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James Andrews Beard (May 5, 1903 – January 23, 1985) was an American chef,
cookbook A cookbook or cookery book is a kitchen reference containing recipes. Cookbooks may be general, or may specialize in a particular cuisine or category of food. Recipes in cookbooks are organized in various ways: by course (food), course (appetize ...

cookbook
author, teacher and television personality. He pioneered television cooking shows, taught at The James Beard Cooking School in
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from , or NYC for short, is the in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the major city in the United States. Located at the s ...

New York City
and
Seaside, Oregon Seaside is a city in Clatsop County, Oregon, Clatsop County, Oregon, United States, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The name Seaside is derived from ''Seaside House'', a historic summer resort built in the 1870s by railroad magnate Ben Holladay. ...

Seaside, Oregon
, and lectured widely. He emphasized American cooking, prepared with fresh, wholesome, American ingredients, to a country just becoming aware of its own culinary heritage. Beard taught and mentored generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. He published more than twenty books, and his memory is honored by his foundation's annual James Beard Awards.


Early life and education


Family

James Andrews Beard was born in
Portland, Oregon Portland (, ) is the in the of , and the of . It is a major in the region of the , at the of the and rivers in Northwestern Oregon. As of 2020, Portland had a population of 652,503, making it the city in the United States, the sixth-m ...

Portland, Oregon
, on May 5, 1903, to Elizabeth and John Beard. His British-born mother operated the Gladstone Hotel, and his father worked at the city's
customs house A custom house or customs house was traditionally a building housing the offices for a jurisdictional government whose officials oversaw the functions associated with importing and exporting goods into and out of a country, such as collecting ...

customs house
. The family vacationed on the Pacific coast in Gearhart, Oregon, where Beard was exposed to Pacific Northwest cuisine. Common ingredients of this cuisine are
salmon Salmon is the common name for several species of ray-finned fish Actinopterygii ( New Latin ('having rays') + Greek ( 'wing, fins')), members of which are known as ray-finned fishes, is a clade A clade (; from grc, , ''klados'', " ...

salmon
,
shellfish Shellfish is a colloquial and fisheries Fishery is the enterprise of raising or harvesting fish and other aquatic life. Commercial fisheries include wild fisheries and Fish farming, fish farms, both in fresh water (about 10% of all catch) and t ...

shellfish
, and other fresh
seafood Seafood is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans, prominently including fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in this defini ...

seafood
;
game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390 to 1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New York City) '', 1560, Pieter Bruegel the Elder File:Paul Cézanne, 1892-95, Les joueurs de cart ...
meats such as
moose The moose (in North America) or elk (in Eurasia) (''Alces alces'') is a member of the Capreolinae, New World deer subfamily and is the Largest cervids, largest and heaviest extant taxon, extant species in the Cervidae, deer family. Most adult ...

moose
,
elk The elk (''Cervus canadensis''), also known as the wapiti, is one of the Largest cervids, largest species within the deer family, Cervidae, and one of the largest terrestrial mammals in North America, as well as Central Asia, Central and East ...

elk
, or
venison Venison originally meant the meat Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since prehistoric times. The advent of civilization allowed the domestication of animals such as chickens, sheep, ...

venison
;
mushroom A mushroom or toadstool is the fleshy, spore )'', growing on a thinning, thinned hybrid black poplar ''(populus, Populus x canadensis)''. The last stage of the moss#Life cycle, moss lifecycle is shown, where the sporophytes are visible befor ...

mushroom
s,
berries A berry is a small, pulpy, and often edible fruit. Typically, berries are juicy, rounded, brightly colored, sweet, sour or tart, and do not have a stone or pit, although many pips or seeds may be present. Common examples are strawberries, raspbe ...

berries
, small
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
s,
potato The potato is a starch Starch or amylum is a polymeric A polymer (; Greek '' poly-'', "many" + '' -mer'', "part") is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attr ...

potato
es, and wild plants such as
fiddleheads
fiddleheads
or young pushki (''
Heracleum maximum ''Heracleum maximum'', commonly known as cow parsnip, is the only member of the genus '' Heracleum'' native to North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisp ...
'', or cow parsnip). Beard's earliest memory of food was at the 1905
Lewis and Clark Exposition The Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, commonly also known as the Lewis and Clark Exposition, and officially known as the Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair, was a worldwide World's fair, exposition hel ...
, when he was two years old. In his
memoir A memoir (; , ) is any nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictio ...
he recalled:
I was taken to the exposition two or three times. The thing that remained in my mind above all others—I think it marked my life—was watching Triscuits and shredded wheat biscuits being made. Isn't that crazy? At two years old that memory was made. It intrigued the hell out of me.
At age three Beard was bedridden with
malaria Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes symptoms Signs and symptoms are the observed or detectable signs, and experienced symptoms of an illness, injury, or condition. A sign for ...

malaria
, and the illness gave him time to focus on the food prepared by his mother and Jue-Let, the family's
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...

Chinese
cook. According to Beard he was raised by Jue-Let and Thema, who instilled in him a passion for
Chinese culture Chinese culture () is one of the world's oldest cultures, originating thousands of years ago. The culture prevails across a large geographical region in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's large ...
. Beard reportedly " ttributedmuch of his upbringing to Jue-Let," whom he referred to as his Chinese godfather.Dao, Dan Q. "Who was Jue-Let, the Unknown Chinese Chef Who Raised James Beard? Saveur Magazine. 2017.
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Education

Beard briefly attended
Reed College Reed College is a private liberal arts college in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1908, Reed is a residential college with a campus in the Eastmoreland neighborhood, with Tudor- Gothic style architecture, and a forested canyon nature preserve at ...

Reed College
in
Portland, Oregon Portland (, ) is the in the of , and the of . It is a major in the region of the , at the of the and rivers in Northwestern Oregon. As of 2020, Portland had a population of 652,503, making it the city in the United States, the sixth-m ...

Portland, Oregon
. He was expelled for homosexuality in 1922, having had relationships with "one or more male students and a professor." However the college granted Beard an
honorary degree An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which ...
in 1976. After leaving Reed, he traveled from Portland to Liverpool aboard a British freighter, spending subsequent years living and traveling in Europe. In 1923, he joined a theatrical troupe and studied voice and theater. He also spent time in Paris, where he experienced
French cuisine French cuisine () consists of the cooking Cooking or cookery is the art, science, and craft of using heat to Outline of food preparation, prepare food for consumption. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the Earth, world ...
at its bistros and central market, Les Halles. In France, he also had the opportunity to enjoy sexual freedom, having a short relationship with a young man. From this period and the widespread influence of French food culture, he became a
Francophile A Francophile, also known as Gallophile, is a person who has a strong affinity towards any or all of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance languages, Romance language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family. It desce ...
. In 1927 he returned to the US, spending time in Portland, Hollywood, and New York attempting to start a career in acting, costume and set design, and radio.


Career

Beard moved to
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from , or NYC for short, is the in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the major city in the United States. Located at the s ...

New York City
in 1937. Unlucky in the theater, he and friend Bill Rhodes capitalized on the
cocktail party 160px, A typical cocktail, served in a cocktail glass. A cocktail party is a party at which cocktails are served. It is sometimes called a cocktail reception. A cocktail party organized for purposes of social relation, social or Business network ...
craze by opening Hors d'Oeuvre, Inc., a
catering Catering is the business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." Hav ...

catering
company. This led to lecturing, teaching, writing, and the realization "that part of his mission s a food connoisseurwas to defend the pleasure of real cooking and fresh ingredients against the assault of the Jell-O-mold people and the domestic scientists." He published his first cookbook in 1940: ''Hors D'Oeuvre and Canapés'', a compilation of his catering recipes. According to fellow cooking enthusiast
Julia Child Julia Carolyn Child (née McWilliams; August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) was an American cooking teacher, author, and television personality. She is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her debut cookbook, '' ...

Julia Child
, this book put him on the culinary map.Beard, ''James Beard Beard on Food'', pg. vi
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
rationing ended Beard's catering business. He enlisted in the Army and was trained as a cryptographic specialist. Because he had hoped to serve in the hotel management division of the Army Quartermaster Corps, he sought and obtained release from the Army in 1943 based on a regulation applying to men over age 38. From August 1946 to May 1947, he hosted '' I Love to Eat'', a live television cooking show on
NBC The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), co ...
, beginning his ascent as an American food authority. According to Child, "Through the years he gradually became not only the leading culinary figure in the country, but 'The Dean of American Cuisine'." In 1952, when Helen Evans Brown published her ''Helen Brown's West Coast Cook Book'', Beard wrote her a letter igniting a friendship that lasted until Brown's death. The two, along with her husband Phillip, developed a friendship which was both professional and personal. Beard and Brown became like siblings, admonishing and encouraging each other, as well as collaborating. According to the James Beard Foundation website, "In 1955, he established The James Beard Cooking School. He continued to teach cooking to men and women for the next thirty years, both at his own schools (in New York City and Seaside, Oregon), and around the country at women's clubs, other cooking schools, and civic groups. He was a tireless traveler, bringing his message of good food, honestly prepared with fresh, wholesome, American ingredients, to a country just becoming aware of its own culinary heritage." Beard brought French cooking to the American middle and upper classes during the 1950s, appearing on TV as a cooking personality. David Kamp (who discusses Beard at length in his book, ''The United States of Arugula'') noted that Beard's was the first cooking show on TV. He compares Dione Lucas' cooking show and school with Beard's, noting that their prominence during the 1950s marked the emergence of a sophisticated, New York-based, nationally and internationally known food culture. Kamp wrote, "It was in this decade [the 1950s] that Beard made his name as ''James Beard'', the brand name, the face and belly of American gastronomy." He noted that Beard met Alice B. Toklas on a trip to Paris, indicative of the network of fellow food celebrities who would follow him during his life and carry on his legacy after his death. Beard made endorsement deals to promote products that he might not have otherwise used or suggested in his own cuisine, including Omaha Steaks, French's Mustard, Green Giant Corn Niblets, Old Crow bourbon, Planters, Planters Peanuts, Shasta (soft drink), Shasta soft drinks, DuPont chemicals, and Lawry's and Adolph's, Adolph's Meat Tenderizer. According to Kamp, Beard later felt himself a "gastronomic whore" for doing so. Although he felt that mass-produced food that was neither fresh, local nor seasonal was a betrayal of his gastronomic beliefs, he needed the money for his cooking schools. According to Thomas McNamee, "Beard, a man of stupendous appetites—for food, sex, money, you name it—stunned his subtler colleagues." In 1981, Beard and friend Gael Greene founded Citymeals-on-Wheels, which continues to help feed the homebound elderly in New York City.


Personal life

Julia Child Julia Carolyn Child (née McWilliams; August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) was an American cooking teacher, author, and television personality. She is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her debut cookbook, '' ...

Julia Child
summed up Beard's personal life:
Beard was the quintessential American cook. Well-educated and well-traveled during his eighty-two years, he was familiar with many cuisines but he remained fundamentally American. He was a big man, over six feet tall, with a big belly, and huge hands. An endearing and always lively teacher, he loved people, loved his work, loved gossip, loved to eat, loved a good time.
Mark Bittman described him in a manner similar to Child's description:
In a time when serious cooking meant French Cooking, Beard was quintessentially American, a Westerner whose mother ran a boardinghouse, a man who grew up with hotcakes and salmon and meatloaf in his blood. A man who was born a hundred years ago on the other side of the country, in a city, Portland, that at the time was every bit as cosmopolitan as, say, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.
Beard admitted, "until I was about forty-five, I guess I had a really violent temper." Beard was gay. According to Beard's memoir, "By the time I was seven, I knew that I was gay. I think it's time to talk about that now." Beard came out in 1981, in ''Delights and Prejudices'', a revised version of his
memoir A memoir (; , ) is any nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manifestation of nonfiction, non-fictio ...
. Of Beard's "most significant romantic attachments" was his "lifetime companion" of thirty years, Gino Cofacci, who was given an apartment in Beard's townhouse in the will and died in 1989, and Beard's former cooking school assistant Carl Jerome. John Birdsall, a food writer who won two James Beard Awards, ties Beard's sexuality to his food aesthetics, and said in 2016 it's only recently that people are accepting the connection. James Beard died of heart failure on January 21, 1985, at his home in
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from , or NYC for short, is the in the United States. With a 2020 population of 8,804,190 distributed over , New York City is also the major city in the United States. Located at the s ...

New York City
at age 81. He was cremated and his ashes scattered over the beach in Gearhart, Oregon, where he spent summers as a child. In 1995, ''Love and Kisses and a Halo of Truffles: Letters from Helen Evans Brown'' was published. It contained excerpts from Beard's bi-weekly correspondence from 1952 to 1964 with friend and fellow chef Helen Evans Brown. The book gave insight to their relationship as well as the way that they developed ideas for recipes, projects and food.


Foundation

After Beard's death in 1985, Julia Child wanted to preserve his home in New York City as the gathering place that it had been during his life. Peter Kump, a former student of Beard's and the founder of the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump's New York Cooking School), spearheaded efforts to purchase the house and create the James Beard Foundation. Beard's renovated brownstone at 167 West 12th Street in Greenwich Village, is North America's only historic culinary center. It is preserved as a gathering place where the press and general public could appreciate the talents of emerging and established chefs. In 1986, the James Beard Foundation was established in Beard's honor to provide scholarships to aspiring food professionals and champion the American culinary tradition which Beard helped create.Kamp, pg. 294 "Since its inception in 1991, the James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program has awarded over $4.6 million in financial aid to a variety of students—from recent high school graduates, to working culinary professionals, to career changers. Recipients come from many countries, and enhance their knowledge at schools around the world." The annual James Beard Foundation Awards celebrate fine cuisine around Beard's birthday. Held on the first Monday in May, the awards ceremony honors American chefs, restaurants, journalists, cookbook authors, restaurant designers and electronic-media professionals. It culminates in a reception featuring tastings of signature dishes of more than 30 of the foundation's chefs. A quarterly magazine, ''Beard House'', is a compendium of culinary journalism. The foundation also publishes the ''James Beard Foundation Restaurant Directory'', a directory of all chefs who have presented a meal at the Beard House or participated in one of the foundation's outside fundraising events. The foundation was affected by scandals; in 2004 its head, Leonard Pickell, resigned and was imprisoned for grand larceny and in 2005 the board of trustees resigned. During this period, chef and writer Anthony Bourdain called the foundation "a kind of benevolent extortion, shakedown operation." A new board of trustees has instituted an ethics policy and chosen a president, Susan Ungaro, to prevent future problems.


Works

*''Hors d'Oeuvre and Canapés'' (1940) M. Barrows & Co., revised in 1963 and 1985 *''Cook It Outdoors'' (1941) M. Barrows & Co. *''Fowl and Game Cookery'' (1944) M. Barrows & Co. *''The Fireside Cook Book: A Complete Guide to Fine Cooking for Beginner and Expert'' (1949) Simon & Schuster, reissued in 1982 as ''The Fireside Cookbook'' *''Paris Cuisine'' (1952) Little, Brown and Company Beard co-wrote Paris Cuisine with British journalist Alexander Watt. *''The Complete Book of Barbecue & Rotisserie Cooking'' (1954) Maco Magazine Corp., reissued in 1958 as ''New Barbecue Cookbook'' and again in 1966 as ''Jim Beard's Barbecue Cookbook'' *''Complete Cookbook for Entertaining'' (1954) Maco Magazine org*''How to Eat Better for Less Money'' (1954) Simon & Schuster *''James Beard's Fish Cookery'' (1954) Little, Brown, reissued in 1976 and 1987 in paperback as ''James Beard's New Fish Cookery'' *''Casserole Cookbook'' (1955) Maco Magazine Corp. *''The Complete Book of Outdoor Cookery'' (1955) Doubleday (publisher), Doubleday *''The James Beard Cookbook'' (1959) Dell Publishing, revised in 1961, 1970, 1987 (paperback) and 1996 *''Treasury of Outdoor Cooking'' (1960) Golden Press *''Delights & Prejudices: A Memoir with Recipes'' (1964) Atheneum Books, Atheneum, revised in 1981 and 1990 *''James Beard's Menus for Entertaining'' (1965) Delacorte Press *''How to Eat (and Drink) Your Way through a French (or Italian) Menu'' (1971) Atheneum *''James Beard's American Cookery'' (1972) Little, Brown and Company *''Beard on Bread'' (1973) Alfred A. Knopf, revised in 1995 (paperback) *''James Beard Cooks with Corning'' (1973) *''Beard on Food'' (1974) Knopf *''New Recipes for the Cuisinart Food Processor'' (1976) *''James Beard's Theory & Practice of Good Cooking'' (1977) Knopf, revised in 1978, 1986, and 1990 *''The New James Beard'' (1981) Knopf, revised in 1989 *''Beard on Pasta'' (1983) Knopf *''The Grand Grand Marnier Cookbook'', with John Chang McCurdy (1982) TBWA Advertising, Inc., New York *''Benson & Hedges 100's presents 100 of the world's greatest recipes'' (1976) Philip Morris Inc., New York *''The James Beard Cookbook on CuisineVu'' (1987) A computer diskette with about 125 recipes from ''The James Beard Cookbook'' (unpublished) *''James Beard's Simple Foods'' (1993) Macmillan Publishers, Macmillan *''Love and Kisses and a Halo of Truffles'' (1994) Arcade, edited by John Ferrone *''The James Beard Cookbooks'' (1997) Thames and Hudson, edited by John Ferrone *''The Armchair James Beard'' (1999) The Lyons Press, edited by John Ferrone *''The Essential James Beard Cookbook'' (2012) St. Martin's Press


Archival collection

The James Beard Papers are housed in the Fales Library at New York University.


Notes


See also

* Culinary history of New York City * LGBT culture in New York City * List of LGBT people from New York City * List of LGBT people from Portland, Oregon


References

* Beard, James (1990) ''A James Beard Memoir: The James Beard Celebration Cookbook''. Ed. Barbara Kafka. New York: W. Morrow * Beard, James; José Wilson (2007) ''Beard on Food: The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom from the Dean of American Cooking''. New York: Bloomsbury * Beard, James (1949) ''The Fireside Cook Book: A Complete Guide to Fine Cooking for Beginner and Expert''. New York: Simon & Schuster * Beard, James (1974) ''The Best of Beard: Great Recipes From a Great Cook''. New York: Warner Books * * Clark, Robert (1993) ''James Beard: A Biography''. New York: HarperCollins * Kamp, David (2006) ''The United States of Arugula: The Sun Dried, Cold-pressed, Dark-Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution''. New York: Broadway Books * Loughery, John (1998) ''The Other Side of Silence—Men's Lives and Gay Identities: A Twentieth-Century History''. New York, Henry Holt and Company .


External links


The Fales Library Guide to the James Beard Papers

James Beard Foundation

James Beard Foundation Awards

James Beard — Food Expert/Writer
from Oregon Encyclopedia
James Beard Audio Recordings


{{DEFAULTSORT:Beard, James 1903 births 1985 deaths American cookbook writers American food writers American television chefs Chefs from New York City American male chefs American gay writers LGBT people from Oregon Reed College alumni Writers from Portland, Oregon 20th-century American non-fiction writers Washington High School (Portland, Oregon) alumni 20th-century American male writers American male non-fiction writers Chefs from Oregon 20th-century LGBT people