Category Archives: Past Events

Past SFDC run events

Taking in the Sights and Smells of Union Kitchen

Last Sunday, March 30, Slow Food DC joined former Board Chair Kathryn Warnes of Taste of Place for a tour and demo of the behind-the-scenes activity at Union Kitchen food incubator.  Located in a 7,300 square foot warehouse in NE DC, Union Kitchen offers a space for over 50 small local food businesses to grow and thrive while limiting startup costs by providing shared space, equipment, amenities, and administrative services.  General Manager Mike Darman welcomed our group in to the building on a cold, rainy day, inviting us to enjoy the warmth and good smells of active cooks in the kitchen!  In the communal meeting area, Mike gave us a thorough introduction to the incubator, answering all of our questions about the application and vetting process and telling us all about the many supportive programs that they offer to their members – benefits of being part of a sharing community of food entrepreneurs.  He then led us on a tour of the warehouse where we could smell kombucha fermenting, watch chickpeas being roasted in garlic and rosemary, listen to the whir of mixers whipping up cupcake batter, see juice pulp being squeeze, and bask in the damp mustiness of a hand-made sausage curing closet.

From there were met up with Chris Johnson and James Brosch, owners of Cured DC, and their assistant Nick for an in depth one-on-one demonstration of how they make their Toscana sausage.  They walked us through the whole process from selecting the best cut of meat, then cutting, prepping, and grinding it to adding the right amount of fat, spices, and wine, encasing the mixture and preparing it to be cured slowly for many months before being ready to slice, eat and simply enjoy.  Which is what we did to round out our afternoon – slicing thin samples of spicy boar sausage and herbaceous pork Toscana.

We left eager to come back soon – perhaps a taste of Union Kitchen later this year with a sampling from each of our favorite Made in DC foods!

Post contributed by SFDC board co-chair, Sarah McKinley

 

Know your tamales

Here’s a little something from SFDC board member, Mark Haskell, who led a tamale making class near Eastern Market this past Saturday:

“Aside from Mexico, many other countries in the western hemisphere have a tradition of preparing and cooking tamales during the winter holiday season. At our cooking class at the Hill Center on Capitol Hill this past Saturday, we prepared and ate a few of these types of tamales and accompanying sauces. New Mexico chicken tamales with red chile sauce, Mississippi Delta barbecued pork tamales, and Caribbean tamales, or pasteles which are made with a dough of pureed yucca, calabaza squash and plantains steamed in banana leaves. Tamales, and pasteles are a wonderful “community food”, that are economical, best prepared and cooked by a group, and when eaten like opening a present whether wrapped in corn husk, banana leaf or parchment paper.”

tamale_class_dec2013

Those who braved the winter weather were rewarded with a plethora of tasty tamales and went home with full bellies (and the recipes). For more information on tamales and other foods of the Mississippi Delta region, check out the Southern Foodways Alliance website and interactive map.

Slow Food DC Fundraiser at Open Kitchen

Say Happy Birthday to Open Kitchen, and help raise funds for Slow Food DC! Open Kitchen is a 2012 and 2013 Snail of Approval Winner, and is known for its contemporary American cuisine and passion for making, eating, and sharing good food with the community. Open Kitchen celebrates their four-year anniversary by giving back to its community that has made it so popular
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Don’t forget to celebrate!

What better way to wrap up an early autumn weekend than with a pig roast and handmade ice cream sandwiches? Add the company of good folks and you’ve got yourself the third annual SFDC Snail of Approval awards party.

Sometimes in the midst of planning and advocating and organizing, some of us forget to take a breath and remember what Slow Food is all about, so Sunday was a nice opportunity to kick back for a change and just enjoy exceptional food and people.

This weekend’s Snail awards party was once again a stellar affair. The beautiful weather and courtyard set the perfect scene for a delightful and laid back afternoon. Sure, there were the official words of appreciation and handing out of awards and group photo taking, but the bulk of our time was spent milling about, chatting with new and returning Snail awardees while sipping on specialty cocktails and Brooklyn brews, and nibbling on a delectable assortment of seasonal treats prepared by the culinary geniuses at Jackson 20. I myself had a lovely time hanging out with area foodies and the folks who run some of my favorite eateries, farms, and farmers’ markets around town. It was awesome.

Even so, I thought to myself as I went back for a second helping of lamb and winter squash tacos, there have been a few places I have discovered since Snail nominations closed this year — folks who have been bringing good, clean, and fair food (and drink) to the DC area that have only recently appeared on my radar. I hope to see some of their faces here *next* year for the annual gala. I do love to celebrate…. When do the 2014 nominations start??

 

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!

Are you going to the Mash?

The District of Columbia has no shortage of love for craft beer. We recently finished celebrating DC Beer Week, while earlier this year we played host to the Craft Brewers Conference. Even the Washington Post proclaims that DC is on the cusp of beer greatness.  We are certainly excited two DC brewers are receiving Snail of Approvals in 2013: DC Brau and 3 Stars Brewery.

As a city, we appreciate good beer. So when Slow Food DC heard that Brooklyn Brewery partnered with Slow Food USA to help support our shared mission of good, clean, fair food, we leapt at the chance to participate! Collaborating with friends old and new, the Brewery has bundled up some of its favorite events into The Brooklyn Brewery Mash as a benefit for Slow Food USA. Including Washington, DC from September 17 – 22, The Mash will drop in 11 cities during 2013 and roll out a roster of parties, comedy, concerts, pop-up supperclubs and readings, all featuring humanity’s favorite beverage. Continue reading

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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DC welcomes Richard McCarthy to speak at Eat Local First week’s kickoff event

Our local Slow Food chapter was ELATED to welcome the new head of Slow Food USA to our fair city this week to celebrate the start of Eat Local First week. Richard McCarthy joined a series of notable speakers including local farmer/author Forrest Pritchard of Smith Meadows Farm, Ann Yonkers of (Snail winning) FreshFarm Markets, community gardeners, and others working to change our local food system for the better in the TED-talk-style “How Local Food Grows Our City” series. His main message: We can change policy and and opt for a more just food system through our actions and our food choices. (He also urged us not to forget the joy of sharing good food. Speaking of which….)

Because the pre- and post-talk receptions were sponsored by Slow Food DC — and supported by a handful of local Snail of Approval winners — you know the food and drink on hand was top notch. Many thanks to Busboys & Poets, DC Brau, Dino, Restaurant Nora, Sonoma Wine Bar, and The Pig and others who laid out quite a feast.