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The Scene Bisnow
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November 14, 2008



We normally like to report on stuff the next day, but thought we'd save up our food story for Friday, when thoughts (ours anyway) often turn to weekend eating. Last weekend, thousands flocked to the Washington Convention Center to see Food Network stars teach them how to cook a mean holiday casserole. We were among them.


Among the chefs at this year's Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show were Giada De Laurentiis, Paula Deen, and Bobby Flay, who performed live shows and took questions. On the main floor, hundreds of vendors showed off their delicious spices, cheeses, wines, and pastries, and journalistic duty required that we taste test it all. So many samples, it felt like a shopping day at Costco.


Giada took to the kitchen (er, a stage kitchen anyway) to teach us how to make rigatoni with butternut squash. She was named one of AskMen.com's "99 Most Desirable Women of 2008." Obviously for her cooking abilities. We were disappointed when she admitted to having not made her own pasta from scratch for over a year. Then we learned she was pregnant at the time, so we forgive her. Now she has a 7-month-old daughter, Jade, to cook for.   


Fun and playful Paula Deen took to the stage to a standing ovation from her diehard fans who came from 30 states. And cooking they saw, but not by Paula. She had others cook her chicken enchiladas while she flirted with guest star, the ubiquitous Geico caveman. We knew Paula loved her Smithfield endorsement deals, but Geico? She also recently cooked with Michelle Obama, who invited Paula to the White House for next time:  "She said if Barack won, we could have a hoedown on the White House lawn." That call hasn't come yet, but Paula says she won't let the offer slide.


Master griller Bobby Flay teaches us to make a ham and egg biscuit sandwich. When asked if he would bring a restaurant to DC, Bobby said he might consider a Mesa Grille in the city, but we'd have to come out and eat. Maybe we could if the Ancho Chile Rubbed Chicken from Bobby wasn't 27 bucks!


Earlier this week we met Julie O'Brien and Chris Jacobs, the stylish and chic co-founders of D.C. Girls In The Know (www.dcgirlsintheknow.com), a free e-mail newsletter (hmm, sounds familiar) that gives readers exclusive monthly discounts to some of D.C.'s hottest spas, salons, shops and more, specially available to readers. "We personally vet each business before featuring it so our subscribers go to the best places," says Chris. The duo met years ago working in marketing and launched the business this summer with plans to extend into other markets. Beside the business, the pair keep busy with kids (they have six between them), volunteering for school and non-profit fundraisers, and as self-described gym rats.


Sticking with the food theme, a green restaurant! First your Prius, now your pork chop: Everything in your life can be green. Just head to Founding Farmers at 1924 Pennsylvania Ave, where all the food at this chic, upscale restaurant is purchased directly from farmers who use sustainable ag methods. So the chickens live healthy lives rather than being pumped full of things you don't want to know about. Restaurant Consultant Dan Simons and Founding Farmers general manager Christian Holmes stand in front of jars of peppers, peaches and more. We asked why they aren't serving them, and they tell us it's only for decoration


Executive Chef Graham Duncan tells us he loves making the cedar plank cooked salmon. His favorite spice is coriander, and he claims to have eaten everything known to man. We bet he never had roasted duck in a dark pepper sauce with coconut crusted onions atop spicy mango pulp. He has. You've won this round, Mr. Duncan.


WDG Architecture and Bisnow fan John Lowe, and Project Solutions Group's Erin Figuero drink merrily at the bar. John asked us how Bisnow can be "everywhere."  We try; certainly occasions with food. The sleek and sexy restaurant was built to LEED Gold standards and constructed by using the most environmentally sustainable products for higher productivity and comfort. We suggest you check it out. Just don't try and wander in because they get booked up.  

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Eng Garcia
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