Yes, we’re going to Chicago.
On May 7th, Ginjan will showcase at the annual James Beard Awards at the Lyric Opera Chicago – “the Oscars of the food world” (Time Magazine) – and will be the first African beverage to do so. We’ve always been “in the closet foodies” but we’re slowly emerging to immerse ourselves in the fascinating world of American Epicurean culture and the James Beard Awards is an apt opportunity to do this. We’re bringing some African flavor to the awards this year with our booth installation (wait for the surprise). This year, we’re teaming up with Hendrick’s Gin to make a few cocktails alongside the Ginjan we’ll be serving the over 1000 guests at the awards.
A Food World Legend
Anointed the “Dean of American cookery” by the New York Times in 1954, James Beard laid the groundwork for the food revolution that has put America at the forefront of global gastronomy. He was a pioneer foodie, host of the first food program on the fledgling medium of television in 1946, the first to suspect that classic American culinary traditions might cohere into a national cuisine, and an early champion of local products and markets. Beard nurtured a generation of American chefs and cookbook authors who have changed the way we eat.
James Andrew Beard was born on May 5, 1903 in Portland, Oregon, to Elizabeth and John Beard. His mother, an independent English woman passionate about food, ran a boarding house. His father worked at Portland’s Customs House. The family spent summers at the beach at Gearhart, Oregon, fishing, gathering shellfish and wild berries, and cooking meals with whatever was caught.
He studied briefly at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, in 1923, but was expelled. Reed claimed it was due to poor scholastic performance, but Beard maintained it was due to his homosexuality. Beard then went on the road with a theatrical troupe. He lived abroad for several years studying voice and theater, but returned to the United States for good in 1927. Although he kept trying to break into the theater and movies, by 1935 he needed to supplement what was a very non-lucrative career and began a catering business. With the opening of a small food shop called Hors d’Oeuvre, Inc., in 1937, Beard finally realized that his future lay in the world of food and cooking.
In 1955, Beard established the James Beard Cooking School. He continued to teach cooking to men and women for the next 30 years, both at his own schools (in New York City and Seaside, Oregon), and around the country at women’s clubs, other cooking schools, and civic groups. He was a tireless traveler, bringing his message of good food, honestly prepared with fresh, wholesome, American ingredients, to a country just becoming aware of its own culinary heritage. Beard also continued to write cookbooks, most of which became classics and many of which are still in print.
but, we’re also sharing the Ginjan love with Detroit and Philadelphia
We thought we’d make a road trip out of it and we’re stopping by at WeWork locations along the way. Basically, we’ll be doing tastings at 7 weworks in Detroit, Chicago and Philadelphia – sharing the ginjan love along the way.
As we continue to try and increase our online sales, we felt that doing roadtrips like these helps us expose non NYC people to the magic of Ginjan. We’ll be shooting a video of of the entire trip and will be sharing stories on instagram along the way!