We recently attended the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show here in lovely Washington D.C. –what a terrific day all about food! We met some wonderful vendors and sampled (and bought) some yummy goodies. However, the two things that stand out the most for me that day were the cooking demonstrations and the Grand Tasting Pavilion.
I love to cook and I also love to watch cooking shows. I was thrilled when I learned that Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos from Extra Virgin were going to be doing a cooking demonstration. I love watching them together because it’s so great to see their rapport and love for each other. It’s so great to see two people in love that can also have fun with each other. We even had a chance to have an interview with them and they were just as nice, witty and charming as they are on TV. (We’ll be running the interview piece soon- so stay tuned!) It was so much fun to get watch them cook together in person and it was even more precious that their little girl, Giulia joined them onstage and cooked with them. I was amazed how delicious all the food looked, especially the tuna tartare.
We also had a blast the Grand Tasting Pavilion. The Tasting Pavilion was a new area for the Metro cooking show this year and what a marvelous addition it was! It was like entering the emerald City of Oz being when we entered the area. There were so many local restaurants serving up so much wonderful food. Pizza, gelato, chili, cakes- all manner of food and drinks where being served. It was awesome. There was so much food to try we didn’t even get to sample everything.
My favorite dishes that we sampled were:
The roasted cauliflower soup from Pulpo was the perfect first taste of the day . It was creamy and perfectly spiced. RJ doesn’t even like cauliflower and he liked this soup. I am not usually a big fan of dates, but I enjoyed the date jam that was served with this soup. Did I mention it had bacon too? Delicious!
The roasted pork and butternut squash spoon bread from 1789 was had a great blend of fall flavors. First of all, anyone who uses squash well in a recipe (be it butternut or zucchini, etc.) gets my heartstrings. The roasted pork was amazing. It was so tender and flavorful. The crunch and freshness of the butternut squash really added to the pork’s deep flavor.
The 72% Cacao chocolates from Co Co. Sala was so dark and velvety smooth. I am really going through a big dark chocolate phase and these chocolates were so perfect for a dark chocolate lover.
I was completely enchanted and intrigued by the offering from Taberna del Alabardero. I love cotton candy and was intrigued to see how it would work with savory ingredients. It was so tasty. I love a good mixture of salty and sweet and this dish had it all. First, you get the feather light wisps of sweet cotton candy, then the saltiness of the ham and finally the beautiful acidic taste of tomato. I loved this dish!
There were so many exhibits, demonstrations and things going on that it was impossible to do it all. But, we had a wonderful time and look forward to attending again next year!
Kari’s Rating- 10
The Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show came to our fair city this past weekend, and we were there on Sunday to catch all the action. Well, most of the action. There was so much going on this year we couldn’t see it all in just one day. I guess we’ll have to plan going for both days next year!
Our big priority on Sunday was to meet and interview Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos, (which was super cool, and we’ll devote a whole post to the interview soon) but we found so many wonderful things going on outside of that.
The first big event in the Celebrity Theater was a private event for service members called Operation Home Cooking. This presentation focused on showing families of those who serve how they can eat lighter. The first dish they demonstrated and passed around was a quinoa cookie. Kari couldn’t try it because the cookies had cranberries in it, but they did say that you could put all kinds of different things in the cookies and it would still work. Next out was Brad “The Grill Sergeant” Turner, who sang about his love of the army and everyone who serves. They closed the event out with a presentation from Montel Williams who served in both the Marines and the Navy. Montel showed us all how to make some of his smoothies and how to make a bacon substitute from fish. Teaching everyone about healthy eating was a great way to show these so often underappreciated men and women that they matter, and that we thank them for their service.
We walked around the main floor and tried many different sauces and pastries at all the various stands, and made some new friends as well (more on that in future posts).
New to the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show this year was the Tasting Pavilion. This was hands down the best experience at the show (short of meeting Debi & Gabriele). Here are just some of my favorites from the Pavilion
Early on we tried the pork and butternut squash spoon breads from 1789. The Pork was tender and moist. It practically melted away in your mouth. The spoon breads were a surprising twist that was like combining my favorite soup with fantastic corn bread all in one bite.
Co Co. Sala brought two different prepared chocolates, and both were delicious, but my favorite was the Peanut Butter and Jelly chocolate. This chocolate is almost beyond words. When you first bite into it, you get the two different flavors, which are good, but as you eat they blend more and more into something much more decadent than anything you remember from childhood as a PB&J, but somehow more comforting too.
Custom Fuel showed up with several different kinds of their pizza, and I wound up trying three: meatball, buffalo chicken, and Hawaiian (which had jalapeno on this version). All of these flavors were delicious, and I can’t wait to go back and have some more. Each had a great blend of flavor that was really amazing. Since we were there when the pavilion was winding down, they actually gave us two full pizzas for us to take with us! How nice was that?
We also had the chili from Hot Wings on the Run. This was a sweeter chili that I was expecting, but what a great surprise!
Paul served a cake that had some great hazelnut and chocolate flavors and had a nice crunch to it as well. They had some really tasty macaroons as well, and I couldn’t get enough of those sweet fruity sandwiches!
We didn’t even get to do everything and left having had a wonderful day of gastronomic delights! I can’t wait for next year.
RJ’s Rating- 10
(We were provided with two complimentary media tickets for this post)