A Recap of Art & Soul’s Second Biscuit Bash

Biscuit Bash, a biscuit-themed friendly cook-off benefiting D.C. Central Kitchen and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, returned to Art and Soul‘s patio last night. For its second year, the fundraiser sold out quickly (obviously, word got out that this is a can’t-miss delicious event for an awesome cause!) prompting the organizers to close off the restaurant for the evening to allow more people to attend. Chef Hamilton Johnson of Vidalia, whose biscuit took the top prize last year, returned to defend its title. Otherwise all the restaurants and chefs biscuit bashing yesterday were new to the friendly competition. This year, Vidalia’s biscuit was slightly less messy, though is was still drenched in tasty sauce. I loved its local Chesapeake-theme. Jumbo lump crab, old bay gravy, Virginia ham, wild ramps and scrambled eggs are just a great combination with buttermilk biscuits!

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Vidalia’s Chesapeake Biscuit came in second at Art & Soul’s second Biscuit Bash

So who won last night, other than my stomach? That would be Chef Andrew Evans of BBQ Joint DC (check out their new stall at Union Market!) who wowed everyone with his buttermilk biscuit with smoked pork belly “pretending to be ribs.” Pork belly, BBQ and biscuits are also a great combination! 

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The winning biscuit! You can’t go wrong pairing biscuits with bbq pork belly if you ask me.

Other notable biscuits included Jason Gehring’s scalion biscuit with Korean fried chicken (I love me some Korean fried chicken so thanks Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.!), Art & Soul’s Fried Chicken biscuit (fried chicken and biscuits … also a winning combo in my books belly) and Doron Petersan of Fare Well (coming soon to H street NE) and Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats‘ sweet vegan biscuit. I actually ended up giving my vote chip to Doron’s biscuit! It’s not easy being the only sweet entry in a crowded field of bacon, ham, bbq and fried chicken! And it’s not easy being a vegan biscuit either on top of that! I loved her polenta biscuit with macerated organic strawberries, fresh basil, vanilla bean & whipped coconut cream and gave her extra point for providing a cocktail pairing too, the Cattywampus made with rum, brandy, banana lemon, nutmeg & coconut. I can’t wait for her new cafe to open on H Street! And I can’t wait for biscuit bash to come back next year! 

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Parts of the proceeds from Biscuit Bash benefited DC Central Kitchen and some of the non-profit's students were there to help (and serve lamb!!)

Parts of the proceeds from Biscuit Bash benefited DC Central Kitchen and some of the non-profit’s students were there to help

 

Recap: Art and Soul’s Biscuit Bash

Last night, Art & Soul in the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel kicked off patio-season with a friendly biscuit competition benefiting Hospitality High, a preparatory high school for D.C. students interested in the hospitality industry.  Good thing I recently traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina, to brush up on my (American) biscuits because biscuit means two completely different things in France and in America. In France, biscuits are typically sweet, more like cookies. In America, they’re more like bread. Either way, I would have enjoyed any event named biscuit bash!!

With the assistance of students from Hospitality high, five chefs battled it out for the title: Jason Gehring of Menu MBK; Hamilton Johnson of Vidalia; Dylan Fultineer of Rappahannock River Oysters; Brian McPherson of Jackson 20; & Susan Wallace of BlackSalt. My personal favourite was Brian McPherson perfectly buttery biscuit (it was pan toasted in a butter,) which featured Mangalica ham from D’Artagnan, farmers’ greens and tomatoes, pickled ramps and thyme aioli. 

 

Jackson 20's Buttery Biscuit for Art & Soul's #BiscuitBash

Jackson 20’s Buttery Biscuit for Art & Soul’s #BiscuitBash

 

My wooden token was not enough to tip Jackson’s 20 biscuit though, and Vidalia‘s Hot Mess was crowned best biscuit. (Can you believe I’ve actually never eaten at Vidalia?)

 

Vidalia's Hot Mess Biscuit for Art & Soul's #BiscuitBash

Vidalia’s Hot Mess Biscuit for Art & Soul’s #BiscuitBash

The winners of Art & Soul's  biscuit bash pose with Tommy McFly, chef Art Smith and the student from Hospitality High who assisted them.

Chef Hamilton Johnson of Vidalia and his team pose with Tommy McFly, chef Art Smith and the  Hospitality High student  who assisted them throughout the evening.

 

Now if eating your way through biscuits on a gorgeous patio and for a great cause doesn’t already make for a great evening, there was also bluegrass music from the Drymill Road Band, a whole lamb roast from Border Springs Farms, oysters from Rappahannock and cocktails from Southern Efficiency. Derek Brown’s bartending staff generously donated their tips to Hospitality High as well…

 

Cocktails from Southern Efficiency paired perfectly with the messy biscuit sandwiches.

Cocktails from Southern Efficiency paired perfectly with the messy biscuit sandwiches.

Oysters from rappahannock river - try them at Union Market or Dereck Brown's Eat The Rich

Oysters from Rappahannock river – try them at Union Market or Eat The Rich

 

A huge thank you to Tricia at the Liaison Hotel for inviting me to Biscuit Bash yesterday. I can’t wait to have more of Art & Soul’s own biscuits throughout the summer. The restaurant is actually serving them as a side with their new fried chicken to-go picnic lunch for two ($35, includes biscuits, potato salad and beans along with fried chicken, starting memorial day weekend.) Oh, and of course, they’re always available at the restaurant and on its fabulous patio!