James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Takes Downtown San Francisco

The best chefs in San Francisco and beyond came together to prepare an unforgettable meal

Left to right: Local Star Charles Phan, All-Star Anita Lo, and Pastry Chef Belinda Leong plate dessert at JBF Taste America in San Francisco. 

Last month, the James Beard Foundation held its fifth annual Taste America kickoff event at the beautiful InterContinental located in the heart of downtown San Francisco. This culinary expedition took off in 10 different cities across the country including Chicago, Phoenix, and Portland, Oregon. The event hosts food enthusiasts, all-star chefs, media, and donors, and serves amazing food.

A generous portion of the Taste America proceeds go directly to the James Beard Foundation programs, including the Taste America Scholarship Fund. For the past 25 years, the Foundation’s scholarship program has awarded more than $7 million in financial aid to students aspiring to become America’s next great chefs, restaurateurs, and winemakers. Local brand and media partners included Stella Artois, Voss, and San Francisco Magazine.


Marc Fiorito/Gamma Nine Photography

Kelp-Cured Norwegian Fjord Trout with Smoked Trout Roe, Beet Dust, Skyr, Limes Leaves, and Wonton by chef Roberth Sundell of San Francisco’s Pläj.

The evening began with an exquisite tasting reception featuring an enticing lineup of San Francisco’s most renowned chefs, including host chef Daniel Corey of Luce restaurant. Dishes leaned heavily on Asian flavors like the Japanese dashi farro with uni butter and meyer lemon preserve vinaigrette from Tim Archuleta of Ichi Sushi and Ni Bar, the Indian sweet potato with mint and tamarind from Srijith Gopinathan of Campton Place, and the Chinese-influenced dan dan noodles with lobster by James Beard Award winner Martin Yan of M. Y. China.


Marc Fiorito/Gamma Nine Photography

Spicy Vietnamese Seafood Stew by James Beard Award winner Charles Phan of the Slanted Door in San Francisco.

Following the reception, a powerhouse team of chefs worked together to create a four-course seated dinner for an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime dining experience. All-star chef Anita Lo, of Annisa in New York City, created the first course of fried oysters with yogurt, fennel, and braised cucumber; and the third course of braised beef cheek with Tokyo turnips and grilled tongue. The second and dessert courses were prepared by local San Francisco chefs. James Beard Award winner Charles Phan of the Slanted Door served up a spicy Vietnamese seafood stew; and Belinda Leong of B. Patisserie prepared milk tea chocolate millefeuille with bittersweet chocolate sorbet.

The James Beard Foundation's mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor America's diverse culinary heritage and future through programs that educate and inspire. Learn more at jamesbeard.org


For more must-try foodie hot spots, dining, and travel news in San Francisco, click here.