For the second year in a row Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation was complete sell out. Twelve hundred foodies and folks otherwise down with the cause of ending childhood hunger attended the annual event held Monday, April 12th at the National Building Museum in Washington DC.
Click here to see event photos
The evening kicked off with a Chevy Volt VIP reception featuring DC Rising Star Honorees Victor Albisu of BLT Steak, Tony Chittum of Vermillion, Scott Drewno of the Source, Daniel Giusti of 1789, Nicholas Stefanelli of Bibiana, David Varley of Bourbon Steak and Bryan Voltaggio of Volt. Voltaggio also brought along his Frederick, Maryland restaurant’s kitchen team who graciously doled out tasty sample sized portions of yellowfin tuna tartar with soy air, scallop ceviche with puffed lobster and curry foam, Cherry Glen Farm goat cheese ravioli with forest mushrooms and sage brown butter, and textures of chocolate and peanut butter for dessert to hungry VIPs. Volts “other” chefs also graciously and gracefully answered questions like “What’s it like working with a Top Chef” well after the lounge was scheduled to close.
As the VIP lounge shut down, the showcase of more than 60 of the city’s top restaurants, burger shops, wine bars, cupcakeries and mixologists began. The event provided the attending public with the opportunity to meet and greet many of the best chefs in the area – all happy (except maybe GC) to pass morsels of their establishments finest on behalf of eradicating child hunger.
Of the treats offered, the duck rillette selections provided some of the most excitement. Common Wealth Gastropub’s canapé sized version burst with flavor while Silvan Kramer, Executive Chef of the Dupont Hotel offered a heftier portion of duck rillette served in a small plastic cup topped with the duck fat it was cooked in. Though the layer of liquid fat proved daunting to many, a plunge of a fork into the center of the dish resembling a savory parfait yielded a decadent marriage of flavor so good it had to be bad for you.
Firefly’s red wine poached octopus with smoked avocado and roasted olive remoulade was quite tasty, but some more squeamish attendees may have been taken aback by the small vat of baby octopuses hanging out just beyond the serving station. Zentan’s Singapore Slaw complete with, hazelnuts, salted plum dressing and 19 ingredients may have been the best “salad” offering of the night and Kellari Taverna’s pan seared scallop with spinach pie and caviar truffle mouse was simply best in show – incredible!
All in all, a great night with great food and drink for a great cause – Click here for photos and more highlights of the night.