Capital Cooking Contributor
The Summer Fancy Food Show came back to the District and left too soon, bringing a wealth of specialty foods to the area by way of the DC Convention Center. Open for three days, the event hosted everyone from industry professionals to gourmands, wandering the aisles of seemingly endless amounts of every food one can imagine.
|Chefs ready for the Fancy Food Show kickoff.|
The event kicked off at RJ Cooper's Rogue 24 restaurant with a battle against Chilean chef Pilar Rodriguez. The Chilean themed event featured South American ingredients and cocktails. Mineral water from Patagonia refreshed the palate and Chilean wine, from buttery whites to delicious carmeneres, in rose and rich, red formats, were served.
The Rogue bar buzzed in the back of the room, featuring wonderfully crafted Pisco cocktails. The playful Strawberry Lancer was comprised of pisco, fresh strawberry, lavender bitters and topped with bubbly. The Caprica Sour was made of pisco, caprica, marigold and lemon. The hit of the afternoon, however, seemed to be the Pisco Punch, which featured pisco, pineapple, lemon and demerera.
|Chefs RJ Cooper (third from right) and Pilar Rodriguez (right) with the Rogue 24 team.|
While drinks were poured, the chefs worked away at the center stage kitchen. Seven courses were cooked and passed on trays around the room. Skewers of delicate grilled octopus were served over a chilled avocado soup. Humitas--think tamales--were made of fresh, naturally sweet corn. The highlight was when the two chefs took to the kitchen, each using salmon and quinoa, and putting their own spins on the food. RJ Cooper's fresh salmon roll was complimented by the crunch of puffed quinoa. Rodriguez chose to serve her quinoa in a more traditional way, and topped it with salmon and a bit of salt. By the end of the event, would-be competitors turned friends and all attendees palates were whet for the Fancy Food Show.
Days later, the Convention Center was buzzing in a frenzy of exhibitors from around the globe. Varying specialty foods from countries such as China, Morocco, Germany, Italy, Austria and more were represented in their own decorated areas. In want of coffee, stellar salad dressings, cheeses, Greek yogurt, olive oil and Iberico? The Fancy Food Shows was covered with all of that and more.
The aisles appeared limitless, with many exhibitors giving away samples of their products. Whether guests were wandering aimlessly or moving with intention, there were many foods that were familiar, comforting or brand new. Our Top 5 Favorites are coming soon!