American chef, cookbook author, lecturer, teacher and pioneering television personality helped shape of the course of American cuisine in the 20th Century. Beard championed a healthy approach to cooking both indoors and outdoors, emphasizing America’s culinary heritage. His 1972 masterwork, American Cookery included recipes from deviled eggs and clam chowder, to roast chicken and apple pie.  Like Julia Child, he pioneered television cooking shows and mentored generations of professional chefs, some of whom have been honored with the prestigious James Beard Award, given annually by the foundation named in his honor. His story as a gay man struggling with the public and private perception of his sexuality throughout a lifetime that spanned the LGBTQ rights movement is noteworthy. Although he was always open to his friends and colleagues, he did not come out publicly until the end of life in a revised version of his memoir, Delights and Prejudices (1981). Fearing of the repercussions of acknowledging his sexuality, he remained closeted, as so many did. Today he is a gay icon, whose accomplishments and personal story resonate throughout the LGBTQIA+ community.

“Good food cannot be made of inferior ingredients masked with high flavor. It is true thrift to use the best ingredients available and to waste nothing.”   James Beard 



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