Gourmet Event: James Beard Special Program at the Huntington

Foodies you must find your way down to the Huntington Library which is under the creative influence of the Two Hot Tamales, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. Feniger, Milliken, Kajsa Alger and Marc Powers are now the chefs behind the cuisine featured at the Huntington Library. In May, the Huntington will celebrate America’s first foodie, James Beard, with a special screening of the new PBS American Masters documentary, a panel discussion and food on Friday, May 19.

Program:
  • Screening: “James Beard: America’s First Foodie”
  • Panel discussion: Los Angeles chef (and one of The Huntington’s culinary partners) Mary Sue Milliken will join producer/director Beth Federici, producer Kathleen Squires, and well-known baker and Beard buddy Jim Dodge (who is also Bon Appétit Management Company’s Director of Specialty Culinary Programs) for a short discussion of what Beard meant to them. Oakland food writer John Birdsall will moderate. The winner of two James Beard Awards, Birdsall is working on a major new biography of James Beard, to be published by W.W. Norton & Co.
  • Reception: Beard-inspired appetizers by Mary Sue Milliken and Bon Appétit paired with wines and beers from Beard’s home state of Oregon.   

Dubbed the “Dean of American Cookery” by the New York Times, James Beard was cookbook author, journalist, television celebrity, and teacher. As a Portland, OR, native, Beard loved and celebrated the bounty of the Pacific Northwest at a time of when others celebrated “all things French,” Beard appreciated what America had to bring to the table. James Beard introduced Julia Child to New York, boosting her place as a culinary grande dame. “I may have brought French cooking to America, but Jim brought American cooking to America,” Child once said.

The documentary includes commentary by Alice Waters to Jacques Pepin, Martha Stewart, and Wolfgang Puck who share memories and recall Beard’s influence on the modern culinary scene.

 This event is expected to sell out. The Huntington food service is currently under the partnership of the four chefs Susan Feniger, Mary Sue Milliken, Kajsa Alger Alger and Marc Powers. Powers if the Executive Chef at the Huntington for Bon Appétit Management Company. Milliken serves on the Board of Trustees for the James Beard Foundation.
The Huntington’s 1919 (café) houses Milliena and Feniger’s Broder Grill taqueria, daily specials by Bon Appétit’s Marc Powers. The Patio Grill is a casual outdoor dining area created by Feniger and Milliken. My favorite is the Freshwater Dumpling and Noodle House in the Chinese Garden where chefs Alger and Feniger offer both authentic flavors and innovations.
Tickets to the Remembering James Beard, On Film and In Food event cost $85. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Screening begins at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Brown Paper Tickets.
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