Entertainment, Food and Drink, Special Events, The Features

Robert Egger Steps Down from DCCK, Jeff Buben Wins 2012 Capital Food Fight

Another Capital Food Fight came and went last night with chef Jeff Buben of Vidalia winning the competition. But the big news from last night’s event was that Robert Egger, the founder and president of DC Central Kitchen, is stepping down after nearly 25 years of overseeing the organization. The current CEO Mike Curtin will be taking Egger’s place as president.

“Not only am I leaving DC Central Kitchen, but after 40 years, I’m also leaving DC,” said Egger to a packed house at the Ronald Reagan Building. “I’m going back to the town of my roots, to Los Angeles where I’m about to open the L.A. Kitchen.” The new nonprofit on the west coast will not only seek to replicate DCCK’s success in a new city, but will also “pioneer vegetarian and vegan meals for elders in America,” according to Egger.

Egger reflected upon how people thought his idea for taking leftover food from restaurants and grocery stores to feed the homeless in DC would never work, how some even said it was illegal. Yet two decades later, the thriving nonprofit feeds thousands per day, has graduated 90 classes from its culinary job training program and has 33 campus kitchens across the country. “Thank you for helping this young man’s dream become an old man’s reality,” Egger told the crowd. “I’ll tell you, there’s very few men who have had the honor of working with so many great people, in such an amazing city, to leave such an amazing organization at such amazing heights.”
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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

DCCK’s Hosts 9th Annual Capital Food Fight

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Chef Haidar Karoum wins Capital Food Fight
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Four chefs, three judges, two hosts, 60 restaurants and three hours of a throw down, showdown all add up to one of the biggest food events of the year: DC Central Kitchen’s Capital Food Fight.

This year’s lineup of competing chefs include Jeffrey Buben of Vidalia, Enzo Fargione of Elisir, Guillermo Pernot of Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar and Adam Sobel of Bourbon Steak. And they’ll all be judged by a food celebrity panel with Padma Lakshmi, Carla Hall and Andrew Zimmern. For repeat guests, you’ll recognize the hosting duo from years past: Jose Andres and Anthony Bourdain. And of course, it’s all for a great cause–raising money for DCCK’s initiatives such as their Culinary Job Training program, as well as that their meal program that prepares 5,000 meals daily for homeless shelters, transitional homes and other nonprofit organizations.

We Love DC’s food editor, yours truly, will be live-tweeting throughout this year’s Capital Food Fight, so follow along with me @bonappetitfoodi.

Tickets are $200 per person, which gets you drinks and tastings from 60 restaurants participating. The 2012 Capital Food Fight is on Monday, October 8th at 6 PM at the Ronald Reagan Building.

Food and Drink

Opening Soon: 5 Restaurants I’m Anxiously Awaiting


Courtesy Eliser: Dinner Menu

Ok, so if you’re the least bit familiar with restaurants and the supposed opening dates in DC, you know that they are almost never met due to permitting delays, construction delays, staffing delays…you get it. Still, the eternal optimist, these are the five restaurants I can’t wait to try when they open later this year. (Note: I better not have to wait until 2012 to see you!)

1) Elisir:

The fine dining, Italian restaurant brought to us by Enzo Fargione will join the culinary heaven that is Penn Quarter. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Chef Fargione was previously the chef at K Street’s Teatro Goldoni. Publicist Janet Donovan tells me that the restaurant will open sometime in the Fall — so I’m crossing my fingers for late September/early October. Elisir’s Facebook page is getting more and more active, which is always a good sign. You can check it out for construction and menu updates.

427 11th St NW

ETA: Fall 2011

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Food and Drink

All Your 2011 Restaurant Openings To Look Forward To (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Funny fro-zen-yo Signage’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Yesterday we previewed half of the upcoming restaurants of 2011. Here’s the second half.

District Commons and Burger, Tap & Shake

Don’t you just love the whole restaurant within a restaurant idea? Well, whether you do or not, Passion Food Hospitality (Acadiana and DC Coast) will soon open their sixth and I guess also 7th location. Chef Jeff Tunks along with David Wizenberg and Gus DiMillo will serve up American cuisine at District Commons, plus burgers, double fried fries and adult milkshakes at the counter-service BT & S. Both Foggy Bottom restaurants will share a beer menu featuring 20 American small batch beers.

2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Expected Arrival: Spring 2011 Continue reading