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Dining in DC’s Foodie Itinerary: Sept. 29-Oct.3

Looking for some foodie fun this weekend? The Dining in DC Foodie Itinerary includes food-related events for this weekend. Below is a compilation of various, food-related events, such as tastings, fall festivals, and workshops or classes throughout the DC Washington Metropolitan area.

All Weekend (Friday-Sunday)

Oktoberfest on H Street: Biergarten Haus celebrates Oktoberfest German style with eleven new festival drafts in addition to the twelve already on tap. 1355 H St. NE, b/t 13th & 14 Sts. (202-388-4085).

Greek Fest: St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church: There is something for everyone, whether you’re looking to wine, dine, shop or hop. This “Taste of Greece” has home-made traditional Greek food and desserts, arts and crafts, and live Greek music with dancing (Opa!). Open to the public with Free admission and parking. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. All weekend: Friday-Sunday. 3149 Glen Carlyn Rd. Falls Church, VA

Friday, October 1st

French Wine Fest: Ooh La La! Wine?! Mais, Oui! The Willard  InterContinental and Cafe du Parc host their annual celebration, “Les Vendanges” an Autumnal French wine harvest festival on Friday, October 1st, 5:30- 9:00pm featuring authentic dishes, different styles of regional French wine and beers. Enjoy dancing, grape-stomping, good food and wine!  Tickets for the event start at $20 for four items to be redeemed at food and wine stations set up throughout the courtyard. The restaurant and terrace will also be open for service. It will feature a 3 Course Pre-Fixe Menu priced at $35! This menu will include the choice among 3 appetizers, 3 entrees and 3 dessert dishes, all selected and prepared by our Chef de Cuisine, Angelo Galang. Cafe du Parc @ The Willard InterContinental is located at: 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW DC

Saturday, October 2nd

Art on the Avenue, Del Ray’s 15th Annual multicultural arts festival, takes place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Alexandria. The event is free & open to all. Art on the Avenue features over 350 area artists & craftspeople, international food, three stages of live music, & free children’s crafts & entertainment. Artist demonstrations, a pie-baking contest & a community mural painting complete the day’s program. Pie judging begins at 12:15 p.m. Slices are $3. Free DASH transportation will be provided from the Braddock Road Metro. For more information visit www.artontheavenue.org.

Taste of Bethesda: The 21st annual Taste of Bethesda will be held this Saturday, October 2, 2010 with more than 55 participating restaurants including the new Bistro Provence by Yannick Cam, Georgetown Cupcake, Morton’s, Olazzo, and Jaleo.  Enjoy four stages of entertainment featuring a variety of music. Don’t miss the chance to sample the delicious restaurants, enjoy the live entertainment and visit the kid’s corner for face painting and arts & crafts. Admission is free and Taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. Food servings cost one to four tickets.

An evening with Chef Michel Richard: Enjoy an evening of food and wine at Bloomingdale’s Tysons Corner (Level 3) at 6:00 p.m.  with World-renown Chef Michel Richard and St. Francis Winery & Vineyards.  Bloomie’s is hosting this special event Legendary Pairings – a three course tasting with special guest and winner of the 2008 James Beard Best New Restaurant Central Michel Richard, Chef, Michel Richard with Chef, Levi Mezick.  Experience culinary cuisine at its finest, as each course will be paired with a selected St. Francis wine.  Demonstrations and courses will be prepared using All-Clad cookware.  Tix $50.00 and include a $25.00 Bloomingdale’s Gift Card.  To reserve contact:  Kit 703.556.4519 or 703.556.4500.

Sunday, October 3rd

Willow Chefs Kate Jansen and Susan O'Grady

World Fare: A Street Food-Style Festival: The local exchange of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR) with over 30 participating chefs, including Nora Pouillon, Jamie Leeds, Ris Lacoste, and Carla Hall, presents a culinary extravaganza on Sunday at Willow Restaurant. This indoor “street food festival” will feature regional specialties from Europe (including crêpes made to order), Asia, Near Asia, North America, and Central/South America. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased in advance at the WCR website (womenchefs.org) or at the door. Proceeds support WCR scholarships and intern programs for women in the culinary arts. Willow restaurant: 4301 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington. Closest Metro: Ballston (Orange line) 5-8 p.m.

“Take Back Food” Ladies’ Luncheon will feature Amy Senger, adviser for A Clean Life who will discuss ways to improve health through living a fresh, local food, zero-waste lifestyle. Special guest, Chef Barton Seaver who is credited with bringing the concept of sustainable seafood to the nation’s capitol and last year he earned Esquire magazine’s ‘Chef of the Year’. Sparkling wine provided by local Virginia winery Thibaut-Janisson and a seasonal, locally-sourced meal prepared by Stir Food Group Executive Chef Bryan Moscatello of Zola Wine Kitchen. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.

Mark Your Calendars Now!

Saturday, October 9

Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge Paella, 2009.

Food lovers will flock to Taste of Georgetown, the “must eat” event showcasing the spectacular cuisine of 30 of Georgetown’s finest restaurants, featuring more than 60 delectable dishes to sample, as well as beverage pairings and the jazz talents of Blues Alley, on Saturday, October 9th from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. From live paella demonstrations, exquisite fare from a Top Chef contestant, an exciting lineup of judges and creative new categories, Taste of Georgetown 2010 will satisfy more appetites and taste buds of all ages in the DC metro area this year. Tickets are $5 for one tasting and $20 for five tastings. TOG is presented and sponsored by the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) to benefit the Georgetown Ministry Center. The event is located at Wisconsin Avenue, NW, between M & K Streets. Attendees of the Taste of Georgetown have a number of transportation options, including taking either the Circulator line from Union Station/Georgetown or the Circulator line from Rosslyn/Dupont, which runs along M Street. For more information and advanced ticket purchases, visit http://www.TasteOfGeorgetown.com. Online ticket purchases will be available through Wednesday, October 6.

A Clean Life: The Case for Local Food at “Take Back Food” Ladies’ Luncheon.

This is not your mom’s Tupperware party. Not like there is anything wrong with that but let’s be honest. Times have changed. I’m a modern woman with a family who cares about the environment, my children’s health, and even more their education but I admit that I’m obsessed with food. I read that 2/3 of the United States’ population is considered overweight or obese and food waste does more damage to the environment than the BP oil spill. With First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent Let’s Move campaign to end Child Obesity, more now than ever we realize that food plays a greater role in the well-being of our society. My kids know that when I am away from home I’m at a restaurant. I’m sure that my six-year-old son, Alex means well but he has made comments to me about my weight. I could set a better example for my kids. I plan to … and I’m going to start now.

Amy Senger. Photo by Jared Goralnick

I’m looking forward to attending my first “Ladies’ only” event this Sunday at Zola Wine and Kitchen;  however, I can say that most of the media events that I attend are predominantly female. I’m surprised that there aren’t more aspiring male food writers especially since all the big dogs in DC Todd Kliman, Tom Sietsema, Warren Rojas, are all men. I’m attending because I think the topic of discussion is interesting; however, I’m sure that there will be a handful of attendees that are going just to catch a glimpse of hearthrob Chef, Barton Seaver. I’ve met him before, so that’s not the reason I’m excited.

This event on Sunday, “Take Back Food” Ladies’ Luncheon will feature Amy Senger, (pictured above) adviser and advocate for A Clean Life. She will share her personal story of improving health through living a fresh, local food, zero-waste lifestyle and the impact it’s had on her body and personal well-being as well as the benefits it has on the environment. It’s going to be an eye-opening discussion. Senger promises to open all of our eyes about what we’re eating, what big food industry, including the U.S. government, is doing to undermine citizens personal health (and why it’s causing so many people to struggle with their weight), and the one simple change we can do to combat it.

Chef Barton Seaver. Photo by Marvin Joseph, Washington Post.

Now for the eye candy who needs no introduction in the restaurant industry. Chef Barton Seaver is credited with bringing the concept of sustainable seafood to the nation’s capitol and last year he earned Esquire magazine’s ‘Chef of the Year’.

For those are who are interested, the afternoon will include:

  • A special guest appearance by Barton Seaver, DC chef extraordinaire, advocate and National Geographic Fellow as he shares he personal mission to change food culture
  • Sparkling wine provided by local Virginia winery Thibaut-Janisson (featured at the first Obama state dinner)
  • A seasonal, locally-sourced meal prepared by Stir Food Group Executive Chef Bryan Moscatello
  • Limited signed copies (for purchase) of locavore leader Alice Waters’ latest cookbook, In The Green Kitchen

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.

Reminder: Kid’s Restuarant Week is going on now through June 27.

I know that I posted about this a week or so ago, but I wanted to remind you, just in case you missed the June 7 posting. Last year in June 2009, the very first DC Kids’ Restaurant week debuted in DC area with a series of events including cooking demos, special events, cooking classes, and participating restaurants offering a special prix-fixe menu especially designed for kids, exposing them to “grown-up” dining experiences. The 2nd Annual Washington, DC Restaurant Week for Kids produced by Destination DC, the official convention and tourism corporation for Washington, DC will be held June 20-27. Kid’s Restaurant Week is designed to promote healthy eating, culinary awareness and family connections.

Alex Shapiro at Zola

Some of the area’s best restaurants throughout DC including Art and Soul, Clyde’s, Jaleo, Kellari Taverna, Taberna del Alabardero, and Zola will cater to families by serving special children’s menus during lunch and early dinner seatings (between 5 PM-6:30 PM). Kids 11 and under pay their age, with purchase of adult entrée.

At Taberna del Alabardero, kids will be invited to tour the kitchen and pose for a picture with the chef. Acadiana will offer balloons its youngest diners. Through a partnership with DC Public Schools, chefs will also visit third grade classrooms to offer cooking demonstrations and tastings.

See Listing of participating restaurants

2nd Annual DC Kids’ Restuarant Week June 20-27.

Back by popular demand!! Last year in June 2009, the very first DC Kids’ Restaurant week debuted in DC area with a series of events including cooking demos, special eventscooking classes, and participating restaurants offering a special prix-fixe menu especially designed for kids, exposing them to “grown-up” dining experiences. The 2nd Annual Washington, DC Restaurant Week for Kids produced by Destination DC, the official convention and tourism corporation for Washington, DC will be held June 20-27. Kid’s Restaurant Week is designed to promote healthy eating, culinary awareness and family connections.

Alex Shapiro at Zola

Some of the area’s best restaurants throughout DC including Art and Soul, Clyde’s,  Jaleo, Kellari Taverna, Taberna del Alabardero, and Zola will cater to families by serving special children’s menus during lunch and early dinner seatings (between 5 PM-6:30 PM). Kids 11 and under pay their age, with purchase of adult entrée.

At Taberna del Alabardero, kids will be invited to tour the kitchen and pose for a picture with the chef.  Acadiana will offer balloons its youngest diners. Through a partnership with DC Public Schools, chefs will also visit third grade classrooms to offer cooking demonstrations and tastings.

See Listing of participating restaurants

Julie & Julia Craze Sweeps DC! (dant dant dant dahhhh)

Julie and Julia Photo 1

Julie Powell

Featured in Capitol B

Foodies flocked to theatres over the weekend to see the new movie Julie & Julia, which opened on Friday, 7 August, 2009. It has been years since Hollywood has made a film that caters to food lovers … or butter worshippers; in this case, it’s both. Julie & Julia is comedy about the love of food, relationships, honesty, and self discovery. It is based on two real life stories, the first about world renowned culinary icon Julia Child (Meryl Streep), and the other about Julie Powell (Amy Adams), a young woman living in New York City who is unhappy about her life as a secretary and feels that she is in a dead-end job. In August 2002, Julie Powell set out to cook all 524 recipes from Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in one year and write a blog about her daily trials and tribulations.

To Read the Full Article … Click Here …

DC’s 1st ever Kids’ Restaurant Week Recap

Last week from Saturday, June 13 thru Sunday, June 21 local DC area restaurants participated in DC’s first ever “Kids’ Restaurant Week” – joining Cookie and Gourmet magazines’ new promotion that allowed families to enjoy dining out in some of DC’s best restaurants and enjoying a delicious three-course meal at a discounted price. 

Here is a recap of some of the week’s events: 

Rammy’s Winners — drumroll please …

Chef Tony Chittum accepts the Rising Culinary Star Rammy Award

Chef Tony Chittum accepts the Rising Culinary Star Rammy Award

Last Night, Sunday, June 7, 2009 the 27th Annual Rammy’s Awards Gala was hosted by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.  From the looks of the crowd of over 1,400 restaurant industry guests at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Woodley Park, I’d say that DC is in fact doing fine, just fine. Some attribute the success to the local economy to the fact that we are the nation’s capital – where government work is a sure thing. This showing of DC restaurant industry staff was a pretty good indication that the DC Restaurant scene is very much alive and well. The National Restaurant Association has reported that the DC restaurant industry is growing. Other cities are stumped and are looking to discover what DC is doing so well – this night is a tribute to what DC does so well.

The Rammy’s Awards are an effort to honor restaurateurs, chefs, and food service industry employees for their hard work and dedication to the industry that we love. This year’s “theme” was “Celebrate! Restaurants”  in recognition of how many people dine out in order to celebrate so many of life’s celebrations, including birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, promotions, and even the occasional celebration of friendship on any given weeknight.

Mistress of Ceremonies, Sue Palka, Meteorologist, Fox 5, said, “Restaurants are the real heart of the neighborhood and the community.” This was also a theme for other presenters such as Dr. J.C. Hayward, Anchor, WUSA 9 and Vice President of Media Outreach who spoke about the importance of the community and how the “future of the restaurant industry is in the hands of the next generation – with clear guidance and dedication of today’s culinary professionals.” Dr. Hayward presented the awards to young local aspiring culinary professionals for the RAMW Education Foundation Scholarships.

The Winner of the 2009 RAMMYs are:

  • Chef of the Year: Robert Wiedmaier – Marcel’s/Brasserie Beck/Brabo Tasting Room & the Butcher’s Block, Washington DC –
    • Chef Wiedmaier invited all of his staff on stage to help him accept the award. It was quite touching. Fun-loving Liz Glover and Stephanie Green, (“Glover and Green“) from the Washington Times presented the award. The ballroom roared with laughter as Liz Glover sang and then questioned the audience, “Oh wait, this isn’t’ American Idol?”
  • Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: Restaurant Eve, Alexandria VA –
    • Chef Cathal Armstrong accepts the award with spunky wife Meshelle by his side, who kisses the Rammy trophy in her hands. Cathal says, “I was born in Ireland, but made in the USA”. The crowd goes wild. The other partners and staff join him on stage, including mixologist Todd Thrasher.
  • Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year Rasika, Washington DC
  • Rising Culinary Star Anthony Chittum – Vermilion, Alexandria VA
    • Tony Chittum was also nominated last year for Rising Culinary Star. Second times the charm for this well-deserving Chef. (see photo)
  • Best New Restaurant Cork, Washington DC
    • Khalid Pitts, accepted the award on stage along with his wife and co-owner, Diane Gross who refused to limit their acceptance speech and long thank-you list, despite the 30 second time limit. Even after the music started playing, similiarly to other awards shows, Pitt shouts “Oh, no … don’t turn on that music. This is my time!” He earned a laugh after saying, “This is my Cuba Gooding Jr. moment.” You could barely hear them – or anyone anyways – the ballroom was very noisey with chatter. 
  • Power Spot of the Year Central Michel Richard, Washington DC
    • The Honorable James P. Morgan, United States House of Representatives presented the award to Brian Zipin, General Manager and Wine Director at Central. He was also nominated for Restaurant Manager of the Year. Executive Chef, Cedric Maupillier who joined Zipin on stage was nominated for Rising Culinary Star.
  • Neighborhood Gathering Place The Liberty Tavern, Arlington VA
  • Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene Co Co. Sala, Washington DC
  • Pastry Chef of the Year Kate Jansen – Willow, Arlington VA
    • Presenters included our hometown Top Chef season-five finalist, Carla Hall and fellow contestant, Ariane Duarte. This year’s nomination was her third and in her acceptance speech she remarks, “Maybe 3 times a charm.” She also said, “This means more to me than you could ever possibly imagine,” and thanks Tracy O’Grady for her inspiration.
  • Associate Member of the Year Belair Produce Inc./Watermark Foods
  • Wine and Beverage Program CityZen, Washington DC
    • Wine Director Andrew Myers, who has been working in local restaurants for the last 23 years, accepted the award with his wife standing beside him as she drys her eyes. He’s a very memorable guy, as Myers was featured in the Washington Post Magazine last year that uncovered a very unique side of Myers including his love for “ink” and heavy metal. 
  • Restaurant Employee of the Year Juan Francisco Lopez – Marcel’s/Brasserie Beck, Washington DC
  • Restaurant Manager of the Year Ryland Johnson – Zola, Washington DC
  • Your Favorite Restaurant (voted by online/newspaper ballot) Teatro Goldoni, Washington, DC
  • Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award Dimitri Mallios
  • WHERE MAGAZINE Visitors’ Choice Award The Prime Rib
  • 2009 RAMMY Honorary Award Billy Martin’s Tavern
  • 2009 RAMMY Honorary Award Frans Hagen

 Kudos to Jill Collins and Dusty Lockhart for an amazing evening. ~ A special Thank you.