Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spotlight: Meet Heather Freeman

Heather Freeman invited me to my first press dinner at Zaytinya about four years ago and we've been friends ever since.  Heather has the most interesting stories and always lights up the room.  I'm so happy to introduce her to you.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spike and Venga Launch a New Contest

Chef Spike Mendelsohn and Venga have teamed up to launch a contest promoting the opening of Good Stuff Eatery Crystal City.  

Perfect Pair: Graffigna Wine

Wild boar, rattlesnake, venison, rabbit—today’s options in game meats are taking our palates on a culinary safari. From the cities to the suburbs, people are seeking out farm-raised meat alternatives, whether cooking at home or dining out. Graffigna, Argentina’s pioneering winery, is embracing this sustainable and natural food trend by partnering with Executive Chef Edgar Navarrete from Affaire Bistro and Lounge in New York City to create two delicious game recipes that pair with Graffigna’s signature bold wines.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cookbook Review -- Ruby's Juke Joint Americana Cookbook

By: Tom Natan

Reading her bio on the back of her cookbook makes me want to have dinner with Ruby Dee Phillipa. She’s been all over and had all sorts of careers: environmental advocate, textile designer, fishing boat worker, restaurateur (she opened three of them in Seattle), and musician. And eaten all kinds of things, too.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

FUEL Pizza Brings More Options to DC

by Samantha Grieder
Capital Cooking Contributor

FUEL Pizza has made its way into the District, and the place seems to be making its mark as a go-to lunch spot downtown.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Recipe: Moussaka

Moussaka is made everywhere in Greece and is most popular with the eggplant rendition, but could also be made with potatoes, squash or artichokes. My first taste of Moussaka was at Manoli’s in Sifnos, Greece this summer. The tasty lamb with the creamy béchamel intrigued me. This recipe will make 2 gratin dishes. Multiply as necessary. You could also multiply to make a large 13x9 pan amount. If you did this, cut the eggplant lengthwise instead of into circles. My husband gave this the stamp of approval.

We had a blast cooking this on our Greek Feast episode.

Thinking of Drinking: The Artist

Get ready for an Oscar Night.  The Maple Old Fashioned is just like old Hollywood, but just like Best Picture Nominee, The Artist, we've put a modern twist on the old classic.

Thining of Drinking: Rhubourbon

Don't miss the first part of Capital Cooking's Swedish Adventure tonight on WETA at 7 p.m.!  We'll be making this Rhubourbon with the bartenders at F 12 in Stockholm.  Make one at home while watching!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Event: Paso Robles Wine Country Takes Over DC from April 9-13, 2012

Paso Robles Wine Country, California's next "it" wine destination nestled along the central coast, will take over Washington, DC in less than two months for a wine-centric week of tastings, winemaker dinners and more. With tickets now on sale at, wine loving Washingtonians can sample more than 100 wines and meet nearly 20 of the region's winemakers at Paso Robles' Grand Tasting Event on April 11, 2012.

Upcoming Events: Chesapeake Oyster and Beer Festival

The Chesapeake Oyster and Beer Festival comes to the National Harbor Feb. 24-25 all-you-can-taste oysters, beer and wine.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spotlight: Meet Jennifer Resick Williams

How did you get into public relations?

In college, I took a corporate communications course taught by a VP from Ketchum's Pittsburgh office. I was always interested in working for an agency, but I didn't know much about the difference between public relations, advertising and marketing. After taking his course, I knew I wanted to work for Ketchum. So I got an internship in their Pittsburgh office and worked for Ketchum in Los Angeles and D.C. for almost seven years. 

Filming Fun: Colman's English Mustard

On the 42nd episode of Capital Cooking, we explored how to Set the Mood with Food.  I worked with Colman's Mustard to make  an Arugula, Avocado, and Citrus Salad. 

Zengo Opens New Latin Lounge

by Samantha Grieder
Capital Cooking Contributor

Stepping inside Zengo, Richard Sandoval's popular Latin-Asian fusion restaurant, one notices that some things haven't changed. The lights are dim. The music wafts through the air. Much of the layout is familiar.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

News: Graffiato Adds Weekend Brunch and Weekday Lunch

Chef Isabella adds weekend brunch and a $20 weekday lunch option.

Buddha Bar Revamps the Menu

Photo by Emily Clack

Continuing its growth and commitment to presenting food of the highest quality,  Buddha Bar has hired highly regarded chefs Michael Doss and Sandra Celestine, and sushi chef Tetsuya Nakata. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Great Gift Idea: Alchemy by Carla Hall Treats

I wanted to write about these before Valentine's Day, but I didn't get to taste them until now.  Nonetheless, Alchemy by Carla Hall COOKIECOLLECTIONS are great gifts for any occasion.  The petite bites of of sweet and savory are super cute from the packaging to the edible goodies.  

Thomas Downing Oyster and Cocktail Hour at America Eats

Calling all oyster lovers... check out America Eats Thomas Downing Oyster and Cocktail Hour!

Overview: 1789

Initial thoughts:
  • Design and Decor:  Refined, cozy and eclectic in a three-story Federal townhouse with fireplace and gas-lit rooms. 
  • Food:  Seasonal American Cuisine with lots of local ingredients
  • Drinks: Excellent wine list
  • Price:  Entrees $18-$45
  • Service:  Exceptional
  • Would I go back?  Yes.

It’s Mardi Gras Time!

Acadiana's Mardi Gras Madness in Washington, DC
February 20-21, 2012, 3:30pm-Close

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Time Flies: 4 Years

It has been 4 years since we filmed the first episode of Capital Cooking. We started the show with DC Cuisine and learned how to make the famous half-smoke at Ben's Chili Bowl. We interviewed people at Eastern Market to find out their views of DC Cuisine and received mixed responses. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thank Ewe Fans: The Stefanelli-DeSantis Team Advances to Round 2!

With 2,473 votes counted, the results are in... we made it to Round 2!  Victory is in sight!  Thank ewe so much for all of your support to get Capital Cooking to the finals.  

Thinking of Drinking: Cebu Martini

Check out this refreshing cocktail from Masa 14's menu.  

This Lamb Was Made For You And Me

The American Lamb Board invited me to participate in the first D.C. American Lamb Pro-Am.  Being that I'm a huge fan of lamb, I jumped at the opportunity. Not only did I have a blast judging the Lamb Jam last year in DC, but I’ve also been hosting a series of dinner parties as one of the Lambassadors for the Tri-Lamb Group.  From leg, to ground lamb, to shank… I love it all.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sweden: Off to the Archipelago

Visiting Sweden in the summer is wonderful. The city life and crowds of Stockholm can leave you yearning for some quiet time and relaxation. The island of Grinda can offer you that and so much more. Hop on a short ferry ride to the archipelago.  It is a great opportunity to see what lies in the sea outside of the city. The archipelago is comprised of 24,000 islands and Grinda is situated in the middle. 

Flashback: Meet Me in St. Louis

Photo by Ashley Mosley
Meet me in St. Louis was our first full episode of Capital Cooking that aired.  I made Midwest treats  including: Chicken Tetrazzini, Gooey Butter Cake, Toasted Ravioli, and the St. Louis Cardinals Cocktail.  

Upcoming Events: Georgetown’s Week for Chocolate

Georgetown’s Week for Chocolate runs through February 19th will have all of Georgetown’s best sweet spots offering up an amazing experience for you to bring a special someone to enjoy.  Buy your badge and head over to your favorite 5 places to get a free Week for Chocolate experience! Just show up with your badge and let them know you are “Week for Chocolate”!

Moet Hennessy Winemaker Tour in DC

Capital Cooking Contributor

Last week, winemakers from around the globe gathered in D.C. as a part of the Moet Hennessy Winemaker Tour. The group assembled in The Wine Room at Occidental Restaurant to present their wines. Each estate had a table set up with a selection of their best wines, and guests took them all in over the course of the afternoon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spotlight: Meet Kristen Finn

Kristen Finn is a photographer based out of DC/VA and is available to shoot worldwide. She has a graphic style with a natural, architectural feel. Kristen’s passion for food, design, the environment, people and their spaces, has transferred into her photography. She’s a sucker for a good story and a mean cup of coffee. 

Chef José Andrés will host the 40th annual sofi™ Awards

Chef José Andrés will host the 40th annual sofi™ Awards to be presented at the Summer Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C.mmNamed “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation, and internationally recognized as a culinary innovator, Andrés will serve as keynote speaker and presenter of the awards at a red-carpet ceremony on June 18, 2012.

Congrats to Brent Kroll and Gina Chersevani!

Congrats to Brent Kroll of Adour for winning the Sommelier Showdown last week!

Toast the Night with Washington Wine Academy

by Ashley Eames
Capital Cooking Contributor

Friday night the Washington Wine Academy hosted a special wine event at the Athenaeum in Old Town, Alexandria. It was the perfect opportunity to set the mood for Valentine’s Day and indulge in one of the most perfect combinations: Red wine and chocolate.

Interested in Traveling to Cuba?

From Friday, April 20 through Tuesday, April 24, Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot of Penn Quarter's Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar (801 9th Street, NW, 202.408.1600) will bring an intimate group of 15 travelers to Havana, Cuba for a rare look at the island.  Working with Insight Cuba, the leading provider of authorized people-to-people travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens, Chef Pernot accompanied by his Cuban-born wife Lucia, whose great-great-grandfather was Cuba’s 3rd president, together will be hosting guests and offering the first chance for most Americans to travel to the island which, until recently, has been restricted by embargo-era U.S. regulations.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Week for Chocolate DC

On Saturday night, Sales Vote's Week for Chocolate began it's festivities with a fabulous "Love, Like, Lust" launch party at Georgetown's exclusive L2 lounge. Guests mingled the night away sipping on decadent cocktails and savoring delicious chocolates while L2's candle-lit chic decor and hanging hearts set the mood. The night's signature cocktail was a sweet concoction filled with Svedka vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur and cream topped with an orange peel twist. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Don't miss the 13th Annual International Wine & Food Festival

Returning this year with 600+ wines, exciting cooking demos from DC's top culinary stars and a lively cocktail kick-off competition, the 13th Annual Washington DC International Wine & Food Festival (IWFF) will celebrate the world of wine, food and culture on February 11 - 12, 2012 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in downtown Washington, DC. IWFF Attendees will be able to taste the best of the world's food and drink right here in the acclaimed foodie destination of Washington, DC - with 600+ rare and loved wines from 100 wineries, foods from artisanal producers around the world and DC's best restaurants, tastings of unique spirits and more.

Good Stuff Eatery Gets Even Sweeter

by Samantha Grieder
Capital Cooking Contributor

Beginning today, guests of Good Stuff Eatery will be able to get more than a milkshake to sweeten up their meals.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spotlight: Meet Bryn Wallace

I met Bryn a few years ago when she started shooting for Capital Cooking.  She has a great eye and is truly talented at photography.

Lamb Pro-Am Side Dish: Green Beans and Shallots

I was recently contacted by the American Lamb Board with an invitation to participate in the first D.C. American Lamb Pro-Am.  For Round 1, 13 local food bloggers went to a pick up party at Bibiana on Monday night to check out the lamb.  We were tasked with creating an original American Lamb recipe and write a blog post documenting the making of the dish.

Upcoming Events: Sommelier Showdown

Sommelier Showdown, February 9, 7:00pm-9:00pm:  See top DC Sommeliers flex their knowledge at the Washington DC International Wine and Food Festival's inaugural Sommelier Showdown. Our experts will engage in a friendly tête-à-tête and compete in a race of the taste, using deductive tasting to identify wines with hidden labels.   To complement the wines presented, the Showdown will feature five of DCs most noted chefs who will be tasked with bringing food and wine together, including Chefs Todd Gray (Equinox), Xavier Deshayes (Ronald Reagan Building), and Jaime Montes de Oca (Zentan).  Invitation only to select members of the hospitality and restaurant trade, a limited number of tickets will be released to the public at $150. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Last week Black and Orange opened its sparkling new location at 14th and U Street to a packed crowd eager to sample a bite at - to my knowledge - the only burger joint in the entire city that stays open until 5am. 

Eat with Your Eyes: Teres Major

Is your mouth watering?  You can find this Teres Major at 1789 for $36.  Do you have a food photo that would make others drool?  If so, email me at and we can include it in Eat with your Eyes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shanghai-Sao Paulo Menu at Zengo February -March 15

If you missed the Lima-Tokyo menu, head into Chef Richard Sandoval’s Zengo to try Test Kitchen: Shanghai-São Paulo menu offerings. Every few months, the Chefs at Zengo research and develop new recipes featuring the cuisine and spirits of one Latin and one Asian country.  The Shanghai-São Paulo dishes offer creative interpretations of traditional Chinese and Brazilian recipes.

Opening: Melody Tavern

by Ashley Eames
Capital Cooking Contributor

Melody Tavern is one of the newest additions to the live-music scene in the area. You’ll have to venture out to Crystal City, but once there you’ll find a regular rotation of jazz and blues bands performing center stage.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Head to The Melting Pot for a Big Night Out

by Samantha Grieder
Capital Cooking Contributor

It's dimly lit. Couples seated around you are dipping strawberries in chocolate while drinking cocktails and wine. You must be at the Melting Pot.

On my way to pick up the lamb

You know I’m a huge fan of lamb!  I had a blast judging the Lamb Jam last year in DC.  I’ve been hosting a series of dinner parties as one of the Lambassadors for the Tri-Lamb Group.  From leg, to ground lamb, to shank… I love it all.  My love of lamb makes me extremely excited for the upcoming competition.  

The ‘Tails:

The American Lamb Board invited me to participate in the first D.C. American Lamb Pro-Am.  Starting on February 10-17th, I’m going to need your help to vote for me.   To make it worth your while, I’ll invite one reader to my to enjoy a braised lamb dinner paired with amazing wines on 2/26!

11th Annual Sugar and Champagne Re-cap

Chef Todd and Ellen Gray did a fantastic job hosting the 11th Annual Sugar and Champagne Affair benefiting the Washington Humane Society (WHS).  

Valentine's Day Round-up: More restaurants added!

Love is in the air!  It isn't too late to snag a reservation at one of DC's hot restaurants.  Don't wait until the last minute or you might miss out.  DC restaurants are ensuring everyone enjoys the holiday with special Valentine's Day festivities and menus.

Top DC Chefs Offer Disney Inspired Specials February 15-20

Before Disney On Ice presents 100 Years of Magic opens at the Verizon Center on February 15-20, five of DC’s most celebrated chefs will create and offer an exclusive “Disney Dish” inspired by one of Disney’s classic adventures from the past 100 years. Each chef’s unique entrée will go head-to-head in a competition for the ultimate Disney Dish.

Valentine's Day Cookbook Review -- Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking

Lots of people like to go out for Valentine’s Day and it makes sense. Why not be pampered with your significant other at a time of year that’s usually pretty dreary? Especially if you have to work all day.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thinking of Drinking: Coconut Batida

Hydrate simultaneously while sipping on this cocktail.  The new Coconut Batida is part of Zengo's new Shanghai-Sao Paulo menu available until March 15th.  I usually save the coconut water for my hang over the next day, but now I think I'm going to try preventing the hangover altogether with some of these cocktails:)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Upcoming Events: 13th Annual International Food and Wine Festival

On February 7, BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier will host a five-course wine dinner prepared by Chef de Cuisine Chris Watson, highlighting Oregon and Washington wines from Owen Roe wineries. The five-course seated dinner will feature Owen Roe wine pairings with each course. The dinner will cost $125 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. For more information or to make reservations call 703.894.3440 or visit or