Top Chef DC Recap: Episode 1, House of Chef-presentatives

God. SUCH a bad pun and so many more to come. I mean, the season tagline is “Hail to the Chef,” which is not only  a pun, but a mediocre one at that.  Anyways, for those that didn’t see the premier episode, the quickfire was a skills-based challenge of dicing onions, peeling potatoes and other such things, and the actual challenge was to create a meal that represented where they were from. GREAT first challenge in my opinion, alot of creativity and opportunity to cook what they know. 

Such eager little cheftestants

 Also we start to see some trends emerge: most notably, Kenny and Angelo. The front-runners in both challenges, Kenny’s rational humility will be a lovely contrast to to Angelo’s inane Monte Carlo bravado (GOD will that get old). We will see if they maintain, as we remember Jen’s flameout last season, but I think they will. I also loved that Alex’s deconstructed borscht panned out. I mean, who saw that coming? 

Ah, the Jen Face. Such memories

As for the DC area folks, well… 

Continue reading

Happy World Oceans Day!!!!!!

The best of sea creatures ready for the party

Happy World Oceans Day DC!!!! Yes, there is a World Oceans Day, and it was established in 1992 by the UN to honor all the fish, crustaceans and mammals of the sea as well as bringing attention to all the terrible things we do to the sea (cough, BP oil spill).

HOWEVER, in honor of World Oceans Day the Baltimore Aquarium is having events all month to feature sustainable fisheries and things (as an aside, my go-to guide has always been this. USE it). The final Baltimore event is a “Beyond the Boardwalk: On Tap,” which is $55 and has samples of local, sustainable seafood as well as microbrews from the area. DC’s own National Aquarium also has an America’s Aquatic Treasures exhibit:

Entrance to the sad little DC aquarium

The DC aquarium was always the saddest of aquariums. Located in the Commerce Department basement, the coral in exhibits was just plaster painted as coral and water was often on the floor. In the small cramped setting there was this bizarrely brightly painted mural, which reminded me of being in a Wes Anderson movie or something. However, per their website, they have RENOVATED! Huzzah. I have always liked this underdog of aquariums, so VISIT.

OR just go to a Jaleo location for their annual DC Paella Festival, and eat cute little sea creatures with rice. Not sure if the dishes are sustainable (they should be, giving the timing), but paella is delicious and sea-related so I threw it into the post.

DCist paella picture

OH. But one thing you shouldn’t do? Boycott BP gas stations. Yes, the spill is a DISASTER and although BP should pay 1000 times over for it, it’s looking like it won’t cost them much.  And no, big oil, the ocean will not “just take care of itself,” (Exhibit A) no, it doesn’t “naturally leak oil so it’s okay” (I’m serious, that was a defense). HOWEVER. Boycotting is a bad plan. Most gas stations are independently owned and operated, which means you are just shooting the messenger.

Look. If you don’t want oil spills in the gulf, don’t use oil from the gulf. And if you must use oil from the gulf, don’t let oil companies self regulate. And that’s that.