11 Things You Didn't Know About James Beard: The Father of American Cooking

James Beard may be a household name, but here are some surprising facts you may not know about the cooking legend
James Beard

James Beard: The Father of American Cooking

Amateur and professional foodies, chefs, eaters, and gourmands alike know of this great man’s legacy.

Dubbed “The Dean of American Cookery” by The New York Times, James Beard is a culinary legend. As the premier gastronome in the United States, his name is synonymous with quality American cooking.

Being invited to cook in the tiny kitchen at his old residence, a townhouse located in New York City's West Village neighborhood that is now home to the James Beard Foundation, is considered a real honor for chefs around the world, and American chefs, restaurateurs, television personalities, and writers vie every year for the recognition of their peers as expressed by the highly coveted James Beard Awards. Even the chance to dine at the house is looked on as something truly special .

Even younger food business professionals and just plain food-lovers know Beard's name today, through the Beard House dinners and the annual awards, but how much do they really know about this giant of gastronomy, born more than a century ago, and his immense influence on modern American cooking?  

Here are 11 facts about the epicurean legend that you may not know.

Rachael Pack is Cook Editor of The Daily Meal, follow her on Instagram @rachael_pack

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