Event: Gourmet Gala in Potomac

What to see the who's who of DC restaurants? You might want to get on the mailling list of this school. I've pasted their information below!

This is the event of the Gourmet Gala in Potomac Featuring Chef Michel Richard of Citronelle and chefs Robert Wiedmaier of Marcel's and Roberto Donna of Galileo.

The gala is being held to support the Churchill High School Drama Department's trip to Scotland this summer. Drama Department students, under the direction of Churchill Drama director Jessica Speck, have been invited to perform this August at the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Saturday, May 13
6:00 PM Hors d'oeuvres
7:00 PM Dinner
To be held at the elegant Julia Bindeman Center
11810 Falls Road in Potomac, Maryland
$200 per person or $1750 for a table of 10

The Evening Features:

  • a full five-course meal designed by the celebrity chefs
  • a silent auction (which will include dinners at many top D.C. restaurants)
  • a live auction for a chef's table at Citronelle
  • a raffle for a 42" Plasma HDTV
  • a half-hour performance of Feiffer's People by the drama students from Churchill High School

To see more information about the event and to register, click here to download the PDF advertisement.


Event: American Institute of Wine & Food-I Love Crab Cakes

The AIWF DC chapter is hosting an I love crab cakes event at Phillips restaurant. Apparently for this event, top area chefs will compete with their favorite crab cake recipes to see who wins as the crab cake king of the DC Metro region.

The interesting part about this event is that anyone can also go to the event and throw their favorite crab cake recipe gobblet into the mix. Sadly, I didn't post this earlier, because I just notice they put a deadline for novice entries on Monday, April 24th.

I have pasted the general event information below:

National Capital Area Chapter and Phillips Seafood present:
I LOVE CRAB CAKES! Competition and Celebration
Monday, May 15, 2006 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Phillips Flagship Restaurant900 Water St., SW, Washington, DC

Enjoy the region’s greatest crab cakes at an event you definitely won’t want to miss!!! The AIWF National Capital Area Chapter and Phillips Seafood have joined forces to host the first I Love Crab Cakes! competition and fundraiser to kick off our chapter’s new culinary internship program.

Five of our chapter members who also happen to be some of the best chefs in town will compete to win a $3,000 culinary internship:
Roberto Donna, Galileo
Greggory Hill, David Greggory
Jamie Leeds, Hank’s Oyster Bar
Jim Swenson, The Fourth Estate at the National Press Club
Geoff Tracy, Chef Geoff’s

To register click here.


Tokyo Disneyland

I, myself, somehow made it through my childhood without visiting the magic kingdom that Walt Disney had hoped every child would. So I figured, what a better way to make a late start into the world of Walt, then to begin the journey at Tokyo Disney.

After making my way 3/4 of the way through the park, I needed an energy re-bout, so I stopped for a 'mickey shaped burger' (pictured). It was either that or corn soup, which is a staple menu item, served in all Japanese restaurants, just like our clam chowder or chicken noodle.

Did you know that Tokyo Disney is not owned and operated by Walt? And that is it is the most visited theme park out of the US? Some even say the world, but it depends on what survey you look at, as Florida's Celebration City is also listed as the most visited in the world.

Restaurant Review: Kozue at the Park Hyatt Tokyo

On the 40th floor of the Lost in Translation famed hotel, the Tokyo Park Hyatt, is a peaceful, tranquil and where you will only find the best in Japanese cuisine.

I was lucky to dine here with my husband in our travels to Tokyo to experience the waitresses in traditional kimotos, the beautiful view of Tokyo's Shinjuku neighborhood and most importantly, quite a memorable meal.

Here are a few of my favorites from our luncheon:

Our first course consisted of several items, which is how most Japanese meals are served.

Kelp Flavored Snapper and Fresh Seaweed (top right) with Vinaigrette Soy Sauce (bottom right); Marinated Tofu, Konnyaku and Deep Fried Puffy Bread (right center); Simmered Short-neck Clam, Yachiazami and Fuki Greens (top left); Conger Eel and Seri Greens with Sesame Sauce (bottom left). Everything was delicious, although my personal favorite was the Eel and the Snapper.

Our main course was Grilled Yonezawa Sirloin and Seasonal Veggies Wrapped with Hoba Leaf (pictured left). The meat and veggies were actually inside the leaf, sliced in 1/2 inch thick and 4 inch long pieces. The meat was really good, more fatty then I would normally enjoy, but the fat added some amazing flavor. This type of meat is even more prized then Kobe beef, which is quite a delicacy in American-Asian-Fusion restaurants.

The most interesting part of this course was that it was served like the above picture. But they provided us with a little clay pot (see picture), that contained very hot, smoldering branches (of what kind, I don't know), which a wire, fence like top.

The waitress explained that the meat was prepared rare and if we would like it cooked further, please place the leaf bundle on the clay pot for a few minutes.

Of course she didn't say that much in english, but the picking up one leaf bundle and placing it on the pot was enough description for us.


Recipe: Ready to Grill - Herb Chicken & Baby Red Potatoes

For some people, as soon as the first hot day arrives, acknowledging spring and soon to be summer, we light or 'push the button' to heat the grill to celebrate - with a quick and easy dinner.

Make your grilling life quick and easy and pre-marinate your foods. Please don't submerge them in those over potent marinates (that who knows what in them!)you get from the grocery. Just marinate them in canola oil with lemon wedges, a selection of herbs and some black peppercorns. After 24 hours in the fridge, you'll be amazed at the difference in juicy, fragrant and 'spring-herb' inspired dinner.

I love to do the same with asparagus, sweet potato wedges (that are peeled), and even red baby potatoes (which I skewer together for easy grilling.


Event: Michel Richard Cooking Class at Citronelle

So I may be teaching a few cooking classes every month (click here for my current class list), but I love to be a participant in cooking classes as well. Recently, I took a class from Michel Richard at Citronelle where we drank champagne before 11:30am, watched him cook, then nag and squint in distrust at his executive chef and his new pastry chef (Heather Chittum)about their cooking. It was quite entertaining!

Here was the menu:
White Asparagus Soup
Vouvray Sec "La Coulee D'Argent" Vielles GVignes, Domaine Bourillon D'Orlean, 2002
Turkey Steak Au Poivre
Vosne Romanee, Domaine Daniel Roin, 2002
Apricot Tart
Quarts de Chamue, Grand Cru, Domaine de la Bergerie, 1997

Sadly, they didn't have white asparagus, so the soup was green. They poured so much wine...thankfully I had a DD. It is a real value though, 3 great recipes, all the champagne you can drink, Richard's demonstration of all three recipes (helped out of course by the exec. Chef and pastry chef), followed by a plated 3-course luncheon with wine (all you can drink of course!) in a closed-down Citronelle for about 5 hours with only you and the other participants (20 tops)for the bargain price of $130.

He only schedules about 3 classes a season and they sell out fast, so go online to their website and you can sign up for their email list, then you'll stay in the loop!


Recipe: Green Bean & Jumbo Lump Maryland Crab Salad

Jumbo Lump crab meat makes everything good!

Green Bean and Jumbo Lump Maryland Crab Salad
(serves 2)

  • 1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat
  • 3 handfulls of green beans
  • 1 c. corn, frozen or fresh
  • 1 c. peas, frozen
  • 1/4 c. green onions, thinly sliced, green parts only
  • 1 c. creme fraiche
  • 1 T. parsley
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 c. evoo
  • 2 T. chives, sliced
  1. Bring a pot to boil (with salt) to blanch the green beans. Once water is boiling, drop in green beans and leave for 1-2 minutes, until al dente and bright greens. Strain and shock (plunge into an ice bath).
  2. Combine green beans, corn, peas and green onions. Carefully fold in jumbo lump crab meat to keep meat from breaking up.
  3. Salt and pepper to taste and drizzle a little evoo over and around salad.
  4. In a blender, combine creme fraiche, parsley, lemon juice and evoo until emulsified.
  5. Zig-zag over crab salad when served and sprinkle chives over to enjoy!

As you can see by the picture, I didn't add green onions, the client I made this for, isn't a fan. So just torn up some basil and tossed it in to the salad.

Event: James Beard Greens - April 7th

Another Greens event coming up. I've pasted the info below:


Fourth Annual James Beard Foundation Greens TAPAS CHALLENGE!

Join us on Sunday, April 9th, as last year’s winner, Laura Brennan of Caffe Umbra, defends her tapas title against Adam Halberg of Via Matta and Rene Michelena of Domani Bar & Trattoria. At this four course sit-down tasting, the 3 Boston Chefs will each prepare dishes that they will pair with wines they have chosen from the three varietal categories. The Greens will judge the pairings and choose this year’s tapas champion!

Passed Hors d’oeuvres and Selection of Sparkling Wines

Course One: Chardonnay
Grilled Octopus Salad with Fagiolini, Capers and Olive Oil Potatoes wine tba
Maine Lobster Crème Brûlée, Lettuce Pôtage, Chervil and Chives Dominique Derain ‘La Combe’ Bourgogne Blanc 2002
Steamed Flounder en Cartuccio with White Miso in Romaine Leaves, Crab Roe Broth Pojer and Sandri Chardonnay

Course Two: Pinot Noir
Ravioli Gnudi with Brown Butter, Pancetta and Sage wine tba
Cassoulet of Spring Vegetables: Morel Boudin Blanc, Flageolets & Favas, Black Radish & Red Sunchoke Dominique Derain St. Aubin Rouge ‘Le Ban’ Pinot Noir 2002
Quail Sausage with Grilled Oyster and Shiitake Mushroom Skewers, Prosciutto and Spiced Raspberry Vinaigrette Zimmer Pinto Nero

Course Three: Barbera
Lamb with Ricotta, Frico and Green Olive Peperonata Wine tba
Lamb Duet: Noisette & Ravioli with Artichoke Confit, Picholine Olive and Basil Plate Osvaldo Barberis ‘Brichat’ Barbera 2004
Ox Tongue and Hijiki-Potato "Lasagna", Fonduta with Soy Rosemary Glaze Rive Barbera

Family Style Dessert

The James Beard Foundation Greens Fourth Annual Tapas Challenge
Sunday, April 9, 2006
6:00pm Reception at
The James Beard House
167 West 12th Street (between 6th & 7th Aves.)
Members $75, non-members $100
For reservations call 212-627-2308 or 1-800-36-BEARD


Recipe: Garlicky Lamb Loin over Chickpea & Tomato Salad with Lemony Feta Rosemary Vinaigrette

Use fad diets to help jump-start your healthy eating habits. Teaching you to combine really, really good for you things with not-so good for you things. Therefore, for this recipe, I have streched out the South Beach (salad with a small protein) meal model and combined it with a really good for you salad (chickpeas with tomatoes) with a fatty meat (but a lean cut no less) a dieter ought to have only semi-monthly (lamb).

A meal like this, once a week or semi-monthly, can sure diminsh the I'm on a diet blues and strengthen your I'm on a great diet! :) motivation.

Garlicky Lamb Loin over Chickpea & Tomato Salad with Lemony Feta Rosemary Vinaigrette:
(serves 2)

  • 1 lamb loin, about 8 oz. (1/2 lb.)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 1 can of chickpeas, strained & rinsed
  • 1/2 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 4 c. mixed greens, mache mix or even spinach
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 T. rosemary, finely chopped
  • 3 T. bulgarian feta cheese, fresh, broken up with your fingers
  • 1/3 c. evoo or extra virgin olive oil (speaking of "evoo or extra virgin oilve oil", funny rachel ray slam site here)
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat a saute pan to high heat, when hot, drizzle in 3 T. canola oil and drop in the 2 crushed garlic cloves. Let garlic saute until dark golden brown, then remove (we are just scenting the oil - infusing garlic). Add the lamb loin and sear, all four sides, only flipping loin to next side when the previous side is golden brown. Remove from pan from heat, and lamb from pan and let rest on paper towel (about 5 minutes).
  2. Toss together chickpeas, grape tomatoes and set aside.
  3. Whisk lemon juice and lemon zest, season, then whisk in evoo. Drop in feta and rosemary.
  4. Slice (the bias - at a 45 degree angle) lamb into 8-10 slices.

To serve: Toss feta rosemary and lemon vinaigrette with greens and chickpea mixture and place in center of plate. Fan lamb slices vertically, from top to bottom over salad and enjoy!

Recipe: Zucchini, Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Tart

Spring is on its way - finally! So it is time to start utilizing those spring veggies and greens in your daily meals. These tarts can be great as a small appetizer on top of mixed greens with your favorite vinaigrette, or even as a side dish to a protein like seared filet mignon with some green beans or roasted chicken with some asparagus.
If you need to add some tart pans to your cooking utensil collection, here is a link that lists all the different kinds you can get to match whatever sweet or savory tart you make. Make a list and take it to your local Williams-Sonoma, each store has a quite a collection and can order you whatever you need.
Zucchini, Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Tart
(makes 4 individual tarts)
  • Pillsbury Dough Pre-made Pie Shells
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. heavy creme
  • 1 c. basil, loosely packed
  • 1/2 mozzarella, fresh, preferribly marinated and not smoked
  • 1/2 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, ultra-small
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced on mandoline
  1. Spray tart pans with non-stick and using a paper towel, whipe our any excess spray.
  2. Place tart shell dough in tart pans and pre-bake until just set and remove.
  3. Whisk eggs, heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Spoon into each tart shell about 3 T. of egg mixture.
  5. Fan zucchini around tart, sprinkle about 1 T. chiffonade of basil, then garnish with 3 quarter pieces of tomato. Place 1-2 T. of mozzarella in the center and spoon another 3-4 T. of egg mixture over veggies and cheese.
  6. Place in oven to bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until almost set. Remove from oven and spoon over each tart another 2 T. of egg mixture and place back in oven to bake for another 5-7 minutes until set.
  7. Remove from oven and enjoy warm or let cool slightly and serve at room temperature.