The SOLD OUT Taste of the Nation Washington DC treated the supporters for stamping out child hunger to an evening of culinary delights, beverages and celebrity hob-nobbing at the packed Mellon Auditorium.
First of all you have to guess the names of the "foodie" celebrity emcees who kept the festivities within some kind of structured chaos as the evening progressed. I'm sure you can tell from this on-stage glimpse that they were sending the Taste style meter into some serious warp mode.
For newbies, let's set the scene: 40 of the city’s finest restaurants and
chefs, including chef chair RJ Cooper (Vidalia), participated in this gastronomic event. Complementing the food,
guests visited the new Wine Bar feature as well as
specialty cocktails from the city’s top mixologists and Tony Abou-Ganim from Las Vegas. We also want to give a thanks to DJ Erin Myers who is the wife of CityZen sommelier Andy Myers for keeping the mood alive with her tunes. WIth all that was going on, everyone kept the mission at hand in the forefront: We have to help ensure
no kid in America grows up hungry!
In all the madness, I found two noteworthy "new" stories to report … new to me at least.
David Guas was serving his decadent banana dessert but even better is that I found out that his new
book Dam Good Sweet is ready for "pre-ordering" on Amazon.com. David is a New Orleans native and his first book is a kind of roots/memoir story that happens to include 50
amazing desserts, from traditional beignets, red velvet cake, and
pralines to the lesser-known Roman chewing candy and calas fried rice
cakes. Pastry chef
Guas (you know him from his chef days at Passion Food Hospitality) and food writer Raquel Pelzel will transport cooks from their home kitchens into
the giant dessert gumbo that is New Orleans.
Mitch Berliner and Jamie Stachowski have joined together to form a new company Meat Crafters which has just launced its Web site. You know Jamie from his training with Jean-Louis Palladin and most recently for me with Restaurant Kolumbia. Everyone knows MItch for his ice cream novelties and his support of the restaurant industry … whether at a benefit like Taste of the Nation or his work on the board for the Jean-Louis Palladin Foundation. Now they have joined to form Meat Crafters — with world-class fresh, cured and smoked meats for charcuterie lovers.
I'm sure that you've already guessed the names of the guest emcees …
from left to right we have Amanda McClements (known to many as the voice of Metrocurean) and the always delightful Nycci Nellis, the creator of TheListAreYouOnIt.com. Instead of pleas for quiet from the 800 or so in attendance, Amanda appears to be giving them the "I can't hear hear you gesture."
A wonderful time was had by all for Share Our Strength.