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Dining Bisnow (DC)

Celeb Chef Tours DC

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Top Chef Winner Kristen Kish cooked in DC this week, joined by an all-star team of local chefs for the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour

The tour allows food aficionados across the country to experience James Beard House-style meals sans a trip to New York. Monday's line-up was epic: China Café's Peter Chang, Mandu Chefs Danny & Mama Lee, CityZen's Eric Ziebold, Rasika's Vikram Sunderam, Toki Underground's Erik Bruner-Yang, Maple Ave/Water & Wall's Tim Ma, and host chef Scott Drewno from The Source. We snapped Kristen, a Boston chef, plating with Tim lending a hand. 

The Season 10 Top Chef winner's dish was light and refined: Steamed snapper with shiitake consommé, toasted honey, benne seed, and (generously) shaved black truffle. The fried twist of fish skin was a slightly sinful treat.

Before guests filed upstairs for dinner, they were treated to cocktails from Southern Efficiency and Mockingbird Hill, plus appetizers from Tim Ma, Erik Bruner-Yang, Eric Ziebold, and Scott Drewno. We snapped Tim and Josh Whetshtein working side-by-side. Visit our Facebook page for more photos. If you missed out, note that there will be another Celebrity Chef Tour in February at Del Campo.

Toro Toro (Open) DINE

Stop Calling It a Special Occasion

The Oval Room from Ashok Bajaj just got a million dollar modern facelift. But the purpose wasn't just to add tantalizing texture and nifty light fixtures. Rather, they're looking to attract younger diners to the bar area for creative cocktails and bar snacks, dialing down the perception that The Oval Room is just for white tablecloth special occasions. “We hoping the new bar program gets young people into the door, inspiring them to come back for dinner,” GM Simon Stilwell tells us. “This is not the Oval Room mom and dad took you to five years ago.” We snapped Simon with executive chef Tony Conte before the restaurant reopened Monday.  

Cardinal (Deposit2) DINE

This Lunch Won't
Eat Up Your Day

We've all experienced the foot-tapping, clock-watching epic business lunch that goes on like a Peter Jackson movie. If you want to avoid a mid-day meal that kidnaps your time, pop into Toro Toro for its $28 “On the Run Exec Express Lunch.” There's no need to wait for a server to describe the menu or take your order. Just visit a buffet spread with ceviche, smoky guacamole with plantain chips, healthy grain salads, cheese, charcuterie, and finally a line of the restaurant's carved meats. The lunch is available Monday-Friday from 11:00a.m. to 3:00p.m. 

Mead All About It

Doi Moi Wine Director Max Kuller proved pairing beverages with spicy food goes beyond Riesling and Gewürztraminer. Max teamed up with B. Nektar Meadery Founder Brad Dahlholfer Tuesday to pair Doi Moi's menu with six meads. Mead—a boozy beverage made from fermenting honey—has a touch of sweetness, much like a semi-dry Riesling. Sugar goes a long way in cooling you down after a bite of something with heat, like the restaurant's ground duck and duck liver salad.

The Michigan meadery started as a passion project for Brad and his wife, and many of B. Nektar's meads are pop-culture inspired. We sampled several lightly carbonated session meads that sit at around 6% Alcohol by Volume, including “Dwarf Invasion” which is brewed with cherry and hops. Then there's “Necromangocon,” which features notes of mango and black pepper. The evening concluded with two super floral still meads with closer to 14% ABV.

Malmaison (Brunch2) DINE
Bisnow Hypnotic HALF

GCDC is Stretching Rare Cheese &
You Can Too

Why does GCDC's hand-stretched mozzarella taste so good? Their cheesemonger, Sophie Slesinger, uses curds from Caputo Brother's Creamery in Spring Grove, PA. There, a husband and wife team produces some of the only cheese in the U.S. that uses real bacteria cultures instead of cheating with citric acid. The result? “Cheese that tastes like cheese; not milk,” Sophie tells us. Not only will Sophie make your mozzarella to order (pictured), but she'll also teach you how to make it in a new series of cheese classes.

  • August 23 (12:30-2p.m.) - Learn about Mexican artisan cheese with Carlos Yescas ($40)
  • September 2 (6-8:30p.m.) - Learn how to make mozzarella ($75)
  • Every Monday in September starting Sept 8 (6-7p.m.) - Go on a guided tasting through all of major styles of cheeses in Cheese 101 ($40)

To purchase tickets e-mail Sophie at sophie@grilledcheesedc.com.

Vida (Dive2) DINE

Try A Tropical Sandwich
from a Local Author

Nevin Martell has seen most corners of the world. His latest book, Freak Show Without a Tent, captures what it was like growing up as a globetrotter who appreciated food's intrinsic role in travel. "You can truly understand a culture through food,” he tells us. “No matter where I touch down, I try the dishes and drinks that are unique to that place, like drinking kava in Fiji or eating canary in the Azores.” In honor of Nevin's novel, G by Mike Isabella is dishing out a special Calypso chicken curry sandwich throughout August. It's inspired by Trinidadian roti. On developing the recipe: “Honestly, it was one of the toughest assignments I've ever had because the bar is so high,” Nevin tells us.  

Bisnow (Gen-EventCal)

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