Last night the battle between some of DC’s best chefs raged on for DC Central Kitchen’s 8th annual Capital Food Fight. In the final round, chefs Haidar Karoum of Proof and Estadio and Todd Gray of Equinox and Watershed worked with the secret ingredient: lamb. At the end, judges Ming Tsai, Joan Nathan and Ted Allen named Haidar as the champion (he’s the man with the boxing gloves in the above photo).
Chefs Brian McBride and Jeff Black also competed as featured DC chefs. One of the highlights of the night included a surprise battle round with former Top Chef contestants Mike Isabella, Carla Hall, Spike Mendelsohn and Jennifer Carroll working with Idaho russett potatoes as the secret ingredient.
The sold-out food fight raised $550,000 for DCCK’s programs, according to their website. You can check out more photos from last night’s Capital Food Fight here.
Everybody needs a good chicken recipe now and then. And chef Haidar Karoum has just the recipe for his spice-grilled chicken with salsa loca. It involves a straight-forward but powerfully tasty marinade and the salsa adds another level to the dish. You might have even had it at Estadio before. So roll up your sleeves and fire up the grill; the full recipe is after the jump. Continue reading →
Haidar Karoum, executive chef of Estadio and Proof, is a breed of chef who always knew he belonged in the kitchen. Looking back on his childhood, he can remember being in awe of the produce and meat aisles of grocery stores and one time getting purposely lost in Harrod’s food hall when he was 9 years old. He remembers being “obsessed” with cooking shows such as Great Chefs of the West and rushing home to catch them on TV when he was 12. “I’m constantly immersed in food. My condo is littered with cookbooks. You can’t go into any room without there being a stack of them,” Haidar laughs.
After high school, the northern Virginia native attended the Culinary Institute of America and thus began his long and impressive cooking career. He externed with Michele Richard at Citronelle and much later he became chef de cuisine at Restaurant Nora in Dupont Circle. Straight out of culinary school, he worked at the now-closed Gerard’s Place. “He was like a God,” says Haidar, talking about french chef Gerard Panguard and his first job out of culinary school. “His philosophy of simplicity and his influence were important to me. It was an honor to work in his kitchen.” Continue reading →
It’s almost time for another DC foodie favorite event, and also one of my favorites. DC’s strong culinary community will be joining forces yet again to fight childhood hunger with Share Our Strength at the 23rd Annual Taste of the Nation.
More than 75 of Washington’s favorite chefs, mixologists, restaurants and wine bars will come together to raise money and awareness for “No Kid Hungry” Share Our Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger by 2015.
Always billed as a culinary night to remember, buy a ticket and you’ll have the opportunity to try dishes from the capital’s best eateries, participate in a silent auction, and check out a number of live cooking demonstrations. Participating chefs include Haidar Karoum of Estadio/ Proof, Nicholas Stefanelli of Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca, Bryan Voltaggio of VOLT and Nick Sharpe of Ba Bay. Continue reading →