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Hungry for Linkage: South China Open in Alexandria + Paula Deen Cancels DC Appearance + Beautiful Bioplastic

Posted by / Monday, August 26th, 2013

Photo courtesy of Qiyun Deng

Retail cookware chain Sur La Table opens a location on King Street in Alexandria. [Patch]

Drama Deen: Not-so-butter-smooth Paula Deen cancels an appearance in DC. [DCist]

Cicerones, the beer equivalent of wine’s sommeliers. [nhpr]

From the owners of Tempt Asian Cafe in Alexandria, South China is now open and serving Szechuan cuisine. [Don Rockwell]

Archaeological evidence of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) found in 7,000-year-old pots gives new meaning to the term “old spice.” [Sci-News]

Bioplastic silverware is getting back to its roots with Graft, a series of silverware fashioned after vegetables to discourage people from throwing them away. [cargocollective]


Cravings: Garlicky Herbed Oil at Taverna Cretekou

Posted by / Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Photo by Stefanie Gans

Dish: Bread with parsley and garlic oil, free.

Where: Taverna Cretekou, 818 King St.,  Alexandria

Taste: I’m more of a butter fan, to be honest, but this spin on oil and bread begged for repeated helpings. The green tinged oil is bright and pungent, with what my server—who looked like the handsome and Greek would-be adult son of Jackie and the O—says is made with “very, very finely minced” parsley and garlic. The hyperbole of the double “very” doesn’t capture the mere flecks of the herb. The oil remains smooth, not chunky, and the soft bread absorbs it all. 

MORE | Cravings


Hungry for Linkage: New Bengali Restaurant + Your Brain on Coffee Stouts + What to Do With a Banana Peel

Posted by / Friday, August 23rd, 2013


Bengali food—including an “authentic Biryani” that “takes six hours”—has arrived in Arlington. [ARLnow]  

Infographic: What happens to your brain on coffee stouts. [Food Republic]

There are no automated coffee machines at Fairfax City‘s new coffee shop, 29th Parallel Coffee & Tea. [Patch]

What Queen Elizabeth (then a princess) ate during World War II, in the new “Bullets and Bread: The World War II Story of Feeding Americans at Home and on the Battlefield” by Kent Whitaker. [FB]

We cannot verify this, but apparently a banana peel can also polish shoes. [Homesteading Self Sufficiency Survival]

Oxford, Mississippi kills law: now allows cold beer for sale. And even if you don’t care about beer and Mississippi, please read this interview with a local chef. He is hysterical. He also doesn’t drink beer. [Esquire]


First Annual Epicurience Virginia Kicks Off Labor Day Weekend

Posted by / Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Morven Park/ Photo courtesy of Sue McPherson

By: Molly Jacob

Take some of the best chefs and restaurants around NoVA, add in live music and wine tastings, and finish off with a touch of wine education and you get Loudoun‘s first annual food and wine extravaganza, Epicurience Virginia. This three-day long festival, which partnered with Saveur to bring more products and establishments on board, will be put on by Visit Loudoun to give the county a signature event.

“We wanted to focus on food and wine because we are D.C.’s wine country,” says Jackie Saunders, the event’s organizer.

The flagship event of this festival will be the Grand Tasting on Aug. 31 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the lawn of Morven Park, formerly a governor’s mansion, which sloping lawns give “a feel of the Virginia wine country,” says Saunders.

Three thousand people are expected to attend this event, which will have wine tastings from vineyards such as North Gate Vineyard and Trump Winery, live cooking demonstrations from local chefs, local bluegrass music to provide background entertainment and a marketplace where wines, glassware and t-shirts can be purchased. Along with these celebrations of NoVA cuisine, an education tent will be set up where guests can learn all about wine making. A VIP ticket will get you, among other perks, a spot in the VIP lounge and priority access to tastings and demonstrations.

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Hungry for Linkage: Wine App + FCPS Bans Soda + Silver Screen Wedding Cakes

Posted by / Thursday, August 22nd, 2013


Valentyn Volkov /

No more fake food holidays. [WCP]

Is that wine worth the dime? New app Drync lets you access a database of 1.7 million different wines just by name or even photograph. [dvice]

Fairfax County Public Schools say no to soda. [Patch]

Dogfish Head‘s award-winning Punkin Ale is returning to shelves for fall, along with Bitches Brew and two IPAs. [mybeerbuzz]

Addictive kimchi sneaks its way into cuisine everywhere. [foodandwine]

Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis settles in Las Vegas with her first restaurant.

Sip spirits in the cinemas at Angelika Film Center or Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. [Thrillist]

For lovers of movies: Wedding cakes inspired by movies. [The Daily Meal]


The Reign of Latte Art: At LoCo Joe, Artistically Gifted Baristas Earn More

Posted by / Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Photos Courtesy of Dave Levinson an LoCo Joe

By: Molly Jacob & Eliana Reyes

Latte art—the pretty designs of expertly maneuvered milk on top of lattes—is so valued at the new LoCo Joe, baristas who excel earn more money than their inartistic counterparts. Juanita Tool and Steven Freeman, who have been close friends for over seven years, opened LoCo Joe earlier this month in Purcellville.

Aspiring baristas start as bar temps, cleaning tables and working the register. Under the guidance of more experienced baristas, such as Chris Dodson, formerly of Hypnocoffee, they build their repertoire of skills, starting with pour-over coffees then using the lever-operated espresso machine. 

From there, says Tool, who also owns the Purcellville Community Market, “one of the milestones would be to get proficient at latte art.” And that’s how baristas get a raise. The testing program is not in place yet, but Tool has assigned Dodson to come up with the plan.

When baristas have proven mastery over latte art in an in-house test, LoCo Joe’s pushes them to compete. “They have to participate in those [competitions] and be proficient at nice designs,” says Tool. Along with the heart designs and the classic rosetta, a floral fern-like shape, Evrett Taist, barista at LoCo Joe, lists some of the other possibilities: “You can make a dragon. You can make a swan. You can make all sorts of stuff.”

But latte art isn’t as valued across Northern Virginia as it is at LoCo Joe.

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Hungry for Linkage: Watermelon Art + Single Hops + Hot Dogs or Legs

Posted by / Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

"A Taste of Summer" / Watercolor by GFS artist Mary Jane Cogan

There’s some foodie art from the Great Falls Studios‘ “Simply Summer” collection. [GFS]

Single Hop, an art project graphically interpreting different varieties of hops. [Single Hop Project]

Galaxy Hut is not closing. [DCist]

But you didn’t know you could throw romain lettuce into a wok for a stir-fry. Thanks, KOD.  [iVillage]

New Tumblr meme: hot dogs or legs. [hot-dog-legs]

Where is the ice cream? [Things She Loves]


Second Shift: Maple Ave’s Tim Ma Turns to Food After A Time in Electrical Engineering

Posted by / Tuesday, August 20th, 2013


Chef Tim Ma/Inhar Chong Photography

Chef Tim Ma/Inhar Chong Photography

By: Rachel Saenz

A series on NoVA chefs who have made kitchen life their next career.

Tim Ma, the chef and owner behind Vienna’s Maple Ave Restaurant and soon-to-open Water and Wall, took the hard road when choosing his path to become a chef—but it paid off. Once an electrical engineer, Ma realized that cooking was his calling and invested everything he had to pursue his now career.

How did you get your start in engineering and what made you decide to pursue the culinary arts?
I received my bachelors in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech and got my masters in electrical and computer engineering at Johns Hopkins. I was working at Raytheon Company—and this is probably what everybody always says—but ‘I was just bored of this job.’

I just also happened to have a family that was in the business—my uncle owned a restaurant for a very long time and my parents owned a restaurant for a little bit—so it’s kind of in the family trade. They were all good cooks, but none were chefs of their restaurants. That kind of motivated me to get formal training. I made that decision around 2007, and made the move in 2008.


Were your friends and family supportive?
My fiancé, Joey Hernandez [General Manager of Maple Ave.] was really supportive. Joey was one of the people that really pushed me to do it. My parents on the other hand … they’re very supportive now but at the beginning, the conversation kind of went like, ‘What are you going to do … give up your very secure, very great career that you paid a lot of money for? To do what?’ It’s not like they were disowning me. It was more like, ‘Okay … do your own thing, in a year you’ll go back to engineering.’


Schooling was your next step—what was that like?
I sold everything I had, along with my fiancé, and moved to New York City, so I could attend the French Culinary Institute. Almost immediately, I started doing an externship at Momofuku. I stayed with them all the way until I graduated. And FCI was intense. You get this mix of people in the school—half are just trust fund babies that want to [cook] on the side, the other half were the ones that took it really seriously because it was essentially all the money they ever had, which was my case. There was a lot of self motivation, versus the motivation by your peers because a lot of them wanted to do it because they were in NYC and could party all the time.

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Hungry for Linkage: Fish is the New Pig + Luxury Lobster + Gorgeous Chard

Posted by / Tuesday, August 20th, 2013


“Clarkson Potter editor-at-large Francis Lam notes over Twitter that arms in fish is “‘the look of the season.’” [Eater]

Why you’re still paying a lot for lobster. [The Braiser]

First impressions on the new Mussel Bar & Grill in Arlington. [Eater]

Since we’re apparently dividing cooking ability by gender, Helena Rizzo wins Best Female Chef from The Veuve Clicquot Latin America. [The World's 50 Best]

Pretty sure chard‘s never looked this good. [DANSCHULTZPHOTO]


Hidden Julles Cafe Brings Healthier Options To Warrenton

Posted by / Monday, August 19th, 2013

Photo Courtesy of Aaron Lynch

By: Molly Jacob

Tucked around the corner on a busy street in Old Town Warrenton, newly-opened Hidden Julles Cafe is worth noticing. Named as a nod to its concealed location (above) and also to pay homage to their mother, who passed away recently and was nicknamed “Julles.” 

Brothers Aaron, Adam and Jacob Lynch provide the people of Warrenton with healthier breakfast (served all day!) and lunch options with a menu comprised of local and organic ingredients.

“We’re becoming more and more local,” says Aaron, general manager of the cafe, which officially opened on May 28. “We’re not deterring anybody from bringing us anything—if it’s a good product and has good, organic practices, that’s what I’m looking for. We go with the slogan: local, organic and natural, with local trumping all.”

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