Category Archives: News

Snail of Approval Party Update

seal2With under a week to go until the Snail of Approval Awards Party, we have an exciting line up of chefs, farmers, and artisans to add to the growing roster. This unique event is an opportunity to mix and mingle with the individuals dedicated to shaping our food community.  There will also be a silent auction with fabulous gifts from local shops, artisans and restaurants, some of which include items from Le Creuset, FRESHFARM Markets, and the Kennedy Center. So get your tickets while you can!

Chef Brian McPherson, the executive chef at Jackson 20, was the executive sous chef at Poste Moderne Brasserie, where we held the Snail of Approval Launch Party in 2010 and the first Award Party in 2011. Chef Brian and his team have worked to create a delicious menu utilizing locally sourced products including a whole hog barbeque which is donated by 2012 Snail winner, Longview Farm which will be accompanied by coleslaw and house made biscuits.  September is the perfect time of year for drinks and a pig roast!

MENU:

Appetizers

Vegetable Crudités
Charcuterie Board (house made by Jackson 20)
Assortment of Cheeses
Southern Field Pea Hummus with Fry Bread
Farm Fresh Deviled Eggs

Featured Items

Whole Hog Barbeque (Longview Farms)
Coleslaw
Biscuits
Late Summer / Early Fall Squash
Lamb, Goat, and Vegetarian Tacos
Garden Salsas

Dessert

Ice Cream Sandwiches (Moorenko’s)
Seasonal Cobbler

Beverages

Cocktails, Wine and Beer (Brooklyn Brewery)

For more information on the Snail of Approval program and to see prior winners please visit us at http://www.slowfooddc.org/snail-of-approval/.

A special thanks to one of our sponsors, Brooklyn Brewery  who will be in Washington DC  from Sept. 17-22 as part of their National “Brooklyn Brewery Mash” tour.   For information on the week long events, visit:  http://brooklynbrewerymash.com/washington-dc#!/event-88

“The Mash is an expression of Brooklyn art, music, food and the cultural links we see with many cities around the world,” says Brooklyn Brewery President & Co-founder Steve Hindy. “There is a revolution happening in the world of food and the world of beer, and we are happy to celebrate this revolution with our friends around the US.”

Join us to honor and celebrate the 2013 Snail of Approval winners!

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Slow Food DC Announces Snail of Approval Winners

Slow Food DC Announces Snail of Approval Winners

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Slow Food DC unveiled today the 2013 Snail of Approval award recipients. All winners will be recognized in the Third Annual Snail of Approval Awards Party at Jackson 20 Restaurant and Tavern in Old Town, Alexandria on Sunday, September 22. Slow Food DC celebrates 84 total number of winners this year.

Slow Food DC (SFDC) Snail of Approvals recognize eateries and artisans who contribute good, clean, fair food to our community and spread awareness of the Slow Food philosophy and those establishments who support it. The award is SFDC’s way of acknowledging providers who are transforming the quality, authenticity, and sustainability of the food we eat and the beverages we drink in the City of Washington, DC and surrounding areas.

Nominations are examined by: the degree to which the establishment’s activities are aligned with the Slow Food DC mission in promoting and celebrating local, seasonal, and sustainable food sources; how much it is working to preserve the culinary traditions of the region’s ethnically and culturally diverse populations; and how it is supporting the right of all people to enjoy good, clean, fair food. There is no limit to the number of establishments that can receive the Snail of Approval.

Tickets to the awards event at Jackson 20 Restaurant and Tavern are on sale now: $48 for Slow Food members, $55 for non-members. See http://snail3.eventbrite.com for tickets and http://www.slowfooddc.org/snail-of-approval-directory for more about the program, winners, and celebration.

2013 Additions to the Snail of Approval Winners:

2Amys Neapolitan Pizzeria
Green Hat Gin
3 Stars Brewing Company
Green Pig Bistro
Al Tiramisu
Hometown Harvest
Beuchert’s Saloon
Meridian Pint
Birch & Barley
Rappahannock Oyster Co.
Bistro Bohem
Relay Foods
Buck’s Fishing & Camping
Smith Meadows
Bull Run Mountain Farm
South Mountain Creamery
Chrysalis Vineyards
Vermilion
Firefly
Vigilante Coffee Company
Glen’s Garden Market
 

Existing Snail of Approval Winners:

8407 kitchen bar
Mom’s Apple Pie
The Atlas Room
Moorenko’s
Barrel Oak Winery
Northern Valley Pastoral Guild
BlackSalt Restaurant
Olin-Fox Farms CSA
Bon Vivant Company
Open Kitchen
Busboys and Poets
P&C Market
Clyde’s Willow Creek
P. A. Bowen Farmstead
Crossroads Farmers Market
Panorama at the Peak
Cultured Frozen Yogurt
The Pig
DC Brau
Policy Restaurant and Lounge
Deauville Fallow Deer Farm
The Queen Vic
Dino
Radix Farm
Distillery Lane Ciderworks
Red Apron Butchery
Dolcezza Artisanal Gelato
The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
ECO City Farms
Restaurant Eve
EcoFriendly Foods
Restaurant Nora
Equinox
Ricciuti’s
Evening Star Café
Ripple
FireFly Farms
RIS
Fisher Farm
Rocklands Farm
FRESHFARM Markets
Sandy Spring CSA
Graffiatto
Seasonal Pantry
härth
Smucker Farms of Lancaster County
Hunter’s Head Tavern
Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar
Jackson 20 Restaurant and Tavern
Soupergirl
Kegotank Oysters
Stachowski Market & Deli
Longview Farms
Sweetgreen
Lot 12 Public House
Tallula
The Majestic
Three Little Pigs Charcuterie & Salumi
Maple Ave Restaurant
Washington’s Green Grocer
Maple Restaurant
The Wine Kitchen
Market Table Bistro
 

About Slow Food DC
The Slow Food DC (SFDC) chapter is a community that promotes and celebrates local, seasonal, and sustainable food sources; works to preserve the culinary traditions of the region’s ethnically and culturally diverse populations; and supports the right of all people to enjoy good, clean, fair food.

SFDC represents the national capitol area, including Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland. Members come from a wide variety of professions and backgrounds. SFDC organizes dinners, tastings, tours, lectures, and community outreach events providing SFDC members an opportunity to explore the richness of our region’s culinary heritage in addition to the diverse array of food and drink from around the world represented in our foodshed. Slow Food DC’s goal is to connect eaters with the biodiverse and sustainable food producers, as well as increase public awareness of slow eating.

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Snail of Approval Award Party 2013!

snailofapproval2013We are pleased to announce that tickets are now on sale for our third annual Snail of Approval Award Party! Graciously hosted by 2012 Snail winner Jackson 20 in Old Town Alexandria, this year’s event promises to be even better than last year! Come and mingle with all the winners to celebrate our bountiful region on Sunday, September 22, 2013 at 2pm.

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Volunteer Event: The Neighborhood Farm Initiative!

Come volunteer at the Neighborhood Farm Initiative  and help maintain their organic, urban garden right here in DC! We will be planting, weeding, and working compost piles in the (hopefully) warm morning hours, followed by our usual deliciousness in the form of a potluck picnic. Remember that this is dirty work, so dress the part! NFI will provide tools and gloves, but food and water are up to you, so remember to bring plenty of water and a snack! Your own reusable picnic ephemera is also appreciated.

Event: Volunteer Day at the Neighborhood Farm Initiative
Date: Saturday, April 13, 2013
Time: 9:00am to 1:00pm
Location:  To get to the garden from the Fort Totten metro station, turn left (north) and walk up the sidewalk past where the buses stop.  Across from the parking lot and after some trees, you’ll see a paved path going up over a slight hill on your left (going north), take that path across a field and you’ll see us at the top of the hill! (If you Google 100 Gallatin Street NE-map , you’ll see the field from the satellite view and the path that connects Gallatin street to the metro stop.)
Cost: This event is free, but we ask that you RSVP in advance since space is limited! email sarah@slowfooddc.org 

 

Neighborhood Farm Initiative Logo

click the logo for more info on NFI!

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Looking Back at the 2013 Annual Winter Potluck

Riva Soucie is a freelance food writer and staff writer for Public Affairs at the Embassy of Canada. In addition to volunteering with Slow Food DC, she’s a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and founding member of the Canadian Association for Food Studies, and she previously managed the Whistler Cooking School.

Being new to DC (and the USA) sometimes makes it hard to find out about simple, street-level socializing. Sometimes it seems like everything in our city revolves around work or politics…or policy or politicking. But that all faded into the background for a couple hours in March at SFDC’s Annual Winter Potluck. Even though the organization does have a partly political bent (i.e. the DC chapter promotes ‘good, clean and fair food’), the potluck was all about communal tables and crazy dishes, foodie jokes and secret recipes, shaking hands and digging in.

I suppose you can tell a lot about an organization’s culture by the food its members cook up and lug to potlucks. The spread included mushrooms escabeche, laced with melted onions, big metal pots with lids pushed down over duck and goat tamales, a jar of little local peppers, even a Vita Mix filled with a thick green vegetable smoothie for drinking. On the other side were Ibti Vincent’s day-pickled yellow beets, sliced potato frittata and a bright carrot root salad. In filling my plate, I made the lucky fluke of balancing a piece of freshly-based soda bread on a messy serving of traditional uova in purgatorio. Sopping the chewy bread in rich red tomato sauce and mild poached eggs was a tasting highlight for me.

Toward the end of our meal, Kathryn Warnes – SFDC President – turned to me and confessed to preferring savory tastes over sweet ones. And usually I would agree. Still, we both took a generous lap around the dessert station. And a good thing we did. Those pretzel and stout whoopie pies were delicate as air and deliciously salty! (Incidentally, whoopie pies are a Northeastern U.S., and particularly Pennsylvania Amish, traditional treat.) Plus, sweet almond points, profiteroles bébé on a tiered platter, spelt shortbread and one glorious apple pie made with Bramley’s Seedling apples (from Snail of Approval award winner Distillery Lane Ciderworks).

These dishes say a lot about the chapter’s ingrained sense of adventure and highlight an intense curiosity about local food and traditional foodways. Plus, they were all plain old delicious. For all of that, I’m so in! Already looking forward to the next SFDC adventure.

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Happy Hour Fundraiser for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sally satellite image

As we enter the holiday season, we have much to be thankful for. Our incredible Slow Food community turned out in great numbers for the Snail of Approval Awards, and for that we are very thankful. The days that followed showed us the brute force of mother nature, and although we fared relatively well here in DC, our neighbors to the North felt the full effects of Sandy’s wind, rain, and storm surge.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to hold a happy hour fundraiser for those affected by Sandy. The happy hour will be held at Snail of Approval Winner Dino in Cleveland Park. 25 % of the proceeds will be donated to Sandy relief, with opportunities to donate directly to the New Jersey Relief Fund and New York’s City Harvest.

Date: Thursday November 15, 2012

Time: 5:30pm-7:00pm

Location: Dino
3435 Connecticut Ave NW (Cleveland Park Metro)

Happy Hour at the Bar (We hope to have a sign, but just ask on arrival)
Wine & Cocktail specials for $5
Beer Specials for $4
$3 off antipasti with your beverages
complementary olives, pickles & a daily treat

Charities:

New York’s City Harvest
City Harvest is working hard to get food to those in need in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as well as continuing our work rescuing and delivering food in all five boroughs. For more information about our current operations and ways you can help, see the contacts below:

New Jersey Relief Fund
The Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization chaired by First Lady Mary Pat Christie to help New Jersey communities rebuild and aide in the relief effort.

We in the National Capital Region have a great deal to be thankful for.  What better way to show it than to spend time with our Slow Food friends and help our neighbors?

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2nd Annual Snail Awards Celebration a Delicious Success

Marathon-related traffic and imminent hurricane and unreliable public transportation notwithstanding, DC-area food lovers came together last Sunday to enjoy — and celebrate! — some of the best food and drink our region has to offer. What better way to honor this year’s Snail of Approval winners?

This year, we skipped the long speeches and got right to the good stuff. I’m talking about raw oysters and savory pork belly buns and artisanal cocktails. There were a few words from Board members, but the focus was as it should be: on the food, and meeting the dynamic and dedicated people that work at bringing us good, clean, and fair food every day. As we nibbled and sipped, we had a chance to mingle and chat with farmers, chefs, culinary artisans, brewers, butchers, restaurant owners, farmers’ market directors, and others from DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia who have chosen to devote themselves to producing and promoting the food and drink that Slow Food DC is all about.

Congratulations to the 2012 Snail of Approval award winners — here’s wishing you continued success!

Think your favorite local restaurant should’ve been up there in the photo? Nominate them for a 2013 Snail award! Stay tuned for more details….

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2012 Snail of Approval Awards

Now that the tallies have been counted and the winners selected, we are proud to announce the recipients of the 2012 Snail of Approval Awards!

The Snail of Approval program is our way of recognizing the local eateries and artisans that provide us with quality, authentic, and sustainable food and drink.

We just finalized our plans for the 2012 Snail of Approval Awards Party on October 28, 2012 at Policy, a 2011 Snail of Approval winner. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.

So, without further ado, here are the winners for 2012. Check back soon for an online directory of these great local food and drink purveyors:

District of Columbia:

BlackSalt Restaurant
Busboys and Poets
Cafe Green
DC Brau
Dino
Dolcezza Artisanal Gelato
Equinox
Graffiatto
Maple Restaurant
P&C Market
Policy Restaurant and Lounge
Restaurant Nora
Ripple
RIS
Seasonal Pantry
Smucker Farms of Lancaster County
Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar
Soupergirl
Stachowski Market and Deli
Sweetgreen
The Atlas Room
The Pig
The Queen Vic
Three Little Pigs Charcuterie & Salumi
White House Meats
FRESHFARM Markets

Maryland:

8407 kitchen bar
Distillery Lane Ciderworks
Crossroads Farmers Market
ECO City Farm
FireFly Farms Creamery & Market
Fisher Farm
Longview Farm
Moorenko’s Ice Cream
P. A. Bowen Farmstead
Radix Farm
Ricciuti’s
Rocklands Farm
Sandy Spring CSA
Washington’s Green Grocer

Virginia:

Barrel Oak Winery
Bon Vivant Company
Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm
Cultured Frozen Yogurt
Deauville Fallow Deer Farm
EcoFriendly Foods
Evening Star Cafe
härth
Hunter’s Head Tavern
Jackson 20 Tavern
Kegotank Farm
Maple Ave Restaurant
Market Table Bistro
Mom’s Apple Pie
Northern Valley Pastoral Guild
Olin-Fox Farms CSA
Open Kitchen
Red Apron Butchery
Restaurant Eve
Tallula
The Majestic
The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Tuscarora Mill
The Wine Kitchen

West Virginia:

Lot 12 Public House
Panorama at the Peak

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Shrubs

L to R Board Members Sarah McKinley, Kathryn Warnes, and Richard Naples man the Shrub table

Have you heard of a shrub?

As co-sponsors of Eat Local First Week, Slow Food DC was lucky enough to have a booth at the Farm to Street festival on the only cold rainy Saturday this July. And beyond just giving out information about our upcoming events, we felt like this was a great opportunity to showcase an Ark of Taste product that both preserves and highlights the peak ripeness of summer fruit–the Shrub.

A drink with colonial roots, a shrub is basically a vinegary fruit syrup. The high sugar content and acidity of the vinegar preserved the harvest in a time well before refrigeration. Mixed with cold water, it becomes a tart yet sweet summer thirst quencher. Today, it can be mixed with soda water, or made into a cocktail with the spirit of your choice, such as Gin or Whiskey. It could even make a decent champagne cocktail or wine spritzer.

There are various methods to creating a shrub. The following is the way I created the five shrubs showcased at our booth. But please, be creative! With so many wonderful varieties of vinegar out there, and an infinite combination of spices and herbs you can include, you can truly make this your own creation. The most basic ratio is one part fruit to one part vinegar to one part sugar, but even this is a suggestion. Adjust as needed given the natural sweetness of the fruit, acidity of the vinegar, and how you plan on using the shrub.

Shrub
makes 20-30 servings

1.  Combine one cup of fruit and one cup of vinegar to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the fruit has softened. Mash with a potato masher or muddler to extract more juice and flavor.
2.  Pour the mashed fruit and vinegar mixture into a sterilized jar. Cover and let sit at least 24 hours, and up to three days.
3.  Strain the fruit and vinegar mixture into a saucepan. It is perfectly acceptable to place the fruit inside cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice.
4.  Add a cup of sugar to the juice and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Let the mixture reduce until slightly thickened, about five minutes.
5.  Pour the shrub into a sterilized jar or bottle. Refridgerate for best preservation of quality. The flavors should mellow over time.

Once the shrub has cooled, add a small amount to a glass with ice and fill with cold water or seltzer water. Enjoy!

Here are the shrubs made for the Farm to Street party:

  • Sour Cherry with Sherry and Balsamic Vinegar
  • Strawberry with Sherry and Balsamic Vinegar (The strawberries were local. I used a jar of homemade jam and left out the sugar part of the recipe. This is a great way to use your extra jam!)
  • Plum with White Wine Vinegar and Juniper Berries
  • Peach with Cider Vinegar, Cinnamon and Allspice
  • Apple with Cider Vinegar and Cinnamon

Sarah McKinley, Richard Naples, and Kathryn Warnes at the Slow Food DC table

We brought out the Snail of Approval winners list from 2011, and had a few of our new Slow Food DC products for sale

Richard Naples is not above getting excited about beverages and the color orange.

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