This past weekend, the 4th annual Taste of DC brought hundreds of restaurants, beers, and wines to Pennsylvania Avenue.
Look at all those people! Food was tried, drinks were imbibed, and lots, LOTS, of fun ensued.
Two additional long-standing, delicious events took place at Taste of DC this year– Punch Kings & Pigs and Cochon 555 Heritage BBQ. Cochon 555 takes 5 expert chefs and challenges them to a competition creating delectable menus using 200 pound, whole, heritage breed pigs. Yes you read the right, WHOLE PIGS!
Brady Lowe is the founder and creator of it all– promoting putting the local back in BBQ restaurants.
The outstanding five chefs competing were:
Scott Drewno of The Source
Erik Bruner-Yang of Maketto
Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley
George Pagonis of Kapnos
Joe Palma of Bourbon Steak
Scott Drewno won this year’s event, becoming the Global BBQ King for the third time. CONGRATS!!
And now, I will let the pictures do more talking. Get ready to drool…
Let’s start with Scott:
These were my two favorite dishes from him– that’s pork belly on top, and a pork pickled vegetable lettuce wrap on the bottom. SO DELICIOUS!
Flying off the table!
Oh yeah, that’s us right after eating it. SO HAPPY!
Next up, Erik Bruner-Yang (Maketto and Toki Underground):
Third, my personal favorite, Kyle Bailey of Birch and Barley
That’s Kyle– mid-wave saying hello. HI KYLE! Your food is amazing.
Oh, and what I somehow do not have a picture of– his red velvet cake. You might be wondering– how did it incorporate the pig? Well, that red color = blood of the pig!! And the frosting– the lard. And, it was delicious (Tiffany MacIsaac giving you a shout-out here too!!)
Chef Numero 4: George Pagonis of Kapnos
First, the beautiful judging table:
And here is what he served up!
I love that he had a menu out so we could see exactly what we were trying (and so that I could snap a photo of it!)
This (below) is the coffee and sugar pumpkin pork pie…queue hunger…NOW:
George also did a blood red velvet cake, but in mini cupcake form. Super cute. Both cakes were delicious and oh so clever!!
Finally, the 5th competing chef: Joe Palma of Bourbon Steak
How could you not eat that? Nom..
In addition to the 5 competing chefs, there were other fantastic chefs from the area who each prepared one dish from their favorite global BBQ culture.
Kicking it off:
Alec Bradford at Leaping Waters Farm in collaboration with Benjamin Nola of Rose’s Luxury
Haidar Karoum of doi moi
Jeffrey Buben of Vidalia
Zack Mills of Wit & Wisdom
Craig Hartman of The Barbeque Exchange
And Ed Witt of The Partisan (I ate his food before taking a picture of it!)
For dessert (well you know, dessert in addition to the pig-inspired desserts) we had ice cream sandwiches from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. My favorite was the hazelnut cookie sandwich with chocolate ice cream in the middle:
Impossible to eat just one…
And of course, to wash down all of these flavorful, spicy, savory, sweet, and comforting dishes, there were libations. Lots of smoooooth alcohol..
My favoirte drink of the evening was Four Roses’s Bourbon Summer Citrus cocktail. I had 3. On a Sunday. They were AWESOME!
Also some soothing red wine from Anakota Winery:
And beer from Goose Island Beer Co. The IPA was my favorite.
And of course, the Perfect Manhattan Bourbon Bar featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Breckenridge Bourbon, Templeton Rye, Four Roses, Glenrothes and Luxardo:
They’re served in mason jars/ How cute is that?!? Adorable, yet SO strong, the way a Manhattan should be.
But wait, THERE’S MORE!
There were cheeses from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese:
A short rib bar prepared by Tom Hall:
And, what I should have said first, WELCOME RIBS!
That’s right, guests were welcomed with trays of ribs. What is cooler than that? Seriously.
CHEERS to another absolutely brilliant and could-not-be-tastier Cochon event! Until next year…