Cherry blossoms, strawberries, and the National Harbor Wine and Food Festival: three sure signs of spring in Washington, DC. The weather was a little chillier than last year, but the ambiance was the same. A large crowd enjoyed the view, the drinks, the food samples, and the entertainment.
On Saturday, there was a continuous series of chef demos on the cooking stage. I saw three of them. The first, Chef Rock Harper, winner of the third season of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, may be heading up one the Olney Farmers and Artists Market’s fundraising dinners later this year, so I was eager to check out his cooking.
He did not disappoint. His restaurant, FatShorty’s, advertises “sausage, mussels and cold beer,” and the dish he prepared included all three. It was spicy and delicious.
Next, Chef Bryan Voltaggio, who is building a restaurant mini-empire in Frederick, demonstrated a deconstructed version of s’mores. Although this one could never be assembled in front of a campfire, he did employ a blow torch to brown the home-made marshmallows (after he smoked them) – while holding a microphone in the other hand!
What’s on that plate? Smoked marshmallows, nitrogen ice cream, cookie crumbs, caramel sauce, graham cracker crumbs, and a chocolate wafer. Scouting was never like this!
So we ate dessert first, and then Scott Drewno of The Source followed that act with a demonstration of sui mai dumplings. They were filled with a mixture of blue crab, shrimp and scallops.
He made forming them look easy. He steamed them in bamboo, then we all ate. Some of us ate more than one.
Oh, and just incidentally, there was a beer garden, music, wine samplings, food purveyors, a big bird (not THE Big Bird), a floating car, and a giant, thirsty hand.
All adding up to a totally pleasant day by the water.