National Harbor Shines
A great spring tradition returned to the National Harbor Waterfront on the Potomac with the much anticipated 11th Annual National Harbor Wine & Food Festival the last weekend of April.
This year’s festival included over 150 international wines, spirits, and beers, along with local and regional favorites in an all-you-care-to-taste affair. Beyond the drink tastings, there were many other highlights, including a special craft beer tasting Bier Garten experience, a cooking kitchen featuring hands-on cooking demonstrations and wine pairings, live music, and much more.
This year’s organizers turned up the heat on the cooking stage and brought in some award-winning superstar chef talent. Special appearances on the cooking stage included Chef Scott Drewno of The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Chef Marjorie Meeks-Bradley of Smoke and Stacked, and Chef Seng Luangrath of Thip Khao. Also featured were Chef Victor Albisu of Del Campo and Taco Bamba and Rock Harper of Rock Solid Creative Food Group.

BBQ and more!
This summer, the inaugural BBQ & Grilling Week presented by Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) sweeps metropolitan Washington, DC restaurants with themed menus of grilled, smoked, and spiced dishes from Monday, June 19 through Sunday, June 25. BBQ & Grilling Week culminates in the 25th Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle, which takes place along Pennsylvania Avenue, NW on Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25, complete with cooking contests, live music (30 bands performing on three stages!), and beverage gardens.
The full list of participating restaurants will be available before BBQ & Grilling Week at, where guests will be able to book experiences and search for restaurants by neighborhood. RAMW will partner with USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore for the inaugural BBQ & Grilling Week, with many participating restaurants choosing to donate a portion of their BBQ & Grilling Week specials to the non-profit. USO-Metro provides programs and services for active duty troops and their families at area military hospitals, six USO centers, four USO airport lounges, and a mobile USO. Guests will also be able to sign up for RAMW’s Diner Rewards Program before June 19 to enjoy access to exclusive gift card giveaways in the weeks leading up to BBQ & Grilling Week.
The Giant BBQ Battle has been named “One of Five Can’t Miss Summer Festivals in the Country” by CNN, a “Top 10 BBQ Event” by the Travel Channel, “One of America’s Best BBQ Competitions” by Saveur magazine, and “An Event Worth Traveling to” by the American Bus Association.
For more information about BBQ & Grilling Week, please contact Joanna Heaney at 202-888-3567 or

And the Duke Zeibert Award goes to…
Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj was honored with the 2017 Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award at a reception on May 17. This is one of the twenty-one awards presented during the RAMMY awards season and is named in honor of legendary Washington restaurateur Duke Zeibert. The honor is determined by RAMW’s Executive Committee and recognizes an individual whose hard work and outstanding initiative has increased the profile and success of the metropolitan Washington foodservice community and dining landscape. A past RAMW board member, Bajaj has owned and operated award-winning restaurants for over 25 years. He has opened numerous successful DC landmark restaurants, including the The Oval Room and four-star Rasika. Most recently, in August 2016, Bajaj merged Ardeo and Bardeo into one restaurant and bar, giving him the space to open his casual Indian street food and craft cocktails oasis — Bindaas.
Bajaj’s collection of power, neighborhood, and fine dining establishments captured 10 RAMMY Award Nominations in 2012, resulting in Rasika’s executive chef winning Chef of the Year. The following year, Bajaj won Restaurateur of the Year and was named Washington Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO. His restaurants have also been consistently nominated for prestigious awards by the James Beard Foundation, including Best Chef-Mid Atlantic, Rising Star Chef, and Outstanding Restaurant and Restaurateur of the Year.
“There is no one I can think of more deserving of this award,” said Chef Nicholas Stefanelli, chef and owner of the acclaimed restaurant Masseria. “Ashok has not only had a strong positive influence on my personal development and career, but has been a driving force in shaping the restaurant development we all see and enjoy today.” For more information regarding the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Reception or the 35th Annual RAMMY Awards Gala held on Sunday, July 30, please email or call 202-331-5990.

Congressional Seafood Names Berrie as Food Safety Director
Matthew Berrie has been been named director of food safety at Congressional Seafood’s new, state-of-the-art plant in Jessup, Md. In his new role, Berrie will be responsible for ensuring strict compliance with Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP), Safe Quality Food (SQF) guidelines, and other safety and quality standards. Berrie oversees all of the company’s safety and quality control efforts, which include monthly audits of its warehouse and processing facility, including its state-of-the-art sanitation procedures.
Berrie previously was HACCP/quality control manager for ProFish, Ltd., of Washington DC, and quality control manager for Seattle Fish Co. of Denver. Prior to his quality control positions, he was an executive chef for Tana Dolce in Castle Rock, Co., and Ciolo Foods in Lafayette, Co. Berrie holds a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management/Culinary from the Art Institute of Colorado.

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