Bisnow Exclusive: Almost Every DC Chef Went Fishing
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Dining Bisnow (DC)

Bisnow Exclusive:
Almost Every DC Chef Went Fishing

Catch The Milk Carton Kids and Sarah Jarosz at Lincoln Theatre on Oct. 24. Tickets on sale now through

Close to 200 DC-area chefs traded in their knives for fishing hooks on Monday for the Congressional Seafood FINvitational on the Chesapeake Bay. (Give a chef a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a chef to fish, and fish will be one of the specials... every day... forever.)

It was the third annual fishing tournament and crab feast sponsored by the local seafood company. We threw on a hoodie and boarded The Worm with quite a team: Brabo's Brandon Williams, Congressional Seafood's Dave Simpson, PassionFish's Bob McGuire, District Commons' Gerald Walker, Fuego's Chris Smith, DC Coast's Miles Vaden and Acadiana's Brant Tesky. Other boats successfully reeled in bluefish and rockfish, but we only managed to catch an empty oyster shell

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Dave, who serves as Congressional Seafood's Vice President of Sales & Purchasing explained that our bad luck was due to someone (who shall remain nameless) bringing a banana on board—a big jinx in the world of fishing. He also shared how much the company has grown since he started; they provide 300 restaurants with local and imported seafood.

Fiona Lewis of The District Fishwife in Union Market also cast out a line. We snapped her at the post-fishing crab feast inside Harris Crab House. She caught pounds of her favorite fish. “Everybody should be eating an abundance of bluefish,” she says. “I may not be a good businesswoman for pushing the cheapest fish we sell, but it's a healthy protein, loaded with omega fatty acids that people should be cooking with twice a week.”

The day's festivities concluded with an oyster eating competition. PassionFish Chef Bob McGuire (right) competed round after round with perhaps the most heart. Though he ultimately didn't take the title for slurping briny bivalves the fastest, he did take home a trophy for the ugliest catch. You guessed it—that empty oyster shell.  

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Confirmed: Boulud Throws a Good Party

Titans of the food world came together Friday as DBGB Kitchen + Bar from famed chef Daniel Boulud marked its grand opening with impressive ice sculptures, indulgent food and drink, and chef celebs like TV star Carla Hall, The Inn at Little Washington's Patrick O'Connell,and Chef José Andrés. It was a blast from the past for the chef who launched his career in DC more than 30 years ago. And who better to bring to this celebration than his family, whom we snapped at the shindig.

The most fun design element of the French bistro meets American tavern is a display of more than 100 plates painted by notable local and national chefs like Bryan Voltaggio and Anthony Bourdain—a cool touch commented on by most in attendance. The menu at DBGB is brimming with French classics like a foie gras terrine and escargot fricassee, but we predict “The Crabbie,” a beef patty topped with a Maryland crab cake, will keep people coming back. DBGB is open for dinner nightly; lunch Mon-Fri; and plan to launch brunch tomorrow

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Don't Miss Our
Restaurant Summit

Hear from the best on September 29: The DC Restaurant Development Summit is back! Top players from both the restaurant and real estate world including Miller Walker Real Estate's Bill Miller, Cushman & Wakefield's David Dochter and Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group's Dan Simons will spill it on hot topics. The discussion will be followed by a schmooze fest and mixologist throw-down. Join us!

Recipe Testing with Tiffany MacIsaac

We had the rare opportunity to invade Tiffany MacIsaac's home and watch her work her magic. That's where she's baking out of, in addition to a downtown kitchen, as a part of her newly launched Buttercream Bakeshop—at least until her storefront opens downtown next summer. You know Tiffany from her stint with Neighborhood Restaurant Group, and most specifically Buzz Bakery. When she left NRG, it was the oven timer heard ‘round the world, and everyone's been waiting to see what she would do next.

That's because flour, sugar, and butter aren't the only ingredients she folds into her creations—there's heart, too. “A couple came to me for their wedding, not knowing what they wanted,” she tells us. “So I asked them to share their love story.” The couple met at summer camp, so the project at hand was creating a s'mores gift for wedding guests to take home. We watched as she figured out how to get marshmallows to taste like campfire long after they've cooled down. A blowtorch was the weapon of choice.

Our s'mores themed afternoon continued as Tiffany tested recipes for a s'mores cake. She folds graham crackers into the batter, uses a fudge buttercream, and coats the cake with a eye-catching shell of toasted meringue. Ever meticulous, Tiffany tests until she gets it just right, referencing a binder full of Excel sheets along the way. At her future shop, she looks forward to having creative freedom and full control of the customer experience.

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A Fun Loving Side
of Del Campo

What better way to send off summer than donning a Hawaiian shirt for a roof top tiki party with a monumental view. Del Campo at Dusk is a monthly event featuring host chef Victor Albisu and guest chefs like The Source's Scott Drewno and Chef Jonah Kim (pictured). The drinks Friday were super smoky in true Del Campo fashion, and food included a Hawaiian treat called Spam musubi. Mark your calendar for the next Del Campo at Dusk on Oct. 31. It will have a Day of the Dead theme, and celebrity chef Michael Schlow will cook up something special.

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An Age-Old Italian Affair at Osteria Morini

The Navy Yard's Italian gem, Osteria Morini, celebrated Maialata over the weekend. The Northern Italian tradition translates to “pig fest,” and calls for the community to come together and feast. The star of the show was chef Matt Adler's suckling pig that was stuffed with sausage. It was accompanied by elevated BBQ fixings like a potato salad dotted with pancetta. Pastry chef Alex Levin tried his hand at gourmet gelato sandwiches for dessert. Proceeds benefited Brainfood—a local non-profit dedicated to youth development.

The afternoon on the water also doubled as a debut for Osteria Morini's new beverage manager, Kristi Green, whom we snapped. Kristi comes to Osteria Morini from Petworth Citizen and Crane & Turtle in Petworth. In her new gig, she'll highlight Italian spirits and cool riffs on classic Italian cocktails.

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This Event Has Balls

Here's what you can expect at an event this Sunday called The Festicle: micro wrestlers with names like Short Dawg; live bands; amazing acrobats; elevated carnival food; and a testicle cook-off. That last part is where chef Tim Ma (pictured) comes in. He'll be competing against Celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn and Toki Underground chef Erik Bruner-Yang. Tim, who is the chef/owner of Water & Wall and Maple Ave Restaurant is gearing up for the big day. "I've never cooked testicles before, but I imagine it can be a handful," he tells us. The event goes down at the Half Street Fairgrounds. Doors open at 1:00pm and entertainment starts at 2:00pm. Tickets are $25 at the door. 

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