Who was this James Beard guy?

Restaurant Rewind: No, he’s not the person who started the awards program of the same name. Nor did he turn his home over to visiting chefs. The industry pioneer’s contributions are far more nuts-and-bolts.

Restaurants will be hearing the name again and again as one of the industry’s premier awards program draws closer to its early May conclusion for 2024. Yet few in the business may know who James Beard was, now that he’s been gone for nearly 40 years.

This week’s episode of Restaurant Rewind answers the question of why Beard should be remembered, particularly within fine dining. Even those familiar with the media star’s legacy may not be aware of his full contribution to the industry he loved, like proving that Americans would tune in their TVs to learn more about cooking and food. He was the first to try the airwaves, beginning in 1946.

Nor might they know that he was a founder of Citymeals on Wheels, or that he was a fan of barbecuing when that form of prep was still considered low-brow.

Learn more about a figure who deserves to be remembered as a god of the business. Hit Play to learn how Beard lived, and the contributions he’s left behind.

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