James Beard Foundation: Pop-up

Pop-up restaurants are hot. This is especially true in a city like New York, where life is fast and feasting on newness is a social sport. Temporary is “in.”

The sport is so hip and hot that the James Beard Foundation is setting up a pop-up restaurant:

Almost 25 years ago, the James Beard Foundation invented the idea of a pop-up restaurant when they began inviting chefs from around the world to cook dinners in James Beard’s historic townhouse in Greenwich Village. In an effort to bring this experience to a larger audience, the Foundation is launching JBF LTD: a temporary restaurant and food pavilion at Chelsea Market for five weeks this spring.

Who knew that the James Beard House was so hip or that it invented pop-up?

In fact, this is more then a pop-up. It is a festival with a popup restaurant serving dinner. During the day, the Chelsea Market pop-up pavilion will feature speakers, panelists, cookbook authors, and other special guests, many from the Food Network and the Food Network Magazine that occupies the building.

It is, to a great extent, a Food Network Wine & Food Festival festival for those New Yorkers who didn’t make it to South Beach in February.

The dinners start off with Laurent Gras, April 12 – 16. Getting tickets for the subsequent popup dinners may be tricky:

Tickets for subsequent weeks of JBF LTD dinners (see most up-to-date schedule here ) will be available through jamesbeard.org/popup at 12 noon and through Gilt City at 10:00 a.m. on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, April 6: Passover Seder on April 19 with chef Aaron Israel of Mile End in Brooklyn, NY and officiant George Robinson, author of Essential Judaism
  • Wednesday, April 13: Week of April 26, including JBF Award Winner Michelle Bernstein of Michy’s and Sra. Martinez in Miami, and Consulting Chef, Delta Air Lines on April 26
  • Wednesday, April 20: Week of May 3, including Iñaki Aizpitarte of Le Châteaubriand in Paris, with JBF Award Winner David Chang and Team Momofuku in NYC on May 3-7
  • Wednesday, April 27: Week of May 11, including JBF Award Winner David Kinch and John Paul Carmona of Manresa in Los Gatos, CA on May 11-14

It is strange that the popup will be a stage for both chefs from distant places, and local chefs. Won’t the pop-up compete with the permanent New York restaurants? If the point of the popup is to introduce New Yorkers and tourists to meals by chefs that they might not otherwise be able to experience – new and exclusive – then why include David Chang? On the other hand, pop, pop, pop…

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