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Duff Goldman’s first James Beard recipe was memorable, but it wasn’t pretty.


Baltimore-based Pastry Chef Duff Goldman remembers the first time he worked with a James Beard recipe – turtle soup – and it wasn’t pretty.

Major funding for James Beard: America’s First Foodie is provided by Feast it Forward. Additional funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and Art Works.


Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Vital Projects Fund, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation and public television viewers.

Let's see, my first introduction to James Beard was, uh, when I was still in undergrad, I was working for Cindy Wolfe, and we were doing a James Beard dinner, um, you know, from Baltimore, and then we were bringing all the food up.

And I remember we were making uh - Maryland tarapin soup.

Turtle soup.

And um, we got all these turtles, and they were live and uh, we had 'em in the walk-in, and uh, they were in the big lexan - the big deep lexan like this, and uh, we all like, we were playing with 'em for a few days and we had these turtles running around, and you know it was really cool because we had all these turtles, and then we had to kill 'em and make soup with them, and everyone was really upset and so we had this - our exec sous was this big nasty old cook, his name was Timmy, kicked everybody out of the kitchen.

He was just like, 'Everybody just get out!

Everybody get out!'

Kicked the chef out, kicked Cindy out, kicked all of us out and he killed the turtles and made the soup, and then we all came back in and everybody was sad.

It was a rough day.

But yeah, so we made - that's my first - my first sort of like hearing his name - James Beard - was when I had to make soup.