A Full Plate of Upcoming Food Events

It’s impossible to conquer all that the DC area offers when it comes to food.  Tasting events take off some of the burden, giving participants an opportunity to sample food from multiple chefs simultaneously.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so I make a conscientious, but sometimes feeble attempt to pace myself.  Here are some not to be missed events that offer some of the area’s best food -all in one fell swoop.

Take a Culinary Journey Around the World at the DC Embassy Chef Challenge 

The 2017 Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge presented by TCMA (A Drew Company) will highlight dishes and flavors from all around the world. Embassy chefs will gather on Wednesday, May 24 in the Atrium of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, where they will show off their skills and compete for the People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice awards.

The DC Embassy Chef Challenge encourages culinary diplomacy, and celebrates the arts of many cultures. Throughout the evening, cultural dances and artists will grace the stage along with the headlining band, City of the Sun, an instrumental post-rock trio from Brooklyn, New York.

Chefs from every corner of the globe will be competing including:


Saudi Arabia
Sri Lanka
Dominican Republic
El Salvador


TICKETS: General admission tickets are $75 and will include all global sips and bites and access to all live entertainment. For $125, VIP guests can enjoy a one-hour early entry to meet the chef’s For ticket purchases and more information about the event, visit www.eventsdcembassychefchallenge.com.


Dine-N-Dash 2017 with José Andrés

Dine-N- Dash on June 7 provides guests the opportunity to dine in 30 top DC restaurants, all in one night! Guests choose their starting venue, and travel through Penn Quarter and 14th Street, enjoying some of Jose Andres’ favorite dishes and drinks.

VIPs will start with an exclusive pre-reception presented by MGM National Harbor, and will have access to four VIP-only restaurants. Josés special guests this year are Andrew Zimmern and Ted Allen.

No wallets, no lines, just you and a smorgasbord of DC’s best dishes and drinks!  Grab your wristband at your starting restaurant and enjoy unlimited food and drink at all participating restaurants until you’re full, or the event ends — whichever comes first!

With 5 to 8 dishes and 4 drinks at each restaurant, you won’t go hungry. Roaming waitstaff and food stations at each location will keep traffic moving, so no need to worry about lines, wait times, or ordering.

Penn Quarter: Oyamel, China Chilcano, Jaleo, Zaytinya, Del Campo, MGM pop-up featuring FISH by José Andrés and the Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse, Graffiato, Bantam King, SEI, Proof (VIP), Denson (VIP), Rocklands (food truck), Pepe (food truck)

14th Street: Estadio, Doi Moi, Ghibellina, Black Jack, Sotto, B Too, Lupo Verde, Policy, T Street Block Party with Taqueria Nacional;Colada Shop; Ice Cream Jubilee, Dangerously Delicious Pies (food truck), Dirty South (food truck)



World-renowned chef José Andrés brings his passion for the “power of food” to World Central Kitchenan international organization that focuses on Smart Solutions to Hunger and Poverty.  World Central Kitchen uses the expertise of its Chef Network to empower people to be part of the solution, with a focus on health, education, and jobs.

General admission is $125; VIP tickets are $400. Get your tickets here.


Taste of Arlington Presented by Courthaus Social , Sunday, May 21

The 30th annual Taste of Arlington took place Sunday, May 21 featuring 50 restaurants, food trucks, craft beer, wine gardens, live music and more.

The street festival is produced by the Ballston Business Improvement District and benefits BallstonGives, its charitable subsidiary.  Look for the Best of the Best Awards, determined by a group of celebrity judges. (I’m honored to be among them.)

I was blown away by the magnitude of the event, which stretched for blocks and was extremely well-attended. The results of the Best of the Best Awards are as follows:

  • Best Appetizer
    • Yona
      • Crispy chicken & pork steamed buns
  • Best Fast Casual
    • Courthaus Social
      • Mini crispy buffalo chicken sandwiches
  • Best Fine Dining
    • McCormick & Schmick’s
      • Coconut hand-battered shrimp with orange marmalade and tropical fruit salad with rosemary garlic fries
  • Best Dessert
    • Nicecream
      • Handcrafted liquid nitrogen ice cream with local grass-fed cream
  • Fan Favorite
    • Big Buns
      • “The Collaboration” Burger – 3oz angus beef burger on a brioche bun w/ cheddar cheese, lettuce, beefsteak tomato, house-made bacon jam and house pickled red onions.

Here are some of my favorites from the event:

SER, 1110 North Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA

Timber Pizza, Ballston Fresh Farm Market (mobile), 809 Upshur Street, NW, Washington, DC

Epic Smokehouse, 1330 S Fern Street, Arlington, VA

Bar Bao, 3100 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA

Taste of Arlington is now a signature event of BallstonGives, the newly formed charitable arm of the Ballston BID. This year BallstonGives will make a substantial donation from the event to their charity beneficiary, the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), a community-based non-profit that provides supplemental groceries to Arlingtonians in need. AFAC serves approximately 2,200 families  each week, including elders, children, the unemployed and the under-employed. More than 80% of AFAC’s funds and 65 % of the food AFAC distributes is donated. Visit www.afac.org for more information.


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