November 12th, 2013 • No Comments
Foodie Celebrity Alert..
Yes, I went to my 2nd round at Capital Food Fight in Washington, D.C. at the Ron Reagan Building on Monday, November 11th, 2013. Getting to taste 60+ chefs, hobnobbing with Celebrity Chefs like Carla Hall, and Jose Andres and just soaking in the restaurant/hospitality way of life is such a treat!
This annual extraganza raises $100,000s of dollars for DC Central Kitchen and also has the added benefit of raising the profile of Washington, D.C. as a True Foodie City – we always appreciate the added push! What really fascinates me about these mega-restaurant promotional events is there really isn’t one kind of crowd that attends – there are the diverse interests of DC from Lobbiests with clients, to Foodies/Restaurant people who either produce/make the dishes or are somehow connected with the industry. It’s definitely a schmoozerama, but it’s also a chance to meet some of the Big Name out of town chefs/celebrities like Tom Colicchio from Top Chef, Rick Bayless, Todd English, Art Smith and Battling Chefs Erik Bruner-Yang, Bertrand Chemel, Spike Gjerde and Anthony Lombardo.
Dishes I Loved:
-Smoked Oyster Dish with Lamb Bacon by Beuchert’s Saloon – 3 reasons: smoke, oysters and bacon (in this case from the lamb neck!) – gets points for originality, interesting blend of sea/land and of course tastyness!
-Pulpo’s creative Shrimp Ceviche – I actually thought it was lobster and it had Aquavit in it – so booze and seafood combined!
-Farmer’s Fishers Crab Bisque – I’m not sure if that’s the name of the dish, but it had tons of crab in it – sweet!
-Slider from PJ Clarke’s – so lowbrow – Love It!
And many more..
Kudo’s to the Bloomery Plantation folks who allowed me (Illegally – Press was denigrated to the regular $250 Riff-Raff fold..) into the Chairman’s Double-Secret VIP area upstairs where I had their great cocktails, a wonderful 25 year old XO Cognac and got to hang with Carla Hall and Jose Andres before I decided that I actually wanted to taste the dishes downstairs!
And the Winner of the Battling Chef Competition: Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen!
Ohh, and purely for SEO, here’s the list of Restaurants that participated: 1789
Art & Soul
Belga Café / Btoo
Blue Duck Tavern
Charlie Palmer Steak
Eat the Rich
Equinox / Salamander Resort
Good Stuff Eatery
Hank’s Oyster Bar
Hill Country BBQ
Ici Urban Bistro
Jackson 20 / The Grille at Morrison House
Kaz Sushi Bistro
Mint Gastropub by Malcolm Mitchell
Nick’s River Side Grill
Ping Pong Dim Sum
Rappahannock River Oysters
Santa Lucia Coffee
Taberna del Alabardero Restaurant
Teddy and the Bully Bar
Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place
Trummer’s on Main
October 15th, 2012 • No Comments
Great Shindig at the Ron Reagan Building!
Capital Food Fight on Monday, October 8th, 2012 was a culinary party for DC’s Foodie Elite! This impressive event had a Sold-Out Turnout of around 1,500 people tasting, imbibing and nibbling on 2 Levels of the Ronald Reagan Building. What makes this event so different from many multi-chef events in DC was the Star Power draw of some big name Chefs and Foodie Stars: Anthony Bourdain, Padma Lakshmi, Carla Hall (DC’s own!), Andrew Zimmern and of course DC’s own infamous Jose Andres put on a show for the crowd around the cooking competition between 4 Battling DC Chefs:
And the Winner is..Chef Buben!
I have to admit – I was so focused on tasting many of the 60 Restaurant’s dishes at the event, that I barely paid attention to the cooking competition – I’m a professional taster, and that’s what I do at these events – Taste! the list of restaurants was quite impressive, here’s the list of about 60 – Capital Food Fight Restaurants .
Ohh, and here are the dishes served:
1789 • House-made ricotta with fresh figs & Wildflower Honey
Adour • Lobster salad with cauliflower & céleri rémoulade, assorted macaroons & al tiramisu
American Tap Room • Bourbon barrel stout braised wild boar with pumpkin butter & pickled vegetables
Argia’s Italian • Duck confit, bean ragout with crostini
Art and Soul • Louisiana crawfish étouffée, preserved lemon, brown jasmine rice & scallions
Bandolero • Red snapper tostada – really woke up my tastebuds and refreshing with a good dose of salt to bring out the fish and other flavors!
Bar Pilar/Café St. Ex • Wagyu brisket chili with farmhouse cheddar cheese & scallions – Wagyu is so wonderfully soft fat on the palate and really made this comfort food dish work.
Belga • Celery waffle with orange duck in cotton candy – I didn’t feel like waiting in line – the cotton candy just got so much attention – food as entertainment I guess!
BLT Steak • Tuna tartar
Blue Duck Tavern • Mushroom tart
Boqueria • Roasted market carrots with yogurt, marcona almonds, citrus vinaigrette & cilantro
Boundary Road • House-made sausage & pretzel rolls
Carmine’s • Meatballs & eggplant parmigiana – funny how the most basic foods get oohs and aahs at this event.
Cava Mezze • Short rib stifado with roasted pearl onions & sunchoke puree
Central Michel Richard • Salmon croquet monsieur
Cuba Libre • Scallop tiradito with compressed strawberry, roasted corn, salpicon/sweet potate & micro celery – interesting how a fruit like strawberry brings out other flavors so well – this worked.
Dolcezza Artisanal Gelato • Lemon ricotta cardamom & cementine sorbetto
Elisir • Gorgonzola panna cotta eggshells with candied celery – great presentation and creamy, delicious dish.
Equinox • Truffled fontina & slow cooked cabbage with roasted chanterelles
Et Voila • Endive soup with hazelnut oil & roasted hazelnuts
Evening Star • Pumpkin soup
Good Stuff Eatery • Toasted marshmallow shake
Graffiato • Cured sardines & broccolini with preserved lemon & aged balsamic – sardines definitely wake up the senses at a crowded event like this.
iCi Urban Bistro • Rosemary duck confit rillettes with pickles on toasted baguettes
Indique • Crab papad roll
Jackson 20 • South Texas antelope carpaccio, mole de Colorado, local radishes & pickled tomatoes
Kaz Sushi Bistro • Mini temaki (sushi hand rolls)
Lebanese Taverna • Sliced lamb loin with pastry & lebneh
Lincoln • Braised short rib with bone marrow jam, pickled shallots & black pepper truffle biscuits
Masa 14 • Fried steam buns with Korean lamb barbeque
Mie N Yu • House-made pho with duck breast
Oyamel • Salpicon de reshilled, shredded beef, pickled onions, tomatoes & chipotle chiles
PJ Clarke’s • P.J’s mini burgers
Policy • Brisket sliders with oven roasted tomatoes, sunny side up quail egg, caramelized onions & black truffle mayo
Rappahannock River Oysters • Rappahannock River oysters & Olde Salt oysters
Ripple • House-made Lamb mortadella, squash mustard & beet juice – yep, it looked like mortadella!
Santa Lucia Coffee • Coffee
Taberna del Alabardero • Tomato surprise stuffed with anchovies
Taco Bamba • Pork tenderloin burrito, grilled avocado, white beans & picked jalapeno pistachio vinaigrette
The Federalist Duck • Sausage with mustard pickled cabbage
The Majestic • Sashimi, rockfish with soy-yuzu vinaigrette, daikon, ginger, cilantro & sesame seeds
Westend Bistro • Fennel smoked trout with apple cranberry chutney, saffron aioli & angel hair potato crisps
Hank’s Oyster • Oysters on the half shell with saki ginger mignonette
Gristmill • Shrimp & grits
Jackie’s • Local lamb stuffed nora pepper with smoked tomato
Shake Shack • Frozen custard
Taylor Gourmet • Hoagies & salads
And of Course lot’s of Media Coverage:
Article by Washington Business Journal’s Miss Frederick
Washington Post Coverage
Article by Examiner
Jessica Sidman for City Paper – 4 Memorable Moments from Capital Food Fight (Note: she mentions the man who paid $1,000 to eat Iberico ham off Padma Lakshmi’s collar bone!)
“Where Did That Iguana Come From?” in the City Paper
June 26th, 2010 • 1 Comment
I recently attended a really great Australian Beef Tasting in Washington, D.C. at the Ronald Reagan Building on Monday, June 21st, 2010. It was an incredible luncheon menu of Wagyu beef (related to Kobe Beef) and Angus beef all paired with great wines! Below is the Menu as well as a short video interview of Suzanne Barros who is the East Coast’s Director of Trade programs for Wine Australia.
Tasting Menu (Our Chef for this event was Xavier Deshayes who represents the Ronald Reagan Building):
1st Course: Assortment of Australian Cheeses
– Wine: Coldstream Hills Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2008
2nd Course: Grilled Wagyu STrip Loin Tataki – Seaweed Salad, Soy Glazed Shiitake Mushroom and Jalapeno Chili Dressing
– Wine: Robert Oatley Mudgee Shiraz 2007
3rd Course: “Sous Vide” Poached Wagyu Brisket of Beef – Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Sweet and Sour Oregon Cherry Sauce
– Wine: Yalumba “Bush Vine” Barossa Grenache 2008
4th Course: Pan Seared Angus Pure Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin – Oregon Morel Mushroom Fricasee, Port Shallot Beurre Matre d’hotel
– Wine: Wakefield Estate Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007