Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Alain Ducasse

Alain Ducasse....

Throughout my producing experience, I've been learning more information about famous chefs. Last week when filming at 1789, William Watts told me about Alain Ducasse. Chef Ducasse will open Adour, a restaurant at St. Regis’ D.C property in September. Adour is named after the river in southwest France near where Alain Ducasse was born. He is the only chef in the world to have operated three signature restaurants honored with three Michelin stars. Who knows, maybe we could get him to be a guest on the show in the Spring.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And the Winner is...

Chicken Potpie! A couple of weeks ago we asked you to vote for the Comfort Food dish that you wanted us to make in the Food Bloggers Challenge. After 115 votes, Chicken Potpie is the winner. Now it is time for the real competition...who will make the best dish?


1. Lauren DeSantis: Host and Producer of Capital Cooking
2. April Fulton: Food Scribe
3. Stefanie Gans: Endless Simmer
4. Alison McConnell: Humble Gourmand
5. Johnna Rowe: Johnna Knows Good Food

We are still looking for two more judges. If you are interested, please email me at

Thank you to everyone who voted! Stay tuned to learn more about each challenger.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Yesterday I had the pleasure of cooking with Daniel Giusti (chef at 1789 Restaurant in Georgetown). Not only is he an excellent chef, but he is really funny and a natural on camera. Dan grew up in New Jersey but went to high school in DC and recently moved back here from working at a prestigious restaurant in Las Vegas. We ended up making each dish a friendly competition with each other to see whose plate looked better. He claims to have won each round, but I think I hung in there pretty well. Round 1: Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad; Round 2: Seared Maine Scallops; Round 3: Pan Seared Black Cod. Dan had excellent presentation skills and tremendous knowledge of all of the food that we prepared. Thank you to Dan and 1789 for being part of the show! Also, thank you to my wonderful crew, David Crosson, Mary Diaz and Corey Then for all of your hard work and patience. Tune in soon to watch us throw down....
Make sure to stop in to enjoy all of the delicious dishes.

1789 on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ben’s Chili Bowl Turns 50!

Featured on our very first episode of Capital Cooking at Ben’s Chili Bowl with Nizam and now it is time for the big anniversary party.

August 22, 1958 was the day Washingtonians first tasted Ben’s Famous Chili Dog and Ben’s Chili Half-Smoke. That's 50 years this August.

Ben's way of saying thanks is to celebrate with its patrons via a Gala, Festival and Concert all for FREE! Check the
website for more details. Be on the lookout for Bill Cosby.

  • Ben’s 50th Anniversary Gala, August 21, 2008, @8pm @ Lincoln Theatre
  • 50th Anniversary Press Conference & Street Festival, August 22, 2008, @ 10:30am @ Bowl
Free Concert, August 24, 2008, @ time TBD @ 9:30 Club
Ben's Chili Bowl on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 21, 2008

August is Slipping Away...

Photo: Ashley Mosley

But there is still time left to enjoy a simple summer supper. We'll show you how to do just that with the help of our special guest Chef Oliver Friendly. We started off the meal venturing over to the Courthouse Farmer's Market to purchase fresh food for our meal. We got back to the Eat and Smile kitchen and made some delicious dishes that can really be enjoyed at anytime of year. Try the:

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with a Tomato Vinaigrette and Minted Sweet Peas


1 pound Shrimp

Bacon to wrap


Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Wrap each shrimp with a slice of bacon, tucking the end into the bacon wrapping.

Roast for 6-12 minutes, flipping once, till bacon is crispy and shrimp in done.

Then you eat it, then you smile.

Tomato Vinaigrette:

The tomatoes add body and richness this delicious dressing.


6 plum tomatoes, peeled and deseeded

1 shallot

2 Tbl Nice Balsamic Vinegar

Oil to emulsify


Place the tomato fillets in the blender

Add the shallots and vineagar

Puree till smooth

While running, slowly pour the oil into the mixture till it becomes thick and aioli

Season with Salt and Pepper

Then you eat it, then you smile

Minted Sweet Pea Mash/Puree

Serves 2


8 oz sweet peas

2 Tbl chiffonade mint

2 Tbl minced shallot

¼ cup white wine

¼ cup chicken stock



In a sauce pot boil 4 cups water with 2 Tbl salt

Add peas, cook till tender

Remove from water and drain in sink, run cold water over the peas till cool

Set peas aside

Place a sauté pan over medium heat

Add 1 Tbl butter and the shallots, sweat the shallots

Add wine, reduce till almost gone

Add chicken stock, reduce by half

Place the peas and shallots broth in a blender

Puree till smooth

Salt and Pepper to taste

Then you eat it, then you smile

Yum Yum!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Asian Fusion Cuisine begins airing today in Virginia

Cox Cable Channel 10 in Fairfax:

Asian Fusion: Join Lauren and the chefs from Ping by Charlie Chiang’s while they make Pot Au Feu, Rosemary Red Pepper Chicken, Shiny Slippery Shrimp and a Blue Lychee Martini. This innovative cuisine will highlight the fusion of American tastes and local ingredients with the exotic, pleasing flavors of Asia.

August 15: 3 p.m.
August 16: 3 p.m.
August 17: 9:30 p.m.
August 19: 12:30 p.m.
August 21: 10:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Vote Now

This fall we are filming a Food Bloggers Challenge. We want you to vote on what Comfort Food dish the challengers will make.


1. Lauren DeSantis: Host and Producer of Capital Cooking
2. April Fulton: Food Scribe
3. Stefanie Gans: Endless Simmer
4. Alison McConnell: Humble Gourmand
5. Johnna Rowe: Johnna Knows Good Food

A panel of judges will determine the winner along with votes from readers and viewers. More details to come about the challengers and the episode, but for now, vote on the dish that you want us to make!

Zed's Ethiopian Review

Zed's Ethiopian, 1201 28th Street, NW Washington DC 20007

By: Julie Cantor

One need not be convinced by the pictures of full-tummied DC
celebrities on the wall – the food and fun at Zed's will speak for
itself. Along with a buddy – it is Ethiopian custom to never eat alone
– I relinquished utensils for an evening of picking up bites from a
delightful array of dishes only with a piece of injera, flatbread made
with buckwheat flour. While I had read extensively about this
tradition of Ethiopian cuisine prior to my visit, I was still a little
bit uneasy about the prospect of embarrassing myself with
uncontrollable messiness. I bring a change of shirt even to
restaurants that allow the use of a knife and fork, so I braced myself
for the worst. Pleasantly, it turned out that using the injera to pick
up food was not messy at all! I got to wear the shirt I wore there all
the way home!

As for the food, I had been looking for something to get me out of a
Chinese-Italian-Sushi rut, and Zed's certainly delivered. We started
with Shrimp Tibbs, a dish of marinated shrimp, onion, garlic, and
tomatoes, which was tender and bursting with Ethiopian food's
signature flavors, cumin, basil, and coriander. For a main course, we
shared Zed's Combination Vegetarian Entree Sampler, which included an
Ethiopian Harvest Vegetable Specialty of Cauliflower, Carrots and
Greenbeans, Yellow Split Pea and Red Lentil Purees, and Collard
Greens. As someone who once had a nightmare about lentil soup and who
hadn't ever tried most of the vegetables in the sampler, I had a
little bit of post-orderers remorse; however, all of my fears were put
aside when the food arrived. I enjoyed the entire thing, right down to
the last bold, spicy, tasty red lentil. Completely stuffed, we had to
refuse dessert, but decided to come back again soon, and to share the
experience with a big group of friends next time!

Zed's Ethiopian on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Capital Cooking in St. Louis

Capital Cooking with Lauren DeSantis will begin airing in St. Louis on Wednesday, August 20th and will continuing airing every Wednesday at 1p.m. It will air on Channel 21, on Charter Cable in Saint Louis City. Check out the Meet Me in St. Louis episode in August. It will reach approximately 60,000 households within the city limits on KDHX.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Restaurant Week

Get your Reservations Early!
It's a slow time of year for food events, what with the heat and the humidity. So you have plenty of reason to take part in Summer Restaurant Week. Yes, it's that time in the capital again, from August 11 to 17. Log on to to find out who's participating. Restaurants are offering lunch at $20.08 for a three-course meal and dinner for $35.08 for a three-course meal. Drinks, tax and service are extra. Check out some of our special guest chefs on Capital Cooking at Zola.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Recipe of the Month


Serves 2

Ping by Charlie Chiang’s

1 lb leg of lamb

2 oz fresh Thai basil

3 slices ginger, lightly smashed

2 scallions, chopped in 1-in segments

1 garlic clove, lightly smashed

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp red table wine

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp sugar

2 cups vegetable broth

1 tbsp canola oil

  1. Dice the lamb 1” x 2” cubes and add to boiling water for 30 seconds. Discard water.
  2. Heat a deep pan or wok first. Once the pan is hot, add 1 tbsp canola oil and then add the ginger, garlic, and scallion, quickly stir-fry for 30 seconds to release the aromas.
  3. Add the lamb dices. Immediately, add red table wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and vegetable broth. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes so that sauce will reduce and the flavor intensify.
  4. Add the fresh thai basil, stir for 15 more seconds and serve.
This recipe is from the Asian-Fusion Cuisine episode airing in Fairfax this month. It is delicious!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Goodness Gracious!

Friday night my friend Amy invited me to Good Stuff Eatery. Good Stuff Eatery is the new restaurant on Capitol Hill created by Spike from Top Chef. If you like burgers, you'll love Good Stuff. Spike has created some innovative twists on American favorites. Amy and Brendan tried the Spike's 5 Napkin which is similar to a croque monsieur but with a burger instead of ham on a brioche bun. Delicious! Corey ordered Colletti's Smokehouse with bacon, cheddar, fried vidalia onion rings and chipotle bbq sauce. Excellent! I went for the Good Stuff Melt by recommendation from the girl at the counter. Tasty! We all shared a large Spike's Village Fries topped with fresh thyme, rosemary and cracked pepper. We dipped the fries in all of the creative mayo sauces. Mango was my favorite. Amy opted for the Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake which was like a little taste of heaven. Finally a good burger joint in the District! The restaurant has plenty of indoor seating and some outdoors as well. You can also enjoy a 20 oz Blue Moon on draft for only $4.50. (They're still working on getting the oranges to garnish.) I told Spike about Capital Cooking and he said that he'd be down to be a guest chef on the show. You'll have to tune in soon for a behind the scenes look at Good Stuff Eatery!

Good Stuff Eatery on Urbanspoon

Good Stuff Eatery on Urbanspoon
Good Stuff Eatery on Urbanspoon

Good Stuff Eatery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

News: August Airing Dates

Lots of exciting news today! We just found out our August airing dates for the show and I finally got some clips uploaded to YouTube.

Capital Cooking will air on
Cox Cable Channel 10 in Fairfax in August on the following dates and times:

Cooking For Kids: This show will be centered around making healthy
food for the kids. Lauren and Kitty will show viewers a chicken
nugget recipe, fruit dip, smoothies, and healthy macaroni and cheese.

August 8: 5:30 p.m.
August 9: 9:30 a.m.
August 11: 11:30 p.m.
August 13: 11:30 a.m.
August 14: 3:30 p.m.

Asian Fusion Cuisine: Join Lauren and the chefs from Ping by Charlie Chiang's
while they make Pot Au Feu, Rosemary Red Pepper Chicken and Shiny
Slippery Shrimp. This innovative cuisine will highlight the fusion of
American tastes and local ingredients with the exotic, pleasing
flavors of Asia.

August 15: 3 p.m.
August 16: 3 p.m.
August 17: 9:30 p.m.
August 19: 12:30 p.m.
August 21: 10:30 p.m.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Filming: A Rustic Roman Afternoon

We've been on a little summer break from filming since June, but yesterday, we started filming again. Filming is lots of fun, but I forgot about how much work it is to plan each episode and coordinating the crew, studio time, etc. I also forgot about the nervous feelings that I get before filming each episode. 

Yesterday we filmed "A Rustic Roman Afternoon" with Patricia Sanitate. We had a great time making the Italian cuisine and sharing stories. During the show we made an Italian Kiss Cocktail, Involtini alla Romana, Gnocchi al Forno, Insalate Fine Estate, and a raspberry tart. All of the recipes will be available on my website soon. 

It is rewarding to finish filming each episode and even more so once we complete the editing. Thank you to the fabulous crew for all of your hard work. (Wendy Murphy, Mary Diaz, Corey Then and Roxy Harbitter). The episode should air in the DC area in a few months and we will continue distribution from there.
Photo by Mary Diaz

Friday, August 1, 2008

Calling all Food Bloggers...

Food Bloggers Challenge
Do you write for a food blog and love to cook? If yes, then email me for a chance to be on the food bloggers challenge at Compete with me and three other bloggers to prepare one dish on Capital Cooking. A panel of judges will determine the winner along with votes from readers and viewers. We are still finalizing the details and the date. Each blogger will be required to find a sponsor to cover the production costs. If you are interested email me with your information, including the name of your blog and how many readers you have and I'll send you further details about participation.