498 E St, Gearhart, OR 97138, Stati Uniti
Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202, Stati Uniti
James Beard Foundation, 167 W 12th St, New York, NY 10011, Stati Uniti
James Andrews Beard (May 5, 1903 – January 21, 1985) was an American cook, cookbook author, teacher and television personality. Beard was a champion of American cuisine who taught and mentored generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. His legacy lives on in twenty books, other writings and his foundation's annual James Beard awards in a number of culinary genres.
Julia Child summed up Beard's personal life:
Beard was the quintessential American cook. Well-educated and well-traveled during his eighty-two years, he was familiar with many cuisines but he remained fundamentally American. He was a big man, over six feet tall, with a big belly, and huge hands. An endearing and always lively teacher, he loved people, loved his work, loved gossip, loved to eat, loved a good time.
Beard was gay. According to Beard's memoir, "By the time I was seven, I knew that I was gay. I think it's time to talk about that now." The second was Beard's admission of having "until I was about forty-five, I guess I had a really violent temper." Mark Bittman described him in a manner similar to Child's description:
In a time when serious cooking meant French Cooking, Beard was quintessentially American, a Westerner whose mother ran a boardinghouse, a man who grew up with hotcakes and salmon and meatloaf in his blood. A man who was born a hundred years ago on the other side of the country, in a city, Portland, that at the time was every bit as cosmopolitan as, say, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.
In 1956 Beard met architect Gino Cofacci, who later moved in with him. Cofacci became an accomplished pastry chef and the two men hosted many gay soirees at their home, including Thanksgiving dinners with New York Times food writer Craig Clairborne and his lover. After Beard’s death in 1985, the house on 12th Street became the James Beard Foundation, America’s only historical culinary center. Cofacci died of cancer 4 years later in 1989.
James Beard died of heart failure on January 21, 1985 at his home in New York City at age 81. He was cremated and his ashes scattered over the beach in Gearhart, Oregon, where he spent summers as a child.
In 1995, Love and Kisses and a Halo of Truffles: Letters from Helen Evans Brown was published. It contained excerpts from Beard's bi-weekly correspondence from 1952 to 1964 with friend and fellow chef Helen Evans Brown. The book gave insight to their relationship as well as the way that they developed ideas for recipes, projects and food.