Culinary Events



Mark your calendar for Sunday, May 31!  Cochon 555 - Washington, D.C. "5 pigs, 5 chefs, 5 winemakers" at Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.

Cochon 555 is the only national chef competition promoting heritage pigs and breed diversity.  Watch as I compete against other area chefs, including RJ Cooper (Vidalia), Nicholas Stefanelli (Mio), Jamie Leeds (Commonwealth Gastropub) and John Manolatos (Cashion's East Place) for the title of "Prince of Porc."  We will each prepare a heritage breed hog from head to toe.  Guests and professional judges will determine the winner based on creative, classic preparation and overall best flavor.

The event also raises awareness for ICompassion, an organization that works to reduce the number of individuals who die from kidney disease each year through providing support with a national live donor registry.



A Sweet Night

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, our pastry team participated in last night's Sweet Charity event, benefiting Heart of America.  Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, but our marketing department was on hand assisting Laurent with his sweets table and Minh and Kevin with the fashion show! A big thank you to the team for spending countless hours perfecting our desserts and creating such an incredible, edible costume.  I also want to thank my colleague Anne, for volunteering to be our model, Belle from Beauty of the Beast.  She looked sweet!!!












Sweet Charity

Tonight we are bringing our pastry team to Mandarin Oriental to participate in this year's Sweet Charity event, benefiting the Heart of America Foundation, which provides books to disadvantaged children.

Laurent has been working hard in the pastry kitchen, preparing an assortment of sweets to feed the hundreds of attendees. From what I can see, it looks he'll be satisfying one's sweet tooth with chocolate apricot macaroons, strawberry marshallows, almond mini cakes and more.

The second part of the evening includes a chocolate fashion show, sponsored by Des Alpes.  Each of the participating models are wearing clothing predominately decorated with chocolate and sugar, a metaphor for every child's sweetness. My colleague, Minh, has been working day and night, designing the perfect Beauty and the Beast "Belle" costume, as this year's theme is literally classics. Here are a few pictures of the preparation.  Stay tuned for the finished product tomorrow.








Heart's Delight

This year, we were once again fortunate to partner with Heart's Delight Wine Tasting & Auction, benefiting the American Heart Association.  Kicking off this three-day celebration of food, wine and camaraderie, we hosted an intimate, four-course, Chef's Table dinner last night, featuring the wines of Chateau Guiraud, presented by Xavier Planty and Domaine de Chevalier, presented by Olivier Bernard. Thank The evening's dinner party was generously sponsored by Argy, Wiltse & Robinson, PC and Jeffrey Schragg & Mary Jo George. 

A big thank you to Argy, Wiltse & Robinson, PC and Jeffrey Schragg & Mary Jo George for sponsoring the evening's event, which started with a champagne reception and hors d'oeuvres.

Heart's Delight is widely recognizable as a premier destination event where master winemakers, culinary greats and distinguished guests gather to play and bid in the nation's capital. This distinctive event is a three-day celebration of cozy dinners to grand tastings.








Jacqueline Rodier Culinary Arts Award Dinner

Last Wednesday, April 15, Park Hyatt was once again fortunate to host the very special Jacqueline Rodier Culinary Arts Award Dinner organized by the Wine & Food Society.

For those who do not know, Jacqueline Rodier ran two local French restaurants, Jacqueline's and Auberge Jacqueline, both dubbed "gallic gastronomical" landmarks by The Washington Post. Anyone who was anyone dined at these establishments - diplomats, senators, and lovers of fine cuisine! Sadly, on November 15, 2006, Jacqueline died of complications from liver and kidney disease.

For the evening's sumptuous five-course dinner, a few of my culinary pals and DC notables, Jeff Buben, Roberto Donna, Ris Lacoste, Michel Richard and Robert Wiedmaier, joined me in the kitchen. Enjoy a few pictures of us in action. Cheers!

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St. Jude's 11th Annual Gourmet Gala

Last night I was one of 40 DC area chefs to particpate in the St Jude Gourmet Gala: Mardi Gras for the Kids! at the National Building Museum.  This amazing event supports children suffering from catastrophic and life-threatening diseases.  Over 600 were attendance sampling terrific cuisine from the city's top restaurants including Equinox, CityZen, Citronelle, Marcel's and of course, Blue Duck Tavern!

For the event, we prepared a traditional pork and white bean cassoulet dish, which was a huge hit!  In fact, everyone was in awe over the large portion sizes we were serving.  Too bad we lost the "most popular dish" contest to the Ronald Reagan Building (they brought an incredible selection of desserts!!)

Here are a few pictures of me (taken against my will) from last night's event: