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The Scene Bisnow
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November 12, 2008



Sometimes these headlines write themselves. Last night, 50 DC restaurants packed the atrium at the Reagan Building with samples of their dinners, desserts, and beverages for the Capital Food Fight, to raise money for DC Central Kitchen. But the main event was on stage where five chefs battled in Iron Chef-esque fashion, including a 10-minute clock and secret ingredients.


Trainee Mekeisha Day helps Bobby Van’s executive chef Darren Hendry serve up, what else, filet mignon with pear, goat cheese, and black bean vinaigrette. We can confirm its deliciousness, though Darren says he’s partial to their 3 lb porterhouse (for two). Since the event’s inception in ’04 by master chef José Andrés, it’s netted $1 million to combat hunger and train unemployed in culinary and life skills.


Ted Allen, host of Food Detectives (and before that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), provided commentary throughout the competition. It appears Oval Room executive chef Tony Conte was too focused on the secret ingredient, couscous, to provide any answers.


Zola executive chef Bryan Moscatello and assistant Bali offer us a rabbit pot roast with butter poached carrot, caramelized onion, celery leaf, and parsley potato sauce. Bryan tells us he wanted to make rabbit more approachable and figured “pot roast” was a word we could all relate to. Plus, mixing carrots with a rabbit dish just made sense. That clever mind has been at Zola’s for three years and before that was at Adega Restaurant in Denver. Look for Bryan at the new Zola Wine and Kitchen, a unique celebrity chef kitchen and wine shop opening soon at 505 9th St.


You wouldn’t know there’s a national recession:  1000 turned out last night at the Washington Hilton for the annual Lab School fundraiser. Here we ran into Councilman Jack Evans, left, with local media king Robert Albritton (WJLA, Politico). We’re gathering bright, solid color ties are in.  


We snapped this not because it features the Washington Post’s most famous couple, Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn, left; but because we wanted Ruth and Richard Rogers, right. Lord Rogers (how come he doesn’t wear a crown, or even a lapel pin?) is a renowned London-based architect, not the Broadway songwriter who died 30 years ago, folks. He holds a drink in his hand presumably because he’s on an around the world jaunt and just came in from Korea. His wife owns the famed River Café on the Thames and does lots of cookbooks and TV.  


Arent Fox’s Peter Macleod and Kalbian Haggerty’s Chipp Sandground. Chipp not only does legal representation and transactions for restaurants, he’s an investor in them, like Central, Beck, Belga Café, and Et Voila. He reports that former 1789 celebrity chef Ris La Coste has raised money to open her own new “neighborhood gathering place” type restaurant at 22nd and L next spring or summer. As for Peter, he’s got to hold the record for a chance, exotic meeting with the woman who would become his wife:  in Paraguay in the early 90s, when both were living there for different reasons (he was teaching English, she was with the Peace Corps).  Hey, Chipp, how about a Paraguayan restaurant?

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