Tag Archives: chef

Get Ready for the Fight

Next Tuesday (November 11th), top area chefs will take the stage to battle it out combat hunger at Capital Food Fight.  Ted Allen and Jose Andres will host as some of Washington’s hottest chefs (Stephen Lewandowski, David Deshaies, Tony Conte and Peter Smith) compete for the title Iron Chef style all while raising money for DC Central Kitchen. The winner will then compete against last year’s winner, Barton Seaver.  While the Battling Chefs duke it out, guests will savor fantastic dishes from 50 of the best restaurants in town—think of it as a 50-course dinner!  Without a doubt, the Capital Food Fight has become the hottest foodie events around.

Jose Andres and Cathal Armstrong at last year’s battle

And we promise, the participating restaurants are some of the best in town!  The not to miss spots include Black Salt, 1789, Citronelle, Rasika and Volt.

Hope to see you there!

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – The Boston Globe If they build it, will we come? “Today’s new restaurants are the results of yesterday’s plans, often budgeted for and mapped out years in advance. But as these places open, they need new strategies for hard times.”

4. – The Chicago Tribune Rising to the Task “Baking bread at home can be one of the most soulful, satisfying ways to spend an afternoon—especially when successes are shared at the dinner or breakfast table, or as gifts for neighbors and family.”

3. – The LA Times Political food for thought: Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin’s states bring a mix of flavors to the table “From the wilds of Alaska to Southwestern spices, from Chicago’s meaty fare to Delaware’s seafood, their regional ingredients can combine for a remarkable feast.”

2. – The NY Times Some Heavy Reading, Recipes Included “Once, all it took to cook like a chef was the nerve to push a live crayfish through a sieve. Now that the fall publishing season has delivered several hundred pounds of recipes from these international stars of molecular gastronomy, home cooks may want to prepare the kitchen with syringes, soy lecithin and a big bag of hero worship.”

1. – The Oregonian Getting into Sauerkraut “Slice cabbage. Add salt. Stay away for a really long time. Such is the mysteriously simple formula for homemade sauerkraut, the kind sold in crocks in old-fashioned German delis, eaten with abandon throughout Eastern Europe and that some remember as the smelly stuff Grandpa nursed along in the basement.”

photo from The NY Times

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A Comforting Time at Urbana

A couple of weeks ago, The District Domestic had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Alex Bollinger of Urbana and just last week, my darling husband and I enjoyed a delicious dinner there.  From the cozy, but chic atmosphere in the bar, we were whisked away to comfy table tucked against a banquette in the dining room.

From delicious scallops (Given the breadth of seafood in this city, these suckers really hold their own!) to the “to-die-for” French onion soup to the roasted porterhouse for two the meal was a joy!  And the cocktails!  Ohh the cocktails were incredible! Mixologist Kevin Rogers wooed us over with his Autumn Harvest, made from crushed grapes, merlot grappa, apple cider, red wine, sparkling grape juice and Velvet Falermun.  It was so good I wanted to have another, but there was the Cucumber Smash (made from St. Germain, Square One Vodka, SoCo and mint) and the Dupont “Gin” Rickety (Knob Creek, honey syrup, lime juice, fresh ginger and soda) calling our names also!

And now that the weather is getting chillier, stop in for a drink after work – they’ve got a great Aperitif Hour from 4-7pm nightly.  Urbana is so cozy, you might be enticed to stay for dinner…

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From the Kitchen of: Graham Duncan

From recycling to choosing fuel-efficient vehicles, being “green” is quickly becoming a focus in every part of our lives. Finding such “green” fare just became much easier for Washingtonians, with the opening of Founding Farmers. With sustainable agriculture at the heart of its menu and environmentally safe measures built into the 8,500-square-foot space, Founding Farmers is designed to meet Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) certification criteria, and Certified Green Restaurant operational standards, noteworthy efforts that will distinguish this restaurant from others claiming ‘farm fresh’ or ‘green’ in their descriptions. Led by Chef Graham Duncan, Founding Farmers will offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch and Sunday supper with menus that include all homemade traditional American classics inspired by the heartland. We were able to snag a few minutes of Chef Duncan’s time to learn more about him before the restaurant’s grand opening tomorrow!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A good maple wooden spoon – you can use it for anything in the kitchen.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Foam. It was a novel idea when it was first practiced in Spain, but eating foam as food is just silly to me.

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
Definitely Italian Mediterranean. My wife and I spent two and a half months in Europe for our honeymoon, and once we tasted that food we said to each other that we should never go home.

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Trickling Springs Farm, who supplies most of our dairy. The people are extremely nice and their product is phenomenal.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
That’s difficult to say in a customer service field – but I’d have to say people who season their food before they taste it.

What do you drink/eat after work?
Last night I had cold pizza and a Blue Moon – that’s pretty much as far back as I can remember in the midst of opening the restaurant!

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Bread and roast chicken. I have a great bread recipe where you mix flour, water, and yeast at night – no stirring, no kneading – and in the morning, pop it in the oven and watch it rise. With roast chicken, I just put it in the oven and walk away, which gives me more time to spend with my family.

Click below for Chef Graham’s recipe for Cornbread-Crusted Strawberry and Rhubarb Cobbler

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – The Boston Herald Mmm… bacon (and more…) ” ‘Everything is better with bacon. It’s one of my favorite foods,” said Don Yovicsin, the owner of Jake’s Dixie Roadhouse in Waltham. “So when one of my friends mentioned the idea of bacon and vodka, it piqued my curiosity.’ ”

4. – The Chicago Tribune Old School Tool “Today, we’re looking at another old tool from the old school, one that’s still popular in professional kitchens but which largely has fallen out of favor at home: the food mill.”

3. – The LA Times Entertaining with an entree-free dinner “Let’s face it: Late-summer nights are perfect for entertaining but not so great for cooking or eating three-course meals. This kind of weather calls for a different battle plan for dinner. “

2. – The NY Times Even Chefs Have to Wait for a Table “Restaurant openings in New York are beginning to require the kind of planning that went into the Beijing Olympics. A few of the restaurants in this annual preview were also in the preview last year, prematurely, it turned out.”

1. – The Washington Post At the Dinner Table, A Comedy of Manners “It’s a cathartic job: You get to complain a lot. When the receptionist put me on hold and forgot, I not only had a beef, I had a column. And I had particularly juicy fodder the week the maitre d’ stuck his thumb in my espresso to verify my claim that it wasn’t hot enough. Thirty years later, that maitre d’ is still protesting that it was his waiter’s thumb, not his.”

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Late Breaking News…

Word on the street is 1789 is looking for a new executive chef. Nathan Beauchamp has given his notice – we don’t know what his plans moving forward are, but we are disappointed to hear he will be leaving.

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A Little Teaser…

from the lilliputian adventures at The Inn at Little Washington’s 30th Anniversary Gala last night.

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