Wolfgang Birk Does the Local Food Thing at the American Market

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National Harbor has an American Market across from the Gaylord National
every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. It’s a work in progress so there’s
more craft and non-food items at the moment, although I did find Lois’s Produce after watching Old Hickory Steakhouse chef
Wolfgang Birk make a hearty summer salad with some tomatoes from their
Leedstown, Va. family farm (owners Gary and Lois Allensworth). Wolfgang
took several varieties/colors of tomatoes and cut them to
their natural shapes. Into the mix went sea salt, blanched beans, red peppers, extra virgin olive oil, Firefly Farms goat cheese, some pan roasted corn and a squiggle of what looked to be a balsamic reduction at the end. I never thought I would be so hungry for a salad at 10
a.m. Sounds like a field trip to Old Hickory inside the Gaylord might be in order now that Wolfgang has settled in and the local produce is starting to ripen and hit peak flavor levels. I also want to check out his cheese cave.

If you’re wondering what in the world is going on at National Harbor, I did find trolling on the Net National Harbor’s e-mail sign-up page.

My sauce tomatoes are so slow ripening this year (not that two groundhogs didn’t do their taste tests before I relocated the furry creatures). I stopped by the Lois stand to pick up four pounds just to get my first batch of sauce on the stove to get ready for the freezer. But that’s a post for another day.

About the Author

Michael Birchenall is Editor and Publisher of Foodservice Monthly, a regional trade publication covering the foodservice industry of the Mid-Atlantic (DE, DC, MD, VA). Foodservice Monthly has been recognized as the Restaurant Association of Maryland's Allied Industry Member of the Year and by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington as the Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year.

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