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Join me for the “Duponada” taste test tomorrow at Dupont Farmers Market.

Photo courtesy of Panas.

Panas Gourmet Empanadas which opened recently at 2029 P Street NW in Dupont Cirlce is holding a contest to create a locally sourced empanada. What better way to become part of the community than name a menu item after it?  Brilliant! Two weeks ago, entrants submitted a recipe or a list of no more than four favored ingredients that can be found at the FRESHFARM Market.

It’s not easy to create a new empanada. So Panas owner Federico Garcia Lopez has enlisted the help of the locals by holding a taste test and having a people’s choice vote.

Photo by onthebound.net

Tomorrow, Sunday October 3, a panel of judges, including FRESHFARM Market executive Juliet Glass, along with food writers including Yours Truly, Olga Berman of Mango and Tomato, Katie Test of We Love DC, and Robin Diener, President of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association will select the top three finalists of the entrants at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market.

Those finalist recipes will be on sale at Panas Gourmet Empanadas for one week where customers may vote for their favorite.  The winning recipe, to be named the Duponada, will be introduced to all on Sunday, October 10, and proceeds from the sale will go to the Dupont Circle Citizens Association. The Panas menu includes $2 empanadas ranging from meat, pork, chicken and ham and other Latin inspired side dishes.

Come on out and cheer me and the other judges on tomorrow! The judging will commence at 11 a.m. at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market. See you there! Thanks to Jill Collins, PR for including me.

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DC’s Most Notable Chefs to participate in Toyota Farm to Table Tour Thursday, July 29.

On Thursday, July 29th at FRESHFARM Market by the White House (810 Vermont Avenue NW), some of D.C.’s most talented Chefs will participate in the Toyota Farm to Table Tour which showcases the connection between farmers, chefs, farmers markets and the communities they serve. Now in its second year, the Toyota Farm to Table Tour is visiting 11 famers markets across the country this summer to showcase the bounty of local farmers and to give market shoppers the opportunity to experience Toyota’s hybrid vehicles.

At the event, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. nine of D.C.’s most notable chefs will partner with market farmers to create bite-sized complimentary treats for visitors – all featuring farm-fresh ingredients.

Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora with White House Kitchen Garden with Assistant Chef and Food Initiative Coordinator Sam Kass.

Nora Pouillon and White House Chef, Sam Kass

Washington D.C.’s line-up includes:
Ryan Wheeler of Restaurant Eve
Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley
Scott Drewno of The Source, by Wolfgang Puck
Mike Isabella of Zaytinya
Olivier Perret of Ici Urban Bistro
Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora
David Varley of Bourbon Steak
Paul Stearman of Marcel’s
Nicholas Stefanelli of Bibiana

Interested in what the Chefs will be preparing? Chef Nora Pouillon will serve an assortment of Organic Ham Salads–Ham and Root Vegetable Salad, Ham and Parsley Terrine, Ham Mousse on Heirloom Tomatoes.  Chef Ryan Wheeler will serve a fresh White Peach Panna Cotta with a Hazelnut Tuile. Nicholas Stefanelli will serve Ricotta with Grilled Peaches and Pistachios.

“Over the past 30 years, I have been delighted and encouraged to witness the steady rise of farmers markets in D.C.”, said Nora Pouillon of Restaurant Nora, America’s First Certified Organic Restaurant.  “They bring our communities together and showcase the importance of fresh and seasonal food so that everyone may reap the pleasure and health benefits of local produce.” The White House Organic Farm website said, “Nora was also instrumental in reviving DC’s farmers’ markets and is a frequent shopper. ”

In addition to complimentary tastings, visitors who participate in the day’s activities will have the opportunity to select complimentary potted culinary herbs from the Highlander Hybrid Mobile Garden as well as enter for a chance to win a culinary trip to Santa Barbara. At the Highlander Hybrid Mobile Garden, a Mobile Garden Herb Specialist will be on hand to pot the plants for visitors and answer general questions about gardening.  All herb plants are sourced from local vendors at the market.

“Our FRESHFARM Market, by the White House, is pleased to partner with Toyota’s Farm to Table Tour and the Farmers Market Coalition to launch National Farmers Market Week,” said Bernadine Prince, co-director of FRESHFARM Markets and vice president of the Farmers Market Coalition. “We’ll have nine chefs at the White House market on July 29 to showcase the bounty of local foods from the Mid-Atlantic region at our producer-only farmers market. Farmers markets continue to be a vital source of support to local, sustainable, family-owned farms in our region and across the country.”

I will do my very best to be there at the event. I hope to see you there!