Something sweet, something savoury, something spicy, something French comes to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center this November*! You could think that after planning the D.C. Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show every year for the past 6 years, organizers would get a little blasé. But for the 2011 edition, one name is enough to get them excited again… and that would be the name of Jacques Pépin. The (legendary) French chef and author will talk about his latest book “Essential Pepin” with his daughter Claudine at 4PM on November 5th. He will just be one of the many culinary celebrities showcased throughout the weekend. Others include Food Network household names like Guy Fieri, Giada De Laurentiis or Paula Dean, as well as local chefs like Dean Gold of Dino, Vikram Sunderam of Rasika or Scott Drewno of The Source.
To keep things fresh, event founder Denise Medved is introducing a couple of new features for the show this year. Like a book signing pavilion where local authors Joan Nathan, Joe Yonan, Mary Beth Albright or Monica Bhide will stand ready to personalize your hardcopies. Also ready, pen in one of his French hand, and a copy of his latest work “Sweet Magic: Easy Recipes for Delectable Desserts” in the other will be Jacques Pépin’s compatriot Michel Richard (Sunday 1-2:30PM.) And even though listening to two Frenchies address each other in English was a slight torture to my native speaker ears, I did have the pleasure of watching Michel Richard and Jacques Pépin tease each other on Skype while attending a preview event at PS’7 Restaurant Monday night. That was pretty exciting, and to be fair, they did speak a little French in the beginning 😉
Speaking of PS’7 Restaurant, its head mixtress Gina Chersevani will be battling (figuratively and literally, I think…see picture) Owen Thomson, lead bartender for Jose Andres’ Think Food Group and president of the D.C. Craft Bartender Guild in the event’s first Cocktail Throwdown (Saturday, Nov. 5th 11AM-12PM). Best of all? Attendees get to be the judges, sampling all the cocktails involved in the three rounds – classic cocktail, fantasy cocktail and secret ingredient. And if drinking is more of your thing, there will be a whole Beer, Wine and Spirit pavilion, as well as a wine pairing challenge involving dishes by Mike Isabella and expertly selected accompanying sips by The Wine Coach Laurie Foster (Saturday Nov. 5th 3-4:30PM). So really, let me rephrase that first sentence of the blog post to include something boozy! The 6th edition of the D.C. Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show will take place at the D.C. Convention Center November 5-6, 2011. For a complete schedule and to buy tickets, please visit the event’s website.
* Also, something talented… maybe… America’s Got Talent is holding auditions at the same time at the same place. The way Jacques Pepin makes an omelet qualifies as talent in my books so I hope he auditions!