The Beard House opened in 1986 at the bequest of Julia Child for something to be done with the late food pioneer’s home. Envisioned as a performance space for chefs, only the most promising members of the food world get invited to cook there.
Cooking Valentine’s Day supper at the Beard House is an honor the Loveless Café is not taking lightly. Executive chef Bart Pickens likens the experience to an athlete getting to compete in the Olympics. “You could work a whole life and never have that opportunity,” Bart says.
The Loveless is pulling out all the stops with a five-course menu complete with shrimp and grits; senior pitmaster George Harvell’s special watermelon ribs; and a family-style set-up of grilled pork loin, the Café’s famous fried chicken, creamed corn, and carrot puddin’. You can also expect plenty of those buttery biscuits that have made the Loveless a must-stop off Highway 100 since opening in 1951, as well as Tennessee spirits such as moonshine cocktails and Yazoo Beer (full menu). Tickets are $130 for members and $170 for the public. Those of us who are not in the New York area have a special chance to win a trip to the city to partake in the festivities.
It’s a serious treat that will impress even the most skeptic Valentine. Enter by Friday, February 1, to win to round-trip tickets to New York; two-night stay at the Hilton New York; tickets to the dinner; transportation between the airport, hotel, and James Beard House; and $500 in cash to cover all the little extras.
Here are some images from the rehearsal dinner the staff hosted earlier this month to whet your appetite.