FSM News

Paul Haar Honored
Prominent Washington, DC immigration attorney Paul S. Haar, knighted by the French Government as a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite Agricole for his contributions to French gastronomy and agriculture, will be further honored in July by both the American Culinary Federation (“ACF”) and La Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs. On July 11, he will be inducted into the American Academy of Chefs, the ACF’s exclusive honor society, in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to leading chefs and culinary professionals.
Also in July, Haar assumes the position of Chancelier des Etats-Unis (National Executive Vice President) of La Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, the world’s oldest and largest international gourmet food and wine society. He was previously the Bailli (President) of the Chaine’s Washington, DC Bailliage (Chapter), Paul Haar has represented Washington’s leading restaurants, chefs, sommeliers, and other culinary professionals for over 20 years, successfully resolving complex immigration matters. He studied law, politics, and economics and lived in France, Belgium, Spain, and The Netherlands, is a Fulbright Scholar, and speaks French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German.

Haiti and Morocco Win 2017 Embassy Chef Challenge Awards!
A sold-out crowd enjoyed authentic dishes representing the native countries of 27 embassy chefs at the 9th annual Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge. An additional six nations represented themselves at a new ‘Sips and Sweets’ pavilion, offering guests a glimpse into global beverage and snack cultures.
Chef Cynthia Verna of Haiti was selected as the People’s Choice Champion, chosen from votes cast by attendees. Her plate of shrimp, plantain chips, and fine herbs aioli won a majority of votes cast via social media and paper ballots. Chef Moha Fedal of Morocco walked away the Judges’ Choice Champion for his Marrakech tangia made with lamb shoulder, preserved lemon, saffron, turmeric, garlic, aged butter, and olive oil, sealed in a clay jar. He was selected by a panel of esteemed judges consisting of Allison Aubrey, NPR, Valeria Barriga, Telemundo Washington DC, Chef Xavier Deshayes, Ronald Reagan Building, Chef Nelson Erazo, The Melrose Hotel, Christina Fulton, Macy’s, Inc., Creig Greenidge, 2016 Judge’s Choice Champion (Barbados), and Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian.
Events DC Vice President Erik Moses said of the participants, “We had the largest, most diverse group ever represented at the Embassy Chef Challenge this year. The chefs who take part in our friendly competition each year continue to impress me, and Washington is ecstatic to have them as part of our community. I know guests were able to taste some of the finest foods in the world, and we look forward to continuing this great tradition in years to come.” The event took place in the Ronald Reagan Building and was presented by TCMA (a Drew company).

Florida in July? It’s hot, hot, hot!
The American Culinary Federation holds its National Convention & Show, Cook. Craft. Create. July 9 through 13 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The event will feature nonstop culinary action with presentations from over 1,000 acclaimed chefs and industry experts, live culinary competitions, a career fair, and a two-day trade show. The schedule includes chefs from all around the country and covers topics of interest to foodservice professionals nationwide.
In addition to on-site networking and hands-on workshop opportunities, Cook. Craft. Create. features an exciting schedule of presenters who will demonstrate innovative culinary techniques and address burgeoning topics in foodservice, from the science of taste to trends in millennial dining. Among the speakers are Michael J. Wadiak, a CIA-trained chef who helped Blue Apron become a billion dollar company in just two years, and Orlando local Emily Ellyn, a chef and culinary educator who has been featured on “Food Network Star” and “Cupcake Wars.”
“The ACF National Convention is the must-attend professional development event of the year to keep informed about emerging industry trends and position your company and yourself for success,” said ACF National President Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC. “Networking with more than 1,000 fellow culinary professionals can produce immediate dividends and support personal and professional growth for years to come.” A full schedule can be found at

The Industry Gives Back… Dollars to Doughnuts, or Vice Versa!
To celebrate National Donut Day on June 2, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken featured a special edition “Cherry Pie” doughnut, made with cherry compote filling, tart cherry vanilla glaze, and shortbread cookie crumbles. Here’s the big news! For this promotion, Astro Doughnuts partnered with the Fisher House Foundation, a non-profit that provides a network of comfort homes where military families can stay at no cost while a loved one receives treatment. Donation total: $1,988 from 568 cherry doughnuts sold in the Washington, DC and Falls Church, Va. stores and the Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken food truck.
Co-owner Elliot Spaisman said, “This is the fourth year that we’ve raised money for the Fisher House Foundation. Supporting military families is a cause that my business partner, Jeff Halpern, and I are passionate about, and we’re proud to see this initiative growing every year.” By the way, National Donut Day was created by The Salvation Army in Chicago in 1983 to honor Salvation Army “Doughnut Girls” or “Donut Lassies” who served coffee and doughnuts to soldiers along the front lines during WWI and WWII. This unofficial holiday is celebrated the first Friday in June.

Dining for Scholarships
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington and Educated Eats held a celebratory dinner on June 12 at 1789 in Georgetown. The dinner honored four visionaries who have each led the way in hospitality, workforce development, and community support in our region – Michael N. Harreld, PNC Bank; Mike Curtain & Marianne Ali, DC Central Kitchen; and Thomas Penny, Courtyard by Marriott Convention Center. The funds raised from ticket sales will go to Educated Eats, a scholarship fund supporting aspiring local students of the culinary arts.
Educated Eats has awarded over $160,000 in scholarship funds since its conception in 2004, and its work is made possible with the generous and impactful work of this year’s honored visionaries.

Got Milk?
During the summertime, many children in our region do not. In fact, more than 22 million children – including kids in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware – may miss out on milk’s nutrition when they lose access to free or reduced-price meal programs at school. June was National Dairy Month, and Safeway and The American Dairy Association Northeast joined forces with Feeding America and local food banks to present The Great American Milk Drive initiative to deliver fresh, nutrient-rich milk to local kids and families in need. At a kick-off event on June 8, former
Washington Redskins running back Brian Mitchell promoted the benefits of milk at Safeway’s 1855 Wisconsin Avenue, NW store.
“Safeway is dedicated to fighting hunger in our communities,” said Dan Valenzuela, President of Safeway’s Eastern Division. “When schools are out, kids may be missing out on essential nutrients like protein that help fuel playing, learning, and growing. Our shoppers’ donations will help ensure that all children have the milk nutrients they need to live up to their potential.”
Since 2014, The Great American Milk Drive has delivered more than one million gallons — that’s more than 16 million servings — of milk to families in need throughout the country, including more than 965,000 servings in this region. Through the partnership with Feeding America, the dairy industry is committed to providing 50 million servings of milk to kids and families by 2020.

A Day for Dads
Father’s Day 2017 was more than just a fun day of eats and drinks at City Tap Penn Quarter. This year, the gastropub partnered with ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer — to host a US Open watch party and special silent auction. The dads, families, and other guests could bid on such items as golf rounds and shirts, travel tickets, a Spy Museum scavenger hunt, movie passes, and a Sam Adams cooler! The auction yielded over $2,000 to help fund research programs combatting prostate cancer. Not to mention the fun and excitement as viewers watched golfer Brooks Koepka become the seventh consecutive first-time winner of a major championship — and by only one stroke! Definitely a winning day for all!

Editor’s Note:
If you, your restaurant, or someone in the industry is doing something good for others in the region, we will try to include it in FSM News. Email your ideas to Lisa Keathley,


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