Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DC's Food Show -- The Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show Part I

Months ago, I first heard about the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show being held at the DC Convention Center... I admittedly have an addiction to food festivals and food shows... particularly those that feature chefs that I adore. Word was out that Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, and (my fave) Giada de Laurentiis would be guest starring at the show, but tickets were not yet on sale.

Fast forward about three months to last Friday. I had completely forgotten about the food show (how work gets in the way...!) until a friend mentioned that she was going to go see Bobby Flay's presentation and asked if I was going to go. I nearly leaped out my seat! Sure enough, tickets were still available (according to the founder of the DC food show, 16,000 tickets were sold to the two day show!) and I bought two tickets. Our tickets bought us entry into Giada's hour long cooking demonstration (YES!) and general admission to the show.

I had no idea what to expect! I have been to the South Beach Food and Wine Festival (let's see... chef demonstrations? Wine tastings? Book signings? on the beach? fabulous...) but not to too many other food shows. When we arrived though, I was amazed by the massive number of booths set up (more than 200! see above).

There was everything from horseradish cheese (yum)
to fudge, embroidered glassware to healthy food cooking demos, a booth dedicated just to Paula Deen and her products (I didn't even know she had all those products!),

beautiful and unique cakes from The Sweet Life (co-owned by Norman Davis (a Food Network competitor!) and Zane Beg),

mustards a plenty,

and the list goes on and on. We spent about an hour (and could have spent many more) wandering and sampling from the local purveyors of delights.

A laundry list of some of DC's best and favorite chefs presented at the show as well: Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve, Eamonn's), RJ Cooper (Vidalia), Roberto Donna (Bebo Trattoria, previously Galileo), Jacques Haeringer (L'Auberge Chez Francois), Jamie Leeds (Hank's Oyster Bar), and so on...

We didn't get a chance to see the "Nation's Capital Chef's Association 3rd Annual Culinary Salon," a competition judged by a group of Certified Master Chefs. Honestly, I'm a bit fascinated by the Certified Master Chefs after reading Michael Ruhlman's "Soul of a Chef" -- but that's a discussion for another day.

In addition to Food Network competitor Norman Davis above, Food Network competitor fruit and veggie carver James Parker (Veggy Art) had a booth:

After a morning (and early afternoon) of samples, we concluded that some of our favorites include... (perhaps coming to a holiday gift near you!)
More in the next post about Giada's cooking presentation!

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