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Published: Tuesday May 27, 2014 MYT 11:25:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday May 27, 2014 MYT 11:29:54 AM

America's first foodie: New documentary pays tribute to James Beard

James Beard wrote cookbooks at a time when cooking was thought to be a woman’s job.

James Beard wrote cookbooks at a time when cooking was thought to be a woman’s job.

Late chef laid groundwork in American cuisine.

Before Julia Child, and before Mario Batali, there was James Beard, a man filmmakers have dubbed “America’s first foodie” in a documentary that’s currently in the works.

He may not be a household name for the average North American, more familiar with celebrity TV chefs who’ve made sport out of cooking.

But for top chefs, restaurateurs and those who work in the food industry, the name James Beard evokes a hushed kind of reverence for having laid the groundwork of American cuisine today.

In a preview teaser of America’s First Foodie, a who’s who of America’s food scene – Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine; food writer Ruth Reichl, chef Alice Waters and TV host Ted Allen – put the scope of the late chef’s culinary impact in perspective.

He was the pioneer of farm-to-table dining; he championed American cooking; and he wrote cookbooks at a time when cooking was thought to be a woman’s job.

Beard died in 1985 but left a legacy that includes 22 cookbooks, the James Beard Foundation Awards, known as the Oscars of the US food world, and the James Beard House.

In a statement that still holds true today, Julia Child once said: “For a chef, an invitation to cook at the Beard House is like a musician receiving an invitation to play at Carnegie Hall.”

Watch the video at americasfirstfoodie.com. – AFP Relaxnews

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, James Beard, documentary, America's First Foodie

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