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James Beard Awards Brought Food and Film to Lincoln Center

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Last night, the food world’s glitterati came together at New York’s Lincoln Center for the annual James Beard Awards. Food and film was this year’s theme (tagline: “Lights! Camera! Taste!”). Actor Oliver Platt hosted, guests wore 3-D glasses, and the post-award reception menu included movie-inspired bites (Nate Appleman’s take on Pulp Fiction’s Royale with Cheese was a big hit).

Here, we highlight a few of the night’s big winners—and all the things we’ve had to say about them.

Best Chef: Great Lakes
Stephanie Izard, Chicago
The Top Chef winner took home top honors for her work in Chicago. Her Girl & the Goat empire now includes Goat Market and Little Goat Diner, which we highlighted in this roundup of America’s coolest diners.

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic
Johnny Monis, Washington, D.C.
This Virginia-born chef was just 24 when he opened the Greek-inspired Komi, featured in our definitive guide to Washington, D.C.

Best Chef: Southeast
Joseph Lenn, Walland, Tennessee
The Tennessee native creates masterful dishes using ingredients fresh from Blackberry Farm, where he is executive chef. In our April food issue, Aleksandra Crapanzano penned an ode to outdoor dining at this classic Great Smokey Mountains retreat.

Best Chef: New York City
Wylie Dufresne, Manhattan
Call him the Susan Lucci of the James Beard Awards: this kitchen wizard has finally won after 10 nominations. His famed restaurant wd-50 made our list of New York’s most adventurous restaurants.

Best New Restaurant
State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
Adam Sachs didn’t show a lot of love for this quirky spot known for its dim sum-inspired cart service—but his recent story on San Francisco dining proves the city is the place to be for new boundary-pushing restaurants.

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Danny Bowien
The blue-haired chef (pictured above) has been the talk of both coasts, now that his runaway hit Mission Chinese Food is open in San Francisco and New York. Both locations were showcased on this list of best Chinese restaurants in the U.S.

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.

Photo credit: Kent Miller

Night Clubs, Supper Clubs, and Locavore: The Latest Foodie Buzz in Berlin

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You’ll sooner find Berliners dancing all night than eating a proper meal—which is why see-and-be-seen restaurants are popping up inside the hottest nightclubs. One of the pioneers of the latest is Cookies Cream, which serves upscale vegetarian under the glow of enormous peacock lamps at the 1920’s-inspired club Drayton. And at the Grand, a bi-level, supper-club-style spot in Mitte where a posh crowd samples beef tartare and truffle-spiked risotto. Katerschmaus, on the third floor of the graffiti-covered KaterHolzig, is known for modern takes on German dishes like turnip ragôut with crisp herb dumplings.

An expanding population of Jewish expats from the U.S. and Israel has helped spur the recent boom of Bubbe-style cuisine. The recently renovated Jewish Girls School in Mitte—four floors of contemporary art galleries and restaurants—includes everyone’s favorite deli, Mogg & Melzer, which specializes in house-made pastrami. The Kosher Classroom hosts a four-course Shabbat dinner (with traditional favorites such as smoked salmon and kreplach soup) and a Sunday brunch of Mediterranean meze. On Torstrasse, Israeli-inspired dishes are found at Hotel Mani’s intimate Restaurant Mani, where guests sample upscale street food (think saffron-spiced cauliflower, falafel with prawns).
 
The locavore movement came late to Berlin, but chefs are finally embracing the farm-to-table ethos. Michael Hoffmann of Restaurant Margaux uses produce from his nearby farmland, while restaurants like Little Otik, Lokal, and Katz Orange are sourced from local hunters and gatherers. The trend’s hub is the revived 19th-century Markthalle 9, in Kreuzberg, where you’ll find artisanal bakery Soluna Brot und Öl, Big Stuff Smoked BBQ, and the city’s first microbrewery. 

Photo courtesy of Cookies Cream

Paris: Bottoms Up at This Modern Medieval Tavern

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Ride back to the Middle Ages with this French eatery, much swankier than a tournament at Medieval Times.

Distressed, castle-style doors greet you at new Paris restaurant, Le Sergent Recruteur. While there are no knights in shining armor at this tavern, an expansive stainless steel bar serves up full goblets of wine with each course.

The all-fixed, five-course menu starts at 65 euros for lunch, 95 euros for dinner, and 35 euros for wine pairings. Top plates to try include the poached oyster in seaweed broth and cucumber foam, warm praline and cabbage salad, and a deconstructed chocolate vacherin for dessert.

Although swordfights are absent in Le Sergent Recruteur, acting refined after five hefty wine pairings is a battle all its own.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Klunderbie

Parisian Bistro Breaks Up the Crowd

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Overrun by touristy cafes and dives, Les Halles, Paris finally catches a break with new restaurant, Pirouette. Plate glass windows reminiscent of Los Angeles beckon crowds to this quality bistro that aims for an honest price and satisfying product.

The two-course lunch menu is a steal: servers trot out traditional eats like pot roast with carrot puree, and crispy chicken breast with mashed potatoes. The higher priced three-course menu features more elaborate options, such as chilled cream of lettuce soup with an egg cooked sous-vide to medium, smoked eel with confit potatoes, rare roasted pigeon, and pan-seared whiting with withered zucchini and tomato and fresh radish. Classic desserts are given a twist, like the soggy baba au rhum with lime sauce.

With most Les Halles eateries plagued by crowds, niche bistro Pirouette grants epicurean city-goers a sigh of relief.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo: Wendy Lyn @ TheParisKitchen.com

Crowdsourcing: What to Do When You’re Near the Sydney Opera House


View Sydney Opera House in a larger map

We asked true travel pros what to do near the Sydney Opera House. Want to share your expertise? Join our community on Facebook at facebook.com/travelandleisure and at Twitter @TravlandLeisure.

“Scale the Harbour Bridge with Bridge Climb Sydney. I’m terrified of heights but I loved it.” —@jenafox

Quay Restaurant (Overseas Passenger Terminal, level 3, Hickson Rd.; $$$$) at Circular Quay has the most beautiful menu. Get the guava snow egg for dessert!” —@plasticdiaries

“The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia has free entry for the permanent collection.” —Iwan D. Diran, via Facebook

Palmer & Co. (Abercrombie Lane) is a fabulous speakeasy-style bar—and the staff dress like it’s 1930.” —@wordsbykerrie

“The historic boutique Russell Hotel (143A George St.; $$), in the Rocks, is a little gem.” —@rhum88

“Take a walk through the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney, for stunning views.” —@peteraforeman

Finding America's Best Beers: Q&A with "The Audacity of Hops" Author Tom Acitelli

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The next time you find yourself enjoying a finely crafted beer, you might want to ask yourself what it took to bring that drink to your lips. Tom Acitelli, author of The Audacity of Hops: The History of America's Craft Beer Revolution (Chicago Review Press) did more than wonder about it: He went off across America in search of the stories behind the suds.

Acitelli, the founding editor of Curbed Boston, and a contributor to The New York Times and other publications, answered a few of our questions about where to find the best beers, how Europe is catching onto America's craft movement, and what it's like drinking brews infused with St. John's Wort or hot peppers.

Here are some of his insights:

Where is the heart of the American craft brewing scene?
Tom Acitelli: There are now more than 2,300 breweries in the United States, the most since the 1880s, so pinpointing a definite geographic heart might be a tad difficult. Spiritually, however, the American craft beer movement indisputably pivots on Northern California—specifically, the San Francisco Bay Area. The oldest craft brewery still in operation (Anchor Brewery, famous for its steam beer) is in an old coffee roastery in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood. The first startup craft brewery since Prohibition (New Albion Brewery, which went out of business in 1983) was also nearby, in Sonoma County wine country; and the nation's second- and third-oldest brewpubs, Mendocino Brewing and Buffalo Bill's, started just outside of San Francisco.

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Kansas City’s Best BBQ

Kansas City BBQ

K.C. didn’t invent barbecue—it perfected it. So says Doug Worgul, author of The Grand Barbecue. No surprise K.C.’s distinctive ’cue topped our America’s Favorite Cities survey. Worgul tells T+L where to get a bite.

“At Arthur Bryant’s (pictured; $$), the floors are greasy and it looks like the walls haven’t been painted in 20 years—but you won’t care once you try the brisket.”

“Major blues acts have played BB’s Lawnside BBQ ($$). Order the ribs; they’re not too sweet and not too spicy.”

“You can watch the meat being cooked outside at Woodyard Bar-B-Que ($). They do a really interesting smoked barbecue hamburger.”

For more survey results, see travelandleisure.com/afc.

Photo by Brooke Vandever

Paris Screams for these Funky Ice Cream Flavors

Glaces Glazed

The food truck trend isn’t just for Americans—Paris, a culinary epicenter, is expanding its street food scene as well. The latest is Glaces Glazed, a high concept ice cream peddler with fearless flavors given appropriately rock and roll names.

Top flavors include Smoke on the Water (Madagascar vanilla with organic hemp seeds), Black Sugar Sex Magic (dark chocolate sorbet with wasabi and ginger) and Orange Mécanique (the French title for A Clockwork Orange, is orange and Campari sorbet with balsamic reduction).

If you miss the truck, pick up a carton before your flight home at Lafayette Gourmet, a part of Europe’s largest luxury department store, Galeries Lafayette.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Courtesy of Glaces Glazed

Paris Chef Brings Femme Flare to Michelin-Starred Menu

La Dame de Pic

Amidst the macho world of iron chefs and gastropubs, feminine plays on food are scarce. Three-star Michelin chef Anne-Sophie Pic, however, decided to take the girly route with her latest Parisian restaurant, La Dame de Pic. Pastel pink and peach colored menus are first presented in fragrant scent strips. The aromatic theme then carries to the food, which starts with coffee- and peppermint-infused butter and multigrain toast.

Palates are kept sweet on Pic’s three-course lunch menu with strong fruit accents, including foie gras with a zesty lemon confit, a rouleau of suckling pig with fresh figs matcha, and a chestnut panna cotta with grapefruit gel for dessert. While La Dame de Pic flaunts a ladylike atmosphere, the flavors in its complex and daring dishes are anything but delicate.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by François Goizé

Q&A: Anthony Bourdain's Favorite Meals, Dream Destinations, and the Importance of Literacy

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On April 30, Anthony Bourdain hosts the 10th Annual Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters benefit, which raises money for a New York school that focuses on reading and writing skills. On the night’s agenda: sampling food from the likes of Danny Bowien and Gabrielle Hamilton and cocktails by PDT’s Jim Meehan. (Tickets, which start at $250, can be found here.) Here, the peripatetic author-chef-TV personality talks about his new CNN show, Parts Unknown, why he loves to communicate in 140 characters or fewer, and other topics.

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