Sunday, October 25, 2015

Metro Cooking DC 2015 - Day One Summary

Giada De Laurentiis (and friends) at the Celebrity Theater

Another year, another fabulous weekend at Metro Cooking DC. It's enough to make you "forget your troubles, come on get happy." Being (and staying) happy at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center was easy as pie, especially when surrounded by (thousands of) fellow foodies, free food and enough tips to turn any kitchen novice into an amateur gourmet. Toss in a full day with celebrity chef extraordinaire Giada De Laurentiis, and it's a wonder I left at all.

Alas, there's even more to do, eat and see today. Day 2 (Michael Symon, Bryan Voltaggio and the world famous RAMW Grand Tasting Pavilion) gets underway in under an hour (10 AM) and promises to provide enough calories (the incredibly tasty kind) to make you forget all about the Redskins, Ravens and any other teams you would normally follow on a cold, rainy Sunday.

Dean Gold of Dino's Grotto at the James Beard Cooking Stage

Yesterday also marked the debut of the BBQ Bash, featuring a score of some of the best barbecue joints in town. See below for our top five bites o' the bash, including #1 favorite Smokehouse Live. Hungry yet? There's still plenty of room (and tickets) for today's session. Hours are 10 AM - 5 PM; and you can purchase tickets online (click here) or at the Convention Center. The RAMW Grand Tasting Pavilion opens at 12:30 (through 3:30 PM.)

94.7 Fresh FM's Tommy McFly

Giada De Laurentiis holds court

The next Giada?

Brew It Yourself! Delicious Coffee at Home with Dawn Shanks

Hosting Healthier Holiday with Cooking Light's Anna Bullett 

iPic Entertainment Group's Sherry Yard

Gardening in Challenging Spaces with Morgan Morris

BaTer Chocolates

Giveaways galore at Cooking Light

Cooking Light's Tote & Carry

Daregal Gourmet

Urbani Truffles

Capital City Mambo Sauce

Top 5 Bites o' the (BBQ) Bash...

5. Rocklands Barbecue and Grilling Company: Good barbecue (Miniature Chopped Barbecued Pork Sandwich) but the Honey Jalapeño Corn Muffins are A-mazing! Time for a visit.

Barbecued Pork Sandwich & Honey Jalapeño Corn Muffins

4. Old Glory Bar-B-Que: Tasty Smoked Pit Wings, with plenty of meat this time (a lot more than at this month's Taste of DC) and great flavor. Rich sauce too.

Smoked Pit Wings from Old Glory Bar-B-Que

3. Smoke & Barrel: It was a relatively small sample, but Smoke & Barrel's Smoked Pulled Pork had lots (and lots) of flavor, and the best vinegary taste of the Bash.

Smoke & Barrel's Smoked Pulled Pork

2. Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill: Talk about value! The Pulled Pork Slider was really good, but a wee bit cold (loved the pickle & slaw) but the Brisket Burnt Ends (served with a sweet chipotle cherry BBQ sauce) were out-of-this-world; and yes, I went back for seconds.

Brisket Burnt Ends & Pulled Pork Slider from Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill

1. Smokehouse Live: In terms of taste, Smokehouse Live's Wet Brisket (with Texas Chainsaw sauce) won by a mile. Fatty and delicious, I could eat a pound of it, in the blink of an eye. And the sauce... literally "killer."

Wet Brisket from Smokehouse Live