Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Spike Mendelsohn of The Sheppard

Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery

Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery

We’re revisiting our Capital Chefs feature with a series by music reporter Mickey McCarter. A lot has been happening recently in kitchens in D.C. restaurants, and Mickey takes a look into them from his usual seat at the bar in this series, which runs weekly on Thursdays.

Back in April during the James Beard Foundation’s Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change, Spike Mendelsohn cooked a whole pig for a feast. He used the pig’s head to make a 10-hour cheese head broth for a soup.

About halfway through, musician Jack Johnson wandered into the kitchen to check out Mendelsohn’s work. A long-time admirer of the folk rock surfer, the chef was over the moon, happy to share secrets of the soup with Johnson and his wife.

Soon, everyone ate the pig, and sat around a fire while Johnson played the guitar for hours. Afterward, they ate the soup.

“That was a pinnacle moment of my life where I got to meet a guy that I’ve always looked up to for numerous reasons,” Mendelsohn told me.

The happy encounter was no accident. Mendelsohn and 14 other chefs had gathered outside of San Francisco for the boot camp dedicated to bolstering the advocacy work of chefs and musicians.

“Not only did I meet him, but I was there as a peer of his. We were there to learn about the same thing and share ideas. As the weekend progressed in boot camp, we sacrificed a pig. It was part of the learning process of where food comes from and what is a good way to sacrifice a pig and what is the wrong way to sacrifice an animal for food.”

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed, We Love Drinks

Give me that Prohibition Beer

Photo courtesy of
‘Interior of saloon, Everett’
courtesy of ‘UW Digital Collections’

This is a shameful moment for me.  Coors, the brewer that brought us the swill that’s “as cold as the Rockies” has developed a beer that I’m a touch excited about.  Maybe excited is too strong a word.  I’m intrigued. Batch 19, a new lager from Coors, is being tested in DC at a few select locations.  The beer is modeled off of a pre-prohibition era recipe and promises “a bold hoppy flavor that is surprisingly well balanced.” DC is one of five cities in the country that Batch 19 is being shipped to, so, at the very least drinking it will be a unique experience.  As to the actual quality of the brew, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. You can get Batch 19 starting this month at Iron Horse, the Saloon, 18th Amendment and We the Pizza.