Taste America, the James Beard Foundation dinner series that pairs 10 celebrity chefs with well-known, James Beard-nominated local chefs for 10 dinner events across the country that celebrate regional American cuisine, is back this coming fall.The second-annual Taste America, headed by chef Daniel Boulud, will be taking on new cities like Seattle and Atlanta. The dinner series does not start until the fall, but the James Beard House kicked off the all-American festivity in June with the participating chefs, including Grant Achatz, Marc Murphy, Ludo Lefebvre and Barbara Lynch, who will be celebrating “local flavor from coast to coast” from September 12 through October 25.
“America is road trips, like Philly cheesesteaks, New York delis, Kentucky fried chicken, and every region is different,” said chef Barbara Lynch, who will be representing Atlanta this year. “I’m looking forward to bringing some lobsters and some Boston flair to the South.”
Most of the chefs are unfamiliar with their paired cities, so the dinners will provide a learning experience for these seasoned veterans, like Ludo Lefebvre, who will be visiting and cooking in Boston for the first time during his dinner.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new chefs from America, and to be having chefs together to share food and life,” said chef Lefebvre. “When I moved to America, I was surprised at all of the different regional flavors, with European, Asian, Latino influence. I used to think of America as just burgers and fast food, but it’s so evolved.”
As part of the celebration of the diversity of American cuisine, we asked the participating chefs what America tastes like.
“America tastes like the earth and the land,” said chef Marc Murphy. “Our traditions are great but we have the peripheral vision to see what everyone else is cooking and eating.”
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi