On Monday, I posted the first part of my amazing weekend at MetroCooking DC. Here is my recap of the events on Sunday (October 25, 2015). MetroCooking DC is a two day cooking and entertaining show held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. This huge foodie event has something for everyone from celebrity and James Beard award winning chefs to cooking lessons, tastings from local restaurants, demonstrations, vendors, book signings, and so much more. I had such a great time last year (MetroCooking DC Part 1 and Part 2), and this time definitely did not disappoint.
Michael Symon was the headlining celebrity chef on Sunday. He hosted a morning and afternoon cooking demonstration, VIP meet and greet, and a 5 in 5 Seasonal Soiree with an autographed copy of his newest cookbook Michael Symon’s 5 in 5 for Every Season: 165 Quick Dinners, Sides, Holiday Dishes, and More. I attended the morning cooking demonstration where he prepared Spatchcock Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and a Greek Salad. I have always been nervous about working with whole chickens, so I appreciated his tips for the spatchcock technique (removing the backbone to fully butterfly the bird so it will flatten in the skillet). The smashed potatoes also looked interesting and delicious. The potatoes were boiled until tender, then lightly smashed before frying. As Symon stated, it is the best of both worlds- the crispiness of french fries with the interior creaminess of a baked potato. His personality definitely shines on stage.
Throughout the day, there were “Taste Talks” presented by Daregal Gourmet. Speakers included Dawn Shanks (Brew It Yourself! Delicious Coffee at Home), Anna Bullett (Hosting a Healthy Holiday/A Taste of Tapas), Jill Sandler (Expanding Your Chocolate Palate), Morgan Morris (Gardening in Challenging Spaces), Mark Bucher (How to Make the Perfect Hamburger at Home), Shawn Harlan (Spice It Up! Pairing 101), Kim Daisy (Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Desserts/Easy Holiday Cakes), Jordan Weber (Cooking for Kids), Michaele Samuel (Flavors of the Caribbean/Entertaining with Ease), Chef Egg (How to Prepare a Fresh Pumpkin for Baking/5 Ingredient Fix for the Sweet Tooth), Patrick Vanas (Canning, Jamming, and Edible Gifts), Peter and Laura Zeranski (Photographed above- Polish Cooking 101), and Cheryl Strasser (Source Locally, Cook Seasonally).
There was also a James Beard Cooking Stage presented by Ikea featuring demonstrations by James Beard award winners, nominees, and guest chefs. I noticed a huge improvement in the stage compared to last year. It was much easier to see the demonstrator’s work and there was also a camera for close-up shots. Featured chefs included Dean Gold (Fra Diavolo, Fra Diavolo Sauce), Sherry Yard (Apple Strudel), Josu Zubikarai (Cazuela de Merluza con Almejas En Salsa Verde), Erik Bruner-Yang (Coconut Milk and Prahok Dipping Sauce), Victor Albisu (Arepas with Grilled Lobster Filling, Octopus Filling and Pigs Feet Filling), Caitlin Dysart (Brown Sugar Pavlova, Red Wine Poached Pears), Tim Ma (Coconut Risotto with Scallops and Basil Ice Cream), Claudio Pirollo (Gravlax of Salmon with Potato Waffle and Old Mustard Dressing), Austin Fausett (Roasted Garlic Soup), and Bryan Voltaggio (Photographed above- Crab Waffles Chesapeake, Smoked Shrimp and Grits).
For those wanting something a little more hands-on, the L’Academie de Cuisine hosted a cooking school with the following classes: Holiday Hors d’Oeuvres, Basic Knife Skills, Easy Dim Sum, Cake Decorating 101: Buttercream Basics, Classic Sauces, and Kids Sushi Making.
One of my favorite events, the RAMW Grand Tasting Pavilion, was a big focus of the afternoon. Over 40 of the area’s top restaurants were in attendance with a variety of treats to sample. A portion of the proceeds went to Educated Eats, an organization promoting careers in restaurant and food service by offering scholarships to high school students and individuals working in the restaurant industry. Here were some of the offerings:
Dolci Gelati (Washington DC/Takoma Park, Maryland/Old Town Alexandria, Virginia/Dolci Gelati Food Truck)- Pumpkin Pie, Stracciatella, Salted Caramel, and Bacio (Chocolate Hazelnut Gelato; Honey Crisp Apple Sorbetto
Thally (Washington, DC)- Butternut Squash and Celery Root “Noodle” Salad with Curried Greek Yogurt, Candied Ginger, Walnut Oil, Radish, and Lavender
Lavagna (Washington, DC)– Housemade Rigatoni Bolognese
Carluccio’s (Alexandria, Virginia)- Bruschetta (Eggplant and Tomato) and Polpette (Meatballs)
Met Bethesda Metropolitan Kitchen & Bar (Bethesda, Maryland)– BBQ Pork Belly
Il Canale (Washington, DC)- Cannoli Di Ricotta Alla Siciliana
Osteria Marzano (Alexandria, Virginia)– Ravioli di Short Rib
Haute Dogs & Fries (Alexandria and Purcellville, Virginia)- Bombshell Hot Dogs(Sautéed onions, mango- pineapple relish, jalapeños)
Moorenko’s (Silver Spring, Maryland and select Whole Foods/Giants)- Pumpkin, Peppermint Stick, Salted Caramel with Praline
The Fourth Estate (Washington, DC)- Lamb and Beef Ginger Meatballs with Spiced Tamarind Dipping Sauce
The Tabard Inn (Washington, DC)– Tuna Tartare
Next door to the BBQ Bash on Saturday and the Grand Tasting Pavilion on Sunday was the Beer, Wine, and Spirits Garden. In addition to tastings from a variety of local and international breweries, wineries, and distilleries, the event also featured demonstrations and educational seminars.
Nekisha Roache, author of From My Mudda’s Kitchen: A Jamaican Cookbook, had a booth setup to promote her cookbook filled with her favorite Jamaican recipes. She also has live cooking demos on Periscope (@Gratitude247). You can keep up with the latest events on the book’s Facebook page.
FRESHFARM Markets is a non-profit organization that promotes the local food movement in the Chesapeake Bay region. They operate 13 farmers markets that are run by producers-only (sell what they grow, raise, or make on their farms). Check out their Facebook page for more information.
Sweet Pearlz Cheesecakes is a family-owned bakery based in Gainesville, Virginia. They create a variety of made to order cheesecakes (plus gluten free and vegan options), toppings, and naked cakes (this was new to me, how interesting!) and are available for weddings, special events, corporate events, dessert pairings, and special orders (allow for 72 hours or longer for large orders). They are also on Facebook.
BaTer Chocolates (Facebook page) offers a specialty line of creamed liqueur chocolates. They are based in Goldvein, Virginia. Their products are available online and have the following flavors: Tequila Rose, Chambord, Grand Marnier, Crown Royal Reserve, Johnny Walker Black Label, Jack Daniels Single Barrell, and Grey Goose with Lemoncello (the Chambord was my favorite- love the raspberry!).
Teapigs USA was started in 2006 by Nick and Louise as a way to bring attention to the lesser known high quality teas. The company came to the United States (based in New York) in 2014. You can buy their products online and in select grocery stores. Keep up to date with their Facebook page.
Capital City Mambo Sauce was founded by husband and wife team Arsha and Charles Jones to keep the flavors of Arsha’s childhood alive for her children. Mambo Sauce was developed in the late 1960s as a condiment for fried chicken wings. It is a sweet and tangy sauce similar to Sweet and Sour sauce and has since spread to Asian restaurants for pairing with takeout, but is still specific to the metropolitan DC area. Check out the article on the Washington Post for more history of the sauce and company. You can purchase Capital City Mambo Sauce online.
Yancey’s Fancy is an artisan cheese producer based in Corfu, New York. In addition to natural cheeses and cheese curds, they also make a variety of flavors such as Buffalo Wing, Champagne, Pepperoni, Strawberry Chardonnay, Wasabi, Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger, and Maple. You can find their products online or at select retailers.
Occasional Cakes is a family-owned business based in Beltsville, Maryland since 1994. They create cakes for a variety of events using recipes that have been handed down through the family. Check out their Facebook page for photos and events.
Les Trois Petits Cochons (The Three Little Pigs) began as a small charcuterie in Greenwich Village, New York City in 1975 and has now grown to offer a complete line of artisanal pâtés, mousses, terrines, sausages, saucissons, smoked meats and other French specialties. You can find their products at igourmet and these retailers.
Amoretti (Facebook) was founded in 1989 by Jack Barsoumian in Oxnard, California. The company now produces over 2,000 products that include pastry ingredients, beverage flavors, syrups for coffee & tea, martini mixes made with real fruit, smoothie mixes, organic infused olive oils, and more. I was particularly fond of their cookie spreads. You can purchase their products online.
A Bit More Sweets and Specialties is owned by Lynn and Barry Dysart in Springfield, Virginia. They make a variety of breads, cookies, scones, glazed nuts, biscotti, decorated sugar cookies, and gluten free options. They have been selling their baked goods in farmers markets since 1995 and you can also place orders online.
The Tea Room (Facebook) is a specialty chocolate company based in San Leandro, California. Their chocolates (chocolate bar fusions, drinking chocolate, chocolate truffles, baking ingredients, chocolate drops, teas, and more) are organic, non-GMO, and gluten free. I particularly enjoyed the tea-infused chocolate bars. You can find the products at select retailers and online.
Garlic Expressions (Facebook) is based in Perrysburg, Ohio. They focus on producing one product well- Garlic Expressions Salad Dressing and Marinade made with fresh garlic, canola oil, and cider vinegar. You can find their dressing online.
Laughing Giraffe Organics is a family-run business based in Lafayette, California. Organic, non-GMO products include coconut-based Snakaroons (pumpkin spice, chocolate, coffee bean, lemon, goji maca, banana, vanilla), Snakarola (cherry ginger, cranberry orange, curry cashew), and a variety of fruits, nuts, and seeds. You can purchase their products online and at select retailers.
True Made Foods (Facebook) was founded Kevin Powell and Abraham Kamarck in 2014. When Kevin was first married, his wife Abbey would hide vegetables in their dinners to combat his pickiness. When she made a ketchup using spinach, carrots, and butternut squash, he was hooked and introduced it to Abraham. They now make True Ketchup (Spinach, Carrot, Butternut Squash), True BBQ Sauce, and Veracha Hot Sauce. You can find their products online or in select retailers.
Velatis has a long history in the DC area. It was first founded in the 1850s in Richmond, Virginia by Salvator Velati of Turin. The original store burned down during the civil war, but it was rebuilt in Washington, DC in 1866. The candy shop is now located in Silver Spring, Maryland with a variety of caramels, toffee, chocolates, truffles, baked goods, and gifts. Visit their shop or order online. Keep up to date of events and their current selection on facebook.
Popcorn Queens (Facebook) is a mother daughter team, April and Bonnie Wardlaw, based in Washington, DC. They switched from catering to focus solely on popcorn in 2013 and now offer 9 different flavors- Bourbon Pecan, Buttered Rum, Chesapeake, Chipotle, Cinnamon Apple, Classic Caramel, Peanut, and Salted. You can purchase their popcorn online or at these locations.
Daisy Cakes (Facebook), owned by Kim Daisy, is a bakery based in Pauline, South Carolina. Four layer cakes are available in red velvet, chocolate, lemon, coconut, carrot, gluten free carrot, and gluten free chocolate in addition to the Cake of the Month (November is Pumpkin Pound Cake). She also has a cookbook- Daisy Cakes: Share a Slice of Love.
Bee Raw Honey, owned by Zeke Freeman, offers raw honey that is not processed, heated, or filtered. I loved the pure flavor in the samples offered. Their products include multiple varieties of honey, tea, gift collections, and supplies. You can buy Bee Raw Honey online.
Graeter’s Ice Cream was first started in 1868 by Louis Graeter in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company is now run by the fourth generation- Bob, Chip, and Richard and currently the only commercial retailer to still use French Pot Freezers. You can find their ice cream, gelato, low glycemic products, and sorbet online or at select retailers.
We definitely had a great weekend and Claire got to experience her first food event! Want to join the fun? Mark your calendars to attend MetroCooking DC next year- December 3-4, 2016 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC!