It’s the Year of the Dragon folks, which other than promising good fortune and fire-breathing glory also means mouth-watering Chinese menus at some of DC’s best Asian haunts. Starting January 23rd Zentan, Toki Underground, and The Source will be paying homage to the Dragon through the culinary traditions of the Chinese New Year.
Now, for some brain food. The Dragon, also known as the divine beast, is the fifth sign of the Chinese Zodiac Calendar which consists of 12 animal signs, and is a symbol of good fortune and a sign of intense power. The official Chinese New Year is Monday, January 23rd and is celebrated as a family affair, a time of reunion and thanksgiving, for a whole 15 days. Traditional foods include a whole fish (represents unity and abundance), chicken (for prosperity), uncut noodles (representing long life) and dumplings (for good fortune).
So, where can you get your Dragon on and eat for good luck?
I’m the type of cook that likes a challenge in the kitchen, and one that I’ve been meaning to take on is making my own Chinese food rather than calling for delivery. So these dumplings are the perfect solution. They’re delicious and you’d be surprised that they’re not all that hard to assemble.
Scott Drewno has included two recipes for chicken dumplings and pork potstickers. Read the full recipes after the jump. An make sure to visit his dumpling restaurant if you love these as much as I do!
Having cooked for the President and one of the most renowned chefs in the world, as well as having cleaned up consistently at cooking competitions throughout DC, you would think that Scott Drewno would have an ego even bigger than his over six-foot frame. But when I asked him how he deals with the hectic schedule and all of the pressure that comes with such success, his answer revealed just how humble and grounded he is.
“The thing I’ve learned is that you’re only as good as the team you surround yourself with,” Drewno says. “At times it’s stressful, but it’s also a really exciting job.” When I met with Drewno, executive chef of The Source by Wolfgang Puck, he had just gotten back from a corporate retreat in Las Vegas where Wolfgang Puck had asked his various chefs to cook something he had “never seen before.” No big deal, you know, cooking for a chef who’s palate has tasted just about everything and just so happens to be your boss. “Wolfgang Puck is a visionary. He’s very smart and he’s built a great team,” Drewno says.
For Drewno, who was named chef of the year at the 2010 RAMMY’s, he was the type of person who knew he always wanted to be in the kitchen. “Did the industry find me or did I find it?” he jokes. “I really like the roller coaster. No two days are alike and it’s exciting every day. Fifteen years and it’s never felt like a day of work.” Continue reading →
Prince of Petworth has some good food news for us. If signs speak the truth, King of Kabob is taking over the old Bao Restaurant & Loungeat 1018 Vermont Ave. Also, if you love your seafood and need something more than a truck, PoP hears that Luke’s Lobster Shack is coming to Penn Quarter at 622 E St, NW. Luke’s currently has 4 locations in New York City. With seafood rolls and brisket (Hill Country) now available in PQ, I might have to move there.
The name reminds me a little too much of those books we all read in elementary school, but this is good news anyway! The Hill is Home updates us on BoxCar Grill (just a working name for now), which will be Xavier Cervera’s fifth (sixth if you count Pacifico) establishment on the Hill. The Hill is Home says BoxCar will be an upsale place with an in-house charcuterie, cheeses, and a large wine selection.
Sunday afternoon the smell of roasting pork bits was wafting through the Newseum as five chefs competed to win at Cochon 555. After rounds of pulled pork, pork rinds, pork infused cocktails, pork belly, pork shoulder, and every other pork concoction and confection you can think of, The Source’s executive chef, Scott Drewno, was crowned the prince of pork. Drewno will go on to compete at Grand Cochon in Aspen this June.
Five wineries from around the country were represented at Cochon, however, there were plenty of pork-inspired cocktails, including a martini with olives stuffed with pickled pig knuckle from Sobel, bourbon cider with pork pearls from Drewno and a smoked ham cream soda from Voltaggio.