Lee Chizmar

Bethlehem chef Lee Chizmar has created a Modern Pennsylvania Dutch menu with familiar ingredients used in new ways.

The ham loaf’s paired with porcini mustard.

The chowchow’s served with rabbit croquettes.

And the rhubarb’s flavoring the molasses on a berry-topped angel food cake.

Pennsylvania Dutch food will dominate the menu at the James Beard House in New York City Monday. Bethlehem chef Lee Chizmar has created a Modern Pennsylvania Dutch menu with familiar ingredients used in new ways. Tickets are $175 each.

James Beard House hosts dinners with culinary masters from around the world.

The Pennsylvania Dutch theme came from Chizmar for his third dinner at the Beard House. His last meal there was a foraged mushroom feast and the first was an edible narrative about the craft of food and beer. Chizmar is chef/co-owner of Bolete in Bethlehem and Mister Lee’s Noodles in Easton.

He’s a James Beard Award semifinalist who’s a well-rated and well-regarded chef, says Izabela Wojick, the James Beard Foundation’s Director of House Programming in an email.

“The PA Dutch menu honors the German roots of the region and the menu very much reflects that, the traditions and recipes but in a more modern way. And it's chefs idea,” she says. “This is the first dinner that directly pays tribute to the Pennsylvania Dutch community. But we may have had dinners that used some of those recipes or preparations without necessarily being so thematic.”

Chizmar has help. He invited William Woys Weaver, a Devon-based food historian; Carrie Havranek, an Allentown writer/editor/cook/baker plus Tod Auman and Mark Mancuso of Dundore & Heister, a Wyomissing butcher shop.

Shoofly pie

Shoofly pie is not on the menu at James Beard House's modern Pennsylvania Dutch dinner.

The house’s namesake, James Beard, got to know Pennsylvania Dutch cooking through Lancaster’s own celebrity chef, Betty Groff. Groff was a restaurateur and cookbook author who was good friends with James Beard. Groff died in November 2015.

Her famed Chicken Stoltzfus, a chicken-and-saffron dish with pastry, is not on the menu for Monday’s meal.

While Chizmar leads this dinner, the James Beard House is open for suggestions from Lancaster County.

“We would be interested in exploring the bounty of Lancaster County in future events and would love to have … suggestions of chefs and others to consider,” Wojick says.

Here is the menu for the night:

Hors d’Oeuvre

Ham Loaf > Head Cheese with Pepper Cabbage and Porcini Mustard on Mustard Crackers

Rabbit Croquettes with Chowchow

Half-Moon Corn Pies with Spicy Tomato Confit

Fried Potato–Sauerkraut Sliders

Pork and sauerkraut

Pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes are on the menu at New Year's Eve and New Year's Day dinners around Lancaster County, but not the Modern Pennsylvania Dutch meal at the James Beard House.


Chicken Pocket Dumplings with Pennsylvania Radish Salad, Ruby Streaks Mustard Greens, Primordia Farm Oyster Mushrooms, and Scholl Orchard Sweet-and-Sour Apple Sauce

Chilled Beet Soup with Cabbage, Potato Pancake, Pickled Baby Beets, Crisp Horseradish, Horseradish–Dill Vinegar, and Crème Fraîche

Smoked Pennsylvania Rainbow Trout with Pennsylvania Fish Chowder, Buttermilk Crackers, Shiitake Mushrooms, Baby Bok Choy, House-Cured Bacon, and Snap Peas

Dundore & Heister Pork Belly–Potato Gumbis with Smoked Oyster, Savoy Cabbage, Sweet Corn, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Turnips, and Cumin

Sour-Braised Dundore & Heister Beef Short Ribs with Onion Pie, Liberty Garden Greens, Pickled Mushrooms, and Black Vinegar Sauce

Angel Food Cake with Pennsylvania Raspberries, Raspberry Vinegar, Rhubarb Molasses, and Vanilla Ice Cream