Ma petite liste – February 6-12, 2012

Save some energy for the end of the week and the Washington, D.C. International Wine and Food Festival. I have vague memories of this event 2 years ago when it was held on Valentine’s day (trust me, showing up for your date after you’ve been sipping wine all afternoon is NOT a good idea.) Following Meat-Week, vegans are taking the spotlight with meat-free week. I guess it’s a good thing wine is totally vegan right 😉

I drank my first Pisco Sour at the Gran Bolivar Hotel in Lima during my honeymoon and have been a big fan of the frothy cocktail ever since. Yes, Pisco Sour day was February 4th but you can still celebrate today at The PassengerMelanie Asher, founder of boutique spirit Macchu Pisco, is hosting a pisco sour-centric celebration and fundraiser . Ten percent of all proceeds from pisco drink sales will be donated to the Coprodeli Education Program, a nonprofit group that provides education, health care and meals to disadvantaged families in Peru.


Oh yeah, it’s ladies night at Ace Hardware on 5th and K.  I had a blast at the event last year, drinking wine and eating cupcakes while learning how to unclog my sink… the DIY workshops and demos are a mix of fun (like showing us how these neat soda machines work) and practical stuff any gal should be able to do around her house. There’s a ton of giveaways as well! It’s also the first night of a Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s week long engagement at the Kennedy Center. I actually just saw one of their performance at the New York City Center back in December and absolutely loved it.

I loved being able to walk around Shaw during D.C.’s inaugural Art All Night event back in September. I discovered a lof little galleries and unseen art spaces that can be discovered or re-discovered Wednesday during Shaw art Walk. Six notable galleries (Civilian Art Project, Contemporary Wing, Lamont Bishop Gallery, Long View Gallery, Maruka Gallery and Boutique and Touchstone Gallery) are staying open late and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center is opening its doors for a rare evening tour of its extensive art collection. The tour will start promptly at 6:30PM at the Mount Vernon Square entrance of the Convention Center and end around 9PM. 

The D.C. International Wine and Food Festival kicks off with a sommelier showdown! Watch some of the city’s wine experts engage in a friendly tete a tete as they compete to identify wines with hidden labels! Participating are Theo Rutherford of The Coterie, Eli Benchimol of Chef Geoff’s, Gustavo Iniesta of Taberna del Alabardero, Guy Golan of J&G Steakhouse and Brent Kroll of Adour. Jeff Todd Gray (Equinox), Xavier Deshayes (Ronald Reagan Building) and Jaime Montes de Oca (Zentan) will provide some nibbles to complement the wines. A limited number of $150 tickets (yep, it’s steep) are available.

Meat-free raw-ks at Elizabeth’s Gone Raw. I had an absolutely wonderful experience eating at D.C.’s only exclusively raw restaurant last year and highly recommend that you give it a try. You’ll be surprised at how little you miss meat (or heat for that matter.) The tasting menu is $75 per person (+ $45 for organic, biodynamic wine pairing.) Mention meat-free week and get a complimentary beverage! (reservations: 202-347-8349.) You can also catch the Oscar® Nominated Documentary Short Films 2012 at Westend Cinema.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day so chocolate is everywhere! Including at the American Indian Museum which is celebrating the Power of Chocolate with a two-days festival (the event continues on the 12th.) Visitors can explore the food of the G-ds‘ culture, history and place in contemporary society. I attended it last year and had a blast, even though I can’t really eat much chocolate besides Nutella. Highlights for the 2012 edition include cooking demonstrations by Mitsitam cafe chef Richard Hetzler (11:3-AM), a discussion on the history and science of chocolate in Mexico (10:30AM-1PM and 2-3:30PM) and hands-on activities for children like make your own paper mola (10AM-12PM & 1-3PM) or “From Bean to Beverage” (10:30AM-1PM & 2-3:30PM). February 11 is also one of the Grand Tasting Days at the D.C. International Wine and Food Festival.

I love macarons and out of all the macaron flavours in the world, rose is my all time favourite. The limited-edition rose-ginger from LaDuree is a close second. Please please please bring it back! But I digress. Is anything more romantic than a macaron? I think not. Just in time for the most romantic of holidays, learn how to make rose macarons with pastry chef Chef Julien Jouhannaud in Adour’s cuisine (11:30am to 2:30pm. $75 per person.) I took his class a few years ago, right before Thanksgiving so we made delicious chestnut-pumpkin macarons. Highly recommend! I’ll be in Paris myself that day, probably gorging on LaDuree rose macarons 😉 It’s also Catapalooza at The Washington Animal Rescue League, which has some 50 cats looking for a loving home and a “just the two of us” $2 cat adoption fee special (I got my kitty cat there 4 years ago.)

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