A Preview of What’s in Store for the Snail of Approval Party

rislogo1This year’s Snail of Approval Party is just around the corner – Saturday, April 18 at Ris – and in addition to celebrating a new batch of awesome Snail winners, there’ll be all sorts of goodies to enjoy!!  First, Chef Ris has prepared an incredible menu for all to enjoy, including:

  • Fresh Ricotta Gnudi-smoked tomato vinaigrette, spinach and lemon salt  
  • Mini Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with mustard cream
  • Eggplant Parmesan Sliders
  • Fried Scallops on Fried Lemon with tartar sauce
  • Goat Cheese, Fig and Olive Crostini
  • Deviled Eggs
  • An assortment of chocolate and lemon tarts
  • A specialty, seasonal cocktail

Plus, new Snail of Approval winner Port City Brewing Company will be pouring tastes of their local craft beers, and new winner Meat Crafters (formerly Simply Sausage) is providing samples!

pcbclogorgb

But the fun doesn’t stop there – we’ve got an amazing selection of products and experiences from our region available at our silent auction.  Check out the list below to find out what great items you can come  bid on:

  • Gift packs from Olio Olive Oil
  • A Staub Dutch Oven
  • A Growler Pack from Port City
  • A Tasting at Barrel Oak Winery
  • MOM’s gift certificate
  • A Fresh Farms Market Gift Basket
  • A Barrel Kit from Copper Fox Whiskey
  • A cooking class with Chef Mark Haskell
  • Fermentation Crock Pottery from Artist Marlisa Jeng
  • A Le Creuset Casserole Dish
  • An incredible array of cook books from Phaidon Books
  • Coffee Classes from Vigilante Coffee
  • Autographed Washington Capitals Player Card
  • Infield Box Tickets to a Washington Nationals Game
  • Glens Garden Market CSA Share
  • Mosser Glass Crystal Cake Stand
  • Gift Certificate from Route 11 Potato Chip Company
  • A night at Belle Meade B&B in Sperryville Virginia
  • Beehive Handmade: Pewter Measuring Spoons
  • Tickets to Contemporary Vegetarian Cuisine Cooking Class with the Guiding Knife
  • Wine Tour and Tasting at Chrysalis Vineyards
  • Group tour and tasting at South Mountain Creamery
  • Distillery Lane Ciderworks Cider
  • Book Lecture and Book Nora Pouillon at 6th & I

We hope you to see you there, so get your tickets now!!

Contributors Poster Snail 2015_Final_3-1

 

It's only fair to share...Email this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Facebook
Posted in Metro DC Events, News, SFDC Events | Leave a comment

New Media Kit Announcing New and Returning Snail of Approval Winners!

In advance of our April 18 Celebration at Ris, find out more about our Snail of Approval program, along with a full listing of new and returning winners, in our new Media Kit: 2015 PRESSKIT_Final.compressed

And don’t forget to get your tickets for today – they’re going fast!

It's only fair to share...Email this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Facebook
Posted in Metro DC Events, News, SFDC Events | Leave a comment

Irresistible Shrimp and Grits

For your mouth-watering pleasure, I offer you this recipe, adapted from Saveur. It came about after a handful of Slow Foodies visited George Washington’s Gristmill at historic Mount Vernon. It has been tested in the kitchen of at least one SFDC board member, to much acclaim. It serves 4 people as a main course.

 Ingredients
  • 1 cup George Washington’s Gristmill grits (seriously, they’re the best!)
  • 4½ cups chicken broth
  • Olive oil
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp (about 30), peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1-2 handfuls shiitake mushrooms, washed, patted dry, then thinly sliced (I like the ones from North Cove Mushrooms, at the Dupont farmers’ market)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup grated cheddar
  • ¼ cup freshly shaved parmesan
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions

In a medium cast iron pot, bring 4 cups chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and whisk in grits. Cook, whisking frequently, until grits are tender and creamy, 30–40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium/large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel–lined plate; set aside. Reserve cooking fat in skillet.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, add shrimp to skillet and cook, turning once, until bright pink, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a dish that you can keep warm in a 200F oven.

Lower burner heat to medium, then add mushrooms to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (about 5 minutes), then add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).

Raise heat to high, add remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth, and scrape bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon. Cook until broth reduces by half (about 3 minutes).

Return shrimp to skillet along with remaining butter and cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens, (about 1 minute).

Stir 1 TBSP butter into grits, along with parmesan. Sprinkle cheddar on top, then use a blowtorch (if you’re brave) or a creme brulee torch (if you’re fainthearted like me) to melt the cheese.

Divide grits between 4 bowls; top each with shrimp and sauce. Garnish each bowl with bacon and scallions.

It's only fair to share...Email this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Facebook
Posted in Recipes | Leave a comment

April 18: celebrate the newest Snail winners with us!

Join Slow Food DC to honor and celebrate the 2015 Snail of Approval winners! 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 while enjoying some delicious food and drink!

This year’s event will be held at RIS in DC, featuring a menu designed by Chef Ris using locally sourced ingredients, and a featured, specialty seasonal cocktail. There will also be a silent auction and other surprises from local food purveyors!

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

The event will run from 12noon-3pm. Get your tickets here.

It's only fair to share...Email this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Facebook
Posted in News, SFDC Events | Leave a comment

Feb 26: A Renaissance for Craft Spirits

Many thanks to Derek Brown, Michael Lowe, and James Rodewall for a fascinating panel discussion – and interesting follow-up conversations over cocktails – on The Craft Distilling Revolution earlier this week (part of the American History Museum’s After Hours series). I learned a lot, including the fact that I may actually like gin cocktails. Who knew?

Craft Distilling: The Basics

A spirit must contain 3 things: yeast, sugar, and either fruit or grain. It generally starts as a beer or wine, then is heated to remove much of the water, and finally tinkered with via the addition of various herbs or aging to create delicate flavor profiles (or, in the case of my experiences with mezcal, something akin to a punch in the throat).

One of the interesting things that I learned during the discussion was that much like the confusion about what makes food “local,” there is no fixed definition of what makes something a “craft,” also known as micro-distilled, spirit. Beyond the fact that the distillery producing it can make no more than 100,000 cases per year, a craft spirit can be pretty much anything stronger than beer or wine. Similarly, “handmade” can be freely applied to a spirit label without any particular criteria – even something as seemingly obvious as needing to touch a human hand at some point in the process of distillation is not a requirement. As I listened to the speakers, I was indignant. Scandalized, even. But there is hope.

Read the Label

Beware of labels reading “bottled by” someone local – which is usually in tiny, scripted print somewhere on the bottle. Though there are some fine drink ingredients made all over the world, if you’re truly seeking the local booze terroir, you’re going to want to stick to those which are “distilled by” folks who are working in the greater DC area, some of whom even source their fruit and grains (or their wine and beer bases) from local farmers and brewers.

To be clear, I’m not saying you have to drink only locally sourced stuff, but rather that if that is what you seek you may have to do a little more work to find out the real deal.

The best way to learn about how spirits are made, where they come from, and what is in them is by asking questions. You can go to the interwebs and research, or, ideally, you can ask your neighborhood bartender who, if he’s worth his salt, can tell you all about his spirit wares. And here I thought I knew a fair bit about cocktails…. Seems I’ve got some more learning (and sampling) to do.

Want to Learn More?

Stay tuned for some upcoming spirit bottling, tasting, and touring events in coming months.

It's only fair to share...Email this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Facebook
Posted in Past Events | Leave a comment

Snail of Approval Nominations Now Closed

Thank you to all who nominated producer of good, clean, and fair food in the greater DC area for a Snail of Approval award!  We are so excited to recognize great new local restaurants, bars, artisans, and farmers in the new year.  So be sure to stay tuned for news of our Snail of Approval Party and the next batch of winners in 2015!

Until then, be sure to learn more about the Snail of Approval here.

It's only fair to share...Email this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Facebook
Posted in News, SFDC Events | Leave a comment

Oct 4: Volunteer at Common Good City Farm

    

Join Common Good City Farm and Slow Food DC for a day of Volunteering on the farm.  Common Good City Farm is a half-acre urban farm and education center growing food for low-income residents in Washington, D.C. and providing educational opportunities for all people to help increase food security, improve health, and contribute to environmental sustainability. Located in the LeDroit Park community, where one third of residents live in poverty, the farm grows over
5000 pounds of fresh, healthy produce to provide to the community.  But they need help do to so, so come join in in the harvest!
 

 When: Saturday October 4, 9:30am-12pm
Where: Common Good City Farm, V St NW between 2nd and 4th St NW, Washington, DC 20001 

Cost: Free, but space is limited so RSVP is requested, email shelu@slowfooddc.org

Find out more about Common Good on their website. We look forward to seeing you there!

It's only fair to share...Email this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Facebook
Posted in Metro DC Events, SFDC Events | Leave a comment

2014 Snail of Approval Nominations Open

Are you a producer of good, clean, and fair food in the greater DC area? Know someone who is? Consider nominating your favorite local purveyor for a Snail of Approval award — Slow Food DC’s “stamp of approval,” as it were.

Learn more about the criteria for SOA here and for a little inspiration, check out our directory of prior Snail winners here.

Nominate your favorite restaurant, bar, market, or artisan today!

The deadline for 2014 nominations is December 1, 2014.

It's only fair to share...Email this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Facebook
Posted in News, SFDC Events | Leave a comment

Food for Thought: A Local Food Dinner and Discussion

with The Piedmont Environmental Council and Slow Food DC

When: Saturday, August 23rd, 1:00 – 7:00pm

Where: Sperryvlle, VA

Cost: $50, including dinner, tours, and discussion. There are only a limited number of tickets available, so be sure to register by August 15!

Strengthening the community’s awareness and involvement in supporting local agriculture is key to having a sustainable local food economy.

At the regional scale, there is a very important link between the rural landscape where most farms are located and the urban landscape where the majority of the population is located and majority of food is consumed. Many of the farms in the Virginia Piedmont have a huge consumer base in the Washington DC metro area, so it is critical that a strong connection exists between the two.

Join PEC and Slow Food DC as we delve into some of the unique challenges that local food producers face, hear about some of the innovations being used by a new generation of farmers, and the important role of consumers in promoting and sustaining agriculture and local businesses.

We hope this is unlike any farm tour and dinner you’ve been to! The whole group will be asked to engage in meaningful discussions, while we all enjoy the beautiful countryside of Rappahannock County. This event includes a stop at both Waterpenny Farm, which specializes in organically grown vegetables and Heritage Hollow Farms which raises grass finished beef and pastured pork. Our day finishes with a delicious meal that will feature locally grown veggies and meat dishes.

Tentative Schedule of Events:

1:00PM                Meet at Waterpenny Farm

1:30 – 2:30PM                Waterpenny Farm Tour and Discussion

2:30PM                Depart for Heritage Hollow Farm

3:00 – 4:00PM                Heritage Hollow Farm Tour and Discussion

4:30PM                Free time to walk around Sperryville

5:00 – 5:30PM                  Meet at Heritage Hollow Farm Market for light refreshments. Relax, mingle and visit the Heritage Hollow Farm Store.

5:30PM                Dinner and discussion. Food served family style.

6:30PM                Wrap-up conversation

What to wear and bring:

  • Event is rain or shine, so please plan accordingly — feel free to pack your wellies, an extra pair of socks and shoes, an umbrella, a rain jacket.
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Extra bottles of water. There will be opportunities to refill.

There are limited spots (40) so don’t miss out! If you have any questions, please contact Marco Sanchez at msanchez@pecva.org.

It's only fair to share...Email this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Facebook
Posted in SFDC Events | Leave a comment

Get mashed

Many thanks to Brooklyn Brewery for bringing their beer-food-arts awesomeness back to DC for the summer 2014 edition of the MASH tour!

This past Friday, I had the good fortune to secure a seat at the Slow Supper, featuring four delicious courses cooked up by the ingenious Chefs Andrew and Jacob, and perfectly paired with limited edition Brooklyn Brewery beers. (In retrospect, it was tough to pick a favorite course, as they were all so good, but I’ve a feeling I’m going to be seeking out Brooklyn’s cuvee noire — the delectable, chocolaty brew we enjoyed with dessert and which I’ve been daydreaming about ever since.) Set in an airy warehouse space in the up-and-coming Union Market area of NoMa, more than a hundred other foodies joined me and fellow SFDC board members Amanda and Rob at the dinner that benefited our local Slow Food chapter.

The dinner marked nearly the end of a week packed with fun, mostly beer-themed events, ranging from farm tours to tastings to homebrew tip sharing all around our nation’s capital. See more photos from various MASH DC events on our facebook page. And keep your eyes peeled for the next time Brooklyn Brewery comes through town, ’cause it’s sure to be delicious….

It's only fair to share...Email this to someoneShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrShare on Facebook
Posted in News, Past Events | Leave a comment