Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak (Part 1)

Photo courtesy of
‘Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Chef Adam Sobel describes his journey to the restaurant industry as one that came about naturally. He was drawn to cooking “like a moth to a light,” he says. “I was 4 or 5 years old and I would be messing around in the kitchen, making nasty concoctions as a joke,” he said. While I’m imagining a miniature Sobel standing over a mixing bowl combining ingredients from his parent’s pantry, he adds that he did indeed grow up to train at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Sobel says he was 18-years-old when he really got passionate and serious about cooking.

Prior to moving to DC to replace David Varley as executive chef at Bourbon Steak, Sobel worked in Las Vegas as executive chef at Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. “DC is like a different planet. It’s very unique–the feel, the people, the way things operate” he says. Frankly, I’m surprised Sobel isn’t more shell-shocked by the move (then again, maybe a cross-country move after living and working in Vegas is a breeze). Before accepting the role fo executive chef at Bourbon Steak, Sobel had several conversations with Varley, “I asked him, ‘Can I make an impact?’ I don’t want to just carry a torch that was already lit.”

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Dan Giusti of 1789 (Part II)

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‘This just makes me want to eat more gnocchi, immediately, from this spoon’
courtesy of ‘CathyLovesDC’

As you read earlier, Katie and I spent yet another Saturday morning slaving away in the kitchen for you, dear reader. Not that we mind.

While we waited for potatoes to bake (no really), we made ourselves quite comfortable in the 1789 kitchen. We sort of started to feel like a part of the family.  The best part was snacking on the homemade sugar cookie bits, chocolate hazelnut-dipped waffle cone triangles, and sugared, Italian pistachios. We watched a tray full of huge crabs slide into the steamer and a salmon salad artfully prepared for a group event. La de da. How are those potatoes coming along? Not quite completely, perfectly tender? Ok, no worries. There are some pepitos in a Tupperware over here that I might sample.

My dinner party on Saturday night was sort of similar. If those gosh darn potatoes hadn’t taken 2 hours to bake, well, we might have had dinner before 10:00 p.m.

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Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed

Bringing Bravo’s Top Chef to DC

Photo courtesy of
‘Paul BOCUSE, French Cook’
courtesy of ‘alainelorza’

The foodies over at DC blog Capital Spice have been intently watching and covering this season of Bravo’s Top Chef, and last week they offered up a fantastic interview with Frederick, Maryland’s own final contest Bryan Voltaggio.

Leading up to this Wednesday’s finale, the site is running a contest that not only gives the winner a Top Chef prize package, but also pitches Washington, DC as the fantastic location for the next season of Top Chef.

So here’s your assignment: Concept a Top Chef elimination challenge that highlights something uniquely Washington. Think: locations, ingredients, events, guest judges who best represent DC, etc.

DC would be an amazing venue for Top Chef. We’ve got a solid culinary community with DC denizens, like Spike Mendelsohn, Carla Hall, and Mike Isabella already showing DC skills on Top Chef, and currently Mr. Voltaggio making a very strong play the Season 6 title.  Additionally, DC offers a fantastic array of high-quality restaurants (with celebrity chefs,) historic eateries, local breweries, gourmet shops, great farmers’ markets, superb area produce, and a solid wine scene.

Capital Spice will take submissions until the beginning of the Top Chef finale this Wednesday night and will announce the winning entry on Thursday. Put your creative hats on! Get to brainstorming! And let’s bring Top Chef to DC!