Fun and Food at National Harbor

In May, the annual National Harbor Wine and Food Festival combined some of Washington’s top chefs with tastes of food and drink. Then they threw in a great venue – right on the water – and good spring weather. That’s the formula for a great weekend!

Alas, we could only stay for Saturday, but it was enough to see chefs Mike Isabella, Rock Harper, and Scott Drewno playing to the crowd (especially Chef Rock, who had his homies from Alexandria cheering him on!)

First, though, some observation on that crowd and the venue. The pier had a new attraction this year: the just-about-to-be-completed Ferris wheel.

The View From The Chairs

The View From The Chairs

The bubbly flowed at the Opici tent as Ann-Marie poured tastings. Sparkling wine is my favorite tipple, and they had Cava, Prosecco and Champagne varieties to be savored.

Opici's Ann-Marie Pours

Opici’s Ann-Marie Pours

Patrons could pose in a Big Chair with the river in the background and pretend they were on a cruise.

Edith Ann, Where Are You?

Edith Ann, Where Are You?

One guy wore his sentiments on his back.

Tell Us How You Really Feel!

Tell Us How You Really Feel!

There was a bachelorette party having a good time, posing and procuring headgear from the Balloon Man.

Busy Teasing the Bride

Surrounding the Bride

One Bridal Headpiece Coming Up!

One Bridal Headpiece Coming Up!

At the Stella Artois tent, I sampled the new line of cidre (European style cider) and admired the hostesses in their matching dresses.

Stella Cidre Sisters

Stella Cidre Sisters

Off the pier, a large beer tasting tent was pitched on the grass. It was a great place to picnic and chill.

Chillin' Out at the Beer Tent

Chillin’ Out at the Beer Tent

And more cider for tasting – my choice over beer any day!

More Cider

More Cider

Now, about those chefs. Mike Isabella of Graffiato in Washington, DC did a little tasting himself before his demo.

Chef Mike Sipping

Chef Mike Sipping

Then he got down to business and showed us how to make gnudi, which are like gnocchi (and just as much fun to say), poached in water and showered with goat cheese, prosciutto, eggplant and basil.

Chef Mike Makes Gnudi

Chef Mike Makes Gnudi

Chef Rahman “Rock” Harper continued the Italian theme with his preparation of risotto, using mascarpone, butter and Parmesan cheese (what wouldn’t taste good with those ingredients?) “It’s rice and cheese at the end of the day!” So true.

But First, a Selfie

But First, a Selfie

Chef Rock Rocks It

Chef Rock Rocks It

Plating the Risotto

Plating the Risotto

The Italian spell was broken by Chef Scott Drewno of The Source by Wolfgang Puck, who opted to prepare lamb skewers with Asian spices. He showed off his new toy, a stone mortar and pestle he got from Eden Center for $20.00, perfect for grinding spices and making marinades.

Chef Scott's New Toy

Chef Scott’s New Toy

Chef Scott Cooks

Chef Scott Cooks

The crowd at the demo tent appreciated the big monitors so they could get close-ups of the cooking action.

In The Monitor

In The Monitor

After the demos, the three chefs posed for pictures by Nycci Nellis of TheListAreYouOnIt, who organized the demos for the festival.

Would It Be Trite To Say "Cheese"?

Would It Be Trite To Say “Cheese”?

On the way back to the car, I couldn’t help but peek into the Peeps store. If you are hankerin’ for a sugar overdose, that is the place!

Peeps Store

Peeps Store

But we were sated for at least the rest of the day. Sweet wine, cider, food, and cooking camaraderie were plenty for us!

About Judy

I have been cooking and eating all my life. I help run the Olney Farmers and Artists Market in Olney, Maryland, arrange their weekly chef demos and blog from that website (olneyfarmersmarket.org) on Market matters. This personal blog is for all things foodie: cookbooks, products, restaurants, eating.
This entry was posted in Cooking, Eating, Events, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *