Posts Tagged ‘The Source’
Chinese New Year Dumpling Making Class at the Source
I love dumplings..actually, I love any starch covered meat/seafood/vegetable whether it’s fried, boiled, steamed or sauteed! I attended a really unique and fun cooking class organized by AIWF’s DC Chapter with Executive Chef Scott Drewno at The Source in downtown DC on Saturday, February 9th, 2013. Here are the highlights and some photos – you WILL salivate when you see the dishes..and honestly, I just can’t forget the mouth-watering aromas of ginger, garlic and soy in so many wonderful combinations..in some ways you really need your sense of smell to appreciate this post!
1)Layout – very unique and maybe a bit daunting at the beginning, but there were 3 separate seating areas with 3 individual cooking demonstration stations. It was sort of like theater in the round, with the main Chef Scott Drewno in the middle station (he’s on the far left in the photo above) with his “Madonna” headseat on and 2 separate chefs demonstrating on opposite/perpendicular sides of the stage – I guess you could call it a 3-Chef C-Stage Cooking Demonstration. Unusual, but it worked mainly because of the entertainment value and also because you could watch your own chef – a very creative use of a space that actually is difficult to layout for classroom style events!
2)The Menu – I usually have a pretty low expectation of a cooking class that is simple food like dumplings, but then again, I know chef Drewno notoriously is an impressive foodie and he couldn’t (wouldn’t) let us down. Here’s the menu and dish photos are below:
Chinese New Dumpling Class Menu
-Chinese Spare Ribs, Black Bean Glaze
-Sea Scallop Sui Mai, Curried Lobster Emulsion
-Pork Belly Pot Stickers, Black Vinegar, Chili Oil
-Szechuan Style Green Beans, Candied Walnuts
-Crystal Chive Dumpling, Kurobuta Pork, King Crab
-Chilled Cucumber Salad, Toasted Sesame, Togarashi
-Szechuan “Dan Dan” Dumpling, Organic Chicken, Peanut Sauce
-Millet Congee, Red Braised Pork Belly, Pickled Butternut Squash Relish
3)The Process – we sat down at various dining room tables and actually got some hands-on hand-rolling of 2 kinds of pork dumplings, we each had 2 wrappers of each kind to roll. Now we got a complete explanation and demo of how to roll, and then we rolled up our sleeves, dipped our finger in the egg wash and wrapped up the mini-balls of meat into dumplings. Some people were good, some were ok, and some simply had falling apart dumplings, but hey, we weren’t going to eat these anyway – the meal was prepared for us. Primarily a demonstration cooking class, I found myself talking to my fellow Foodies more than actually listening to the class – I probably could have learned more, but honestly the vibe in the room and the amount of alcohol being served (sparkling wine and that tasty Dragon’s Fire Cocktail with Tequila!) kept the noise/buzz omni-present – if this had been my first cooking class, maybe a bad thing, but for experienced Foodies it was actually a really fun event.
4)The meal – served primarly family style (except for the Millet Congee and the dessert), it was fun to share with 3 other people at my table. My Foodie Buddie Bruce Miller (who has attended at least 200 TasteDC events or more in the past) was very experienced at these events. I actually prefer the family style method of serving – it helps create rapport and camaraderie. By sharing food, I learned more about my newfound fellow foodies than if everything had been individually plated. Some specific comments: the variety of dishes, proteins and vegetables was very thought out – from garlicky clams to
rich pork belly and braised pork belly, back to the Sea Scallops Sui Mai and then finally to the deliciously syrupy dessert (I forget the name!). Also the Chilled Cucumber Salad helped to cool my palate and acted sort of like an Amuse Bouche between dishes – actually the Cocktail did the same with it’s Tequila and grapefruit – a very smart way of using a drink to refresh the palate!
5)Service – I was really impressed by the Source’s staff and presentation and service – they cared..something that you don’t always get with service nowadays, but each server was focused and putting in effort. There were many parts too – the hot hand towels which came out twice, the initial layout of the wrappers on a small granite plate with a moist towel on top to protect the integrity of the dumpling wrappers, the pouring of sparkling wine, the making and serving of the cocktail, and the actual serving of the food which was primarily family style. There was one obliteration of glassware episode – and I mean ExPloDing glass – but luckily it was to the side, and the server quickly cleaned it up – no harm, no foul..in fact, maybe an extra plus for handling a delicate situation so well!
6)Overall Impression – very professional presentation and staff, but not stiff – I felt like things were being taken care of without pretense. This event was very much theater in the round and in fact, there were two un-affiliated groups of people present – the AIWF DC Chapter and a list of Chef Scott Drewno’s contacts/Foodies. I thought the cooking layout of 3 chef demonstration stations although unusual, it created some theater and a chance for more discussion – and it was the best use of the available space which is awkwardly broken up by an atrium/stairwell. The space is actually quite visually pleasing with the extensive windows and the wine wall next to the stairwell. Chef Drewno is also a very good presenter and entertaining and answered questions clearly from the audience – Scott knows his Asian ingredients – oh, and this WaPo article will give you some background on that. Really curious about ethnic food? Then Check Out Tyler Cowen’s Ethnic Dining Guide
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Chefs For Equality – a Cause Worth Eating For!
I have really great news for DC Fundraisers and Foodies in our Nation’s Capital – DC has reached Foodie Destination! OK, so maybe there are still quite a few events with poor food and bad drinks, but after recently attending the Capital Food Fight, the Washingtonian Brunch & Bloody’s event and Wednesday, October 24th’s Chef’s For Equality event, I noticed many of the same restaurants and chefs showcasing different sides of their culinary ability. The bad news is I didn’t get a list of dishes from last night’s event – I was spending too much time tasting, drinking and a bit of hobnobbing – but let’s just say there wasn’t a bad dish! What made this event extra Foodie was that there was also a Cocktail focus and some of the top Mixologists in our region like Todd Thrasher and Adam Bernbach went all out to impress the crowd.
The Evening’s cause was to raise awareness and votes for Same-Sex Marriage Rights in Maryland – since I support same-sex marriage but I’m really focused on Food and Drink Events, here are the details on the politics of the event from the Human Right’s Coalition. Also, Washingtonian had a nice article with some Chef gossip and the details on the political cause. Other Articles include the Washington Blade which mentions MD Gov. O’Malley’s speech at the event, Tim Gunn from Project Runway was a speaker at the event as well, you can read more at MyFoxDC’s Coverage. I’m all for political causes and fundraisers, but I feel it’s my duty to stay focused DC’s culinary experiences.
Below is a list of participating chefs and Mixologists as well – I was able to copy the links to most of the restaurants so it’s also a nifty way to find out more about each establishment. I’ll try to update the dishes if I can get a list of them, but alas, this is mostly a Publicity post right now – I REALLY like to include more food information – Cheers!
Find out more about DC’s top culinary chefs participating in this special event.
- Victor Albisu, Taco Bamba – is currently holding Pop-ups at
- José Andrés, ThinkFoodGroup
- Sebastien Archambault and Peter Brett, Blue Duck Tavern
- Cathal Armstrong, Restaurant Eve
- Jon Arroyo, Founding Farmers
- Kyle Bailey, Birch and Barley
- Ian Bens, Juniper
- Justin Bittner, Bar Pilar
- Jeff Black, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
- Danny Bortnick, Firefly
- Devin Bozkaya, Westend Bistro
- Amy Brandwein, Chef AmyB
- Erik Bruner-Yang, Toki Underground
- Jeff Buben, Woodward Table
- RJ Cooper, Rogue 24
- Logan Cox and Alison Reed, Ripple
- John Critchley, Urbana
- Travis Croxton, Rappahannock River Oysters
- Noah Dan, Pitango Gelato
- Scott Drewno, The Source
- Enzo Fargione, Elisir
- Teddy Folkman, Granville Moore’s
- Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst
- Georgetown Cupcake
- Spike Gjerde, Woodberry Kitchen
- Dean Gold, Dino
- Todd and Ellen Gray, Equinox
- David Guas, Bayou Bakery
- Thomas Hall, 901 Restaurant
- Scot Harlan, Green Pig Bistro
- Michael Harr, Food, Wine & Co.
- Jerry Hollinger and Zena Polin, The Daily Dish
- Mike Isabella, Graffiato
- Jim Jeffords, Evening Star Café
- Haidar Karoum, Proof / Estadio
- Billy Klein, Café Saint-Ex
- Ris Lacoste, Ris
- Jamie Leeds, Hank’s Oyster Bar
- Andrew Little, Sheppard Mansion
- Tiffany MacIsaac, Buzz Bakery
- Jody Manor, Bittersweet
- Dennis Marron, Poste Moderne Brasserie
- Jon Mathieson, BLT Steak
- Cedric Maupillier, Mintwood Place
- Aaron McCloud, Cedar
- Harper McClure, The Federalist
- Raynold Mendizabal, Fujimar
- Clayton Miller, Wit and Wisdom
- Mary Lee Montfort, Mary Lee’s Desserts
- Wes Morton, Art and Soul
- Terry Natas, Carmine’s
- Kaz Okochi, Kaz Sushi Bistro
- Nelson Paz, The Ritz-Carlton, DC
- Padua Player, Susan Gage Caterers
- Christophe and Michelle Poteaux, Bastille
- Nora Pouillon and Todd Woods, Restaurant Nora
- Leslie Poyourow, Fancy Cakes by Leslie
- Beau Ramsburg, Rettland Farm
- Michel Richard, Central
- Kimberly Robinson, Makin’ Whoopie
- Omar Rodriguez, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana
- Craig Rogers, Border Springs Farm
- Lara Stuckey, Fluffy Thoughts Cakes
- Peter Smith, PS 7’s
- Alli Sosna, Allison Sosna Group / Microgreens
- Emily Sprissler, Mayfair and Pine
- Nicholas Stefanelli, Bibiana
- Vikram Sunderam, Rasika
- Zoe Tsoukatos, Zoe’s Chocolate Company
- Jeff Tunks, Passion Food Hospitality
- Bryan Voltaggio, Volt
- Rob Weland, Cork Wine Bar
- Robert Wiedmaier, Marcel’s
- Paul Yeck, Jaleo DC
- Steve Yoon, Sushi Rock
- Demetrio Zavala, Lincoln
- Adam Bernbach, Proof / Estadio
- Derek Brown, Passenger / Columbia Room
- Gina Chersevani, Hank’s Oyster Bar
- Jeff Faile, Fiola
- Matt Ficke, Columbia Room
- Jon Harris, Firefly
- Corey Polyoka, Woodberry Kitchen
- Michael Searles, Virtue Feed & Grain
- Rachel Sergi, Jack Rose
- Andrew Shapiro, Green Pig Bistro
- Colin Sugalski, Toki Underground
- Bryan Tetorakis, Rogue 24
- Owen Thomson, Volt
- Todd Thrasher, TNT/PX Restaurant/The Majestic/Society Fair/Virtue Feed & Grain
- Ari Wilder, Fujimar
- Rob Yealu, The Federalist
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Washingtonian Brunch and Bloodys – a Spicy Affair
Washingtonian Brunch & Bloodys – Spicy!
I attended the Washingtonian Brunch and Bloody’s event on Saturday, October 20th, 2012 at the lovely Long View Gallery on a perfect day in Shaw, Washington, D.C. This was a very well-laid out event and although it was sold out, there was plenty of room to get to the tables and taste unabated..and the mimosas flowed like, uhh, wine! Let’s put it to you this way – if you left this event hungry, then you were probably just drinking, and with over 10 medium-sized Bloody Mary’s to try, you probably would have rolled out! Having said that, I’ve noticed that the restaurants and chefs at these events are getting extremely good at preparing slightly exotic dishes and pushing the envelope on how to serve 250+ people without a regular kitchen behind them.
The Bloody Marys featured Belvedere Vodka and the bar served champagne, mimosas, and bellinis featuring Chandon. Like I said – no one went home hungry, but not thirsty either..there was plenty to drink and I was most impressed that they served the mimosas in glass Champagne flutes..and of course, there was the lovely smashing of glass at the beginning of the event- sort of like a Greek wedding.. or maybe it’s a Jewish wedding, but back to the event..
This event was based on the Washingtonian’s list of the 50 Great Breakfast and Brunch Spots from Washingtonian – and it was double smart of them to invite the infamous bloggers the Bitches who Brunch to the event to judge the Bloody Mary’s.
Here’s their own marketing pitch from the CVent Website (interesting that they used such a high-powered registration system for this event – maybe a touch overkill for a 1-time event, but they sold out, so it worked!) Introducing The Washingtonian’s premier “Brunch & Bloodys” event! Enjoy delicious brunch bites from restaurants featured in The Washingtonian’s October cover story “50 Favorite Brunch Places.” Participating restaurants will also compete in the Bloody Mary challenge, in which guests and a panel of judges (including Washingtonian editors, the Bitches Who Brunch, and Jeff Faile from Fiola) will vote for the best.
Here’s the List of Restaurants that participated and the dishes they served (I put my own comments after the dishes):
Art and Soul – ?
Black Market Bistro / BlackSalt – Black Market’s pancakes and BlackSalt’s Bloody Mary
Brasserie Beck – Mini quiche Lorraine with Micro Herb Salad & Bloody Mary & Jumbo Lump Crab Meat Shooters
Busboys and Poets – Coffee, Sweet Potato Pancakes with 100% Pure Vermont Maple Syrup from Coombs Family Farms, Vegan Tuna & crackers – they served a Vegan yellow tomato Bloody Mary which I remember because they were the only restaurant to use non-red tomatoes. The Sweet Potato pancakes were very good with the maple syrup – they didn’t even ad pads of butter because this restaurant is promoting their Vegan/vegetarian dishes.
Chef Geoff’s/ LIA’S – Mini Vegetarian Quiches and Brunch Bread
Eatonville – Gumbo (crab, rock shrimp, andouille sausage, fried okra, white rice) and mini pulled beef short ribs sandwich – I only had the short ribs sandwich, but I have to admit – simple comfort foods seem to show the best at these kind of events.
Founding Farmers – Mini Yogurt Parfaits with Housemade Granola; Corn Muffins; Bacon Lollis – The Bacon Lollipops were alot of fun – essentially a sugar-coated piece of bacon that reminded me of putting bacon on my pancakes with maple syrup – a real winner!
Howard Theatre – Shrimp and Grits, Breakfast berry parfaits – I didn’t know the Howard Theatre was serious about food, but these were some flavorful Grits with a bit of Jerk seasoning to give them a kick.
Jackie’s – Maple-Chai Doughnuts – They served these donuts glazed and you could put your own toppings on like cocoa and sprinkles – Yummy!
Maple Ave Restaurant – Chawanmushi – Chinese Steam Egg with carmelized kimchi
Mintwood Place – “Croque Madames”” featuring veal tongue” – This sounds exotic, but it tasted like really good ham and melted cheese together – fancified comfort food, this was very good.
Poste – Smoked Trout Rillette with citrus crème fraiche and trout roe on a waffle chip – One of the more “Foodie” dishes with layers of flavor – I liked this alot, but I’m always a big fan of caviar/fish roe – I love when the little eggs pop in your mouth!
The Greenhouse at the Jefferson – Quiche with Caramelized Onion, Bacon, & Gruyere and Quiche with Broccoli & Cheddar
The Hamilton – Steak and Eggs Burr-naise and Bloody Alexander
The Source – “Sambal Goreng” Spicy Hangover Eggs, Braised Short Ribs, Chesapeake Mary, Jumbo Lump Crab, Gordy’s Pickle
Overall, this event was very well run and had plenty of food, drinks and space to make it enjoyable. Since everyone could taste every dish and drink relatively quickly, the event was full and mostly empty within two hours of the start – it was a Saturday, and everyone nowadays likes to make multiple plans on the weekend, so that was another plus. The key to these events is to give the chefs/restaurants space and let them do their magic – the organizers understood this and even the Bloody Mary judging took backseat to the food. Hopefully this becomes a regular Foodie Event on the DC Food and Drink Event Calendar, and if so, I’d like to see how trends in Brunch change over time – Cheers!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
P.S. Here’s a Recap of the Bloody Mary Competition by the Judges from the Bitches Who Brunch.
Washingtonian Took Some Great Pics too – and Yep, I’m in one of the photos!
A Multi-Chef Event with Star Power in DC
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:
Chef Jeffrey Buben -Vidalia, Bistro Bis
Chef Enzo Fargione – Elisir
Chef Guillermo – Pernot – Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar
Chef Adam Sobel – Bourbon Steak
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
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