship items will be designated on the menu with the James Beard Foundation logo,
I’ve taken on the task of visiting each of the participating restaurants to give their special dishes a try. Be watching for my reviews. I’ll also update this article with links to the reviews as they come in. Look for the names of the restaurants to be hot-linked to the review.