Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, Interviews, People, The Features, We Love Food

Scott Little, Local MasterChef

Photo courtesy of bhrome
courtesy of bhrome

The latest chef to be eliminated from FOX-TV’s MasterChef series was Scott Little, a resident of Annandale, Virginia. Little found himself on the short end of a dessert challenge, failing to impress judges Gorden Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich with his strawberry shortcake. His tenure on the show was marked not with drama or emotion, but with a dedication and passion to learning more about his chosen craft from his fellow contestants and the three acclaimed culinary experts.

My wife and I had the enjoyable pleasure of talking with Scott and his wife Johanna about the experience and sampling some of his cooking. Over the course of the afternoon (which you can click here to learn all about), Little shared about the show, his passion for cooking, and his future culinary vision.

Our gathering occurred over the weekend after the massive storm that swept through the region on Friday evening. Power in several northern Virginia neighborhoods was still out; the Littles only got theirs back on that morning. Scott had to scramble through three area grocery stores to find enough ingredients for our meal. “It felt like one of those Mystery Box challenges,” he says after greeting us at his home. “I ended up pulling together an hors d’oeuvres from ingredients in my garden.” Continue reading

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Dan Giusti of 1789 (Part II)

Photo courtesy of
‘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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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Jon Mathieson of Inox (Part II)

Photo courtesy of
‘INOX #46’
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

As you read earlier in Katie’s Capital Chefs Part I, we trekked out to Tyson’s corner (on a Saturday) to catch some peace, quiet and scallops with Inox Restaurant’s co-owner Chef Jon Mathieson. After ooo-ing and ahh-ing over his adorable two little kids playing tag and harmlessly tackling each other around the empty restaurant, Katie and I were not disappointed by the no-nonsense cooking style of Chef Mathieson, who had clearly spent some time in the kitchen with his other two (actual) children.

“Which one of you cooks?” I raised my hand. “Alright, then if you’re making this at home, you can start practicing now.” And we were off to a running start. “Stand over here. See this cabbage? See this color? Here, here’s a towel for you to hold the pot handle. Stir it. Now pull it off the heat.” Chef Mathieson coaxed me through the process of emulsifying the butter sauce while perfectly coating and braising the cabbage.

He made it seem so easy. He showed me, in multiple ways, where it could all go wrong, and the lesson was over in half an hour. Could it really be that easy?

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Downtown, Food and Drink, Penn Quarter, Special Events, The Features

Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show: Paula Deen Brings the Butter

Paula Deen and Jon Ashton in LOL Theater

courtesy of The Tiny Kitchen

You thought I was kidding about the butter until you saw this picture…

Things have been a little crazy this fall, and I’ve been missing out on my usual weeknight and weekend HEAVY dosage of the Food Network. Alas, this weekend, I am excited to get some face time with my favorite stars, in addition to some DC super-chefs.

This Saturday and Sunday (November 7-8), the 2009 Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show is coming to the downtown convention center. For a $20 admission ticket, you can visit the showroom floor, a cooking demonstration or a knife skills class.

The show room floor will feature over 200 caterers, personal chefs, appliance manufacturers and party planners, but one of the true benefits of your General Admission ticket is access to the Tasting and Entertaining Workshops. Continue reading