Zentan’s Chef Shares a Traditional Bento Box

Hanami Memories with Yo Matsuzaki

Words by Susan Able, Photos by Hannah Hudson

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Zenten’s Chef Yo Matsuzaki shared a traditional bento box that is typical of hanami in Japan. When we asked for his own memories of hanami in Japan, he laughed. Why? According to Yo, it’s one of the best times of the year to drink alcohol outside—whether it is with your grandmother or your friends—and the only time of the year it is allowed. So at least when the cherry trees blossom, officials look the other way and almost every hanami gathering has saki or Japanese beer in abundance.

Chef Yo grew up on the island of Shikoku, in southern Japan, and whether it is Shikoku or Tokyo, every season had its unique Japanese festivals: Summer had beer gardens, the fall had harvest street fairs and the most important holiday, New Year’s (Shogatsu) takes place January 1 to … Read More

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Minty Farro Salad with Cucumber & Kale

by Emily Spaeth, From the Farmer Sponsored

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Ingredients

1 cup farro
1 bunch Lacinato kale, de-stemmed & cut into thin ribbons
1/4 cup mint leaves, de-stemmed & thinly sliced
1 lemon (juice + zest)
2 tbsp olive oil
A pinch (+) each of sea salt & pepper
1/2 cucumber, halved & thinly sliced
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup feta, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain farro. In a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover about an inch above the farro, then bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain any excess water and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine kale with lemon, olive oil, sea salt & pepper, and mint; massage until the kale breaks down a bit and becomes softer. Combine farro, cucumber and red onion with the kale, tossing to mix together thoroughly.
  3. Lastly, add feta to the top
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Food Styling, Photography, Recipe Development Workshop in Italy

by Zahra Curtin, special to EdibleDC, Sponsored

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Calling all those afflicted with wanderlust, bloggers, writers, photographers, casual cooks and die-hard foodies! Yes, we are talking to you, the person who snaps pics of his/her meal before digging in (basically all the millennials and foodies of the world).

Feeling the early spring blues? Is your tummy rumbling? Treat yourself to a food + photography retreat in Southern Italy – “What’s Cooking in Puglia?” Edible DC, photographer, Jennifer Chase, is one of the fabulous experts, alongside Joann Pai, Gabriel Cabrera and Jodi Moreno, running this four day workshop in the delicious Italian countryside. We are salivating. Literally. Did we mention you’ll be staying in a 16th century farm house by the sea and cooking, styling, photographing and inhaling heavenly food surrounded by creative globetrotters? We can already hear the screams of “molto delizioso” and the clinking of glasses overflowing with prosecco. … Read More

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Hanami Like a Local – Celebrating Cherry Blossom Season

by Susan Able, Photos by Hannah Hudson, Styling by Ally Mumm

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In Japanese culture, seasonal rituals are cherished and enthusiastically celebrated with ceremony, food, costume and drink. No holiday is more anticipated than hanami—cherry blossom viewing.

Hanami can mean just taking a stroll to enjoy cherry blossoms, but more often involves a picnic party with food and drinks. In this continuing tradition, for hundreds of years groups of family, friends or business colleagues have planned get-togethers under the cherry blossoms to have fun and share a bento box and some drinks, sometimes trapping fallen petals in cups of sake.

We may have not known the word, but clearly we have our own hanami going on in the District, even though we might call it a crowd scene. Seven hundred thousand people visit during Washington, DC’s, cherry blossom season, which all started with cherry tree plantings in the very early … Read More

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DC Noodle Trends Japanese, Laos, Burma and Philippines

by Jacob Dean, special to EdibleDC and photos by Jai Williams

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When Mess Hall (703 Edgewood Street NE) opened its doors for the second annual occurrence of Ramen World, it was more than an opportunity for people to gorge themselves on unlimited food, Japanese Kirin Lager and mixed drinks. The Asian-themed bacchanalian celebration of snappy noodles and hot soup also featured foods from Laos, Burma and the Philippines, and offered a rare chance to get a broad sense of what various chefs have been up to.

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Take the folks from Daikaya for example. Co-owner and head chef Katsuya Fukushima could be seen cooking and keeping a watchful eye over Bantam King’s booth. The latest venture from Fukushima and partners Daisuke Utagawa and Yama Jewayni, Bantam King will be serving chicken-based ramen and Japanese fried chicken in the bones of a former Burger King in Penn Quarter. At their Ramen … Read More

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Cherry Blossom March Madness at Station Kitchen and Cocktails

by AJ Dronkers, Associate Publisher, EdibleDC

Sakura Manhattan

Sakura Manhattan at Station Kitchen & Cocktails.

Spring has arrived and soon everyone will be celebrating the iconic return of the Cherry Blossoms. The National Park Service  announced the peak will fall between March 18-23. Want to have your mood do some spring blossoming? Start with cherry blossom cocktails. Two versions are being served starting Thursday March 17 at Station Kitchen & Cocktails inside Embassy Row Hotel in Dupont Circle.

It’s all part of a spring celebration and their own March Madness. Each night, Station Kitchen & Cocktails will be serve up a series of cocktails at their bar, sixteen to be exact. Each of the artisan cocktails is competing in “cocktail march madness” brackets. The cocktails that perform the best each night move-on. Make sure you swing by and cast your vote!

And now for some cherry blossom inspiration–here are two cocktail … Read More

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Dogfish Founder Talks Books & Beer in Reston

By Hope Nelson

Dogfish founder Sam Calagione’s new book focuses on diverse leadership.

Dogfish founder Sam Calagione’s new book focuses on diverse leadership.

Of all the likely places to spy Dogfish Head Brewery’s Founder and President, Sam Calagione, seeing him perched at a table on stage interviewing intern candidates at the Reston World of Beer may not be No. 1 on the list. But last Wednesday, as Dogfish fans from around the region gathered to welcome Calagione and buy copies of his new book, “Off-Centered Leadership,” that’s just where they found him: Listening intently to hopeful “Drink It Intern” candidates, asking questions, taking notes, until every applicant had had a chance to be seen. Sam Calagione understands starting small, he worked behind the bar in NYC and got interested in microbrewed beer. According to his corporate bio, he “put his English degree to the test while writing the brewpub business plan.” And the rest is history for this … Read More

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Roofers Union Pulls in 4 Great DC Breweries for Dinner

by Andrew Marder for EdibleDC Magazine

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I am underdressed. I suspect that I am always underdressed, but in this instant, standing at the bar upstairs at Roofers Union, I feel that I am woefully underdressed. Most of the fifty people here for the 3 Stars, Atlas, DC Brau, and Right Proper collaborative beer dinner have just rolled in from work. I have also just rolled in, but I work in tech, so I’m rocking a bright orange tee shirt and a hoodie.

Yes, I would love an Old Fashioned. Unfortunately, the man behind the bar who I mention this to is not actually the bartender. I’m off to a strong start.

The dinner is a chance for the four breweries to show off a few fun beers and for Roofers Union to celebrate its impressive bar program. It’s also a chance for me to drink more beer than is generally … Read More

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Rooting DC: A Forum for Growing Urban Food Systems

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By Lizzy Gendell, special to Edible DC

Rooting DC’s tagline is “An annual conference. A perennial event”. Last weekend’s forum was a true happening—I was one of the more than 1200 attendees from across the city, including dozens of nonprofits and urban farmers who came together to network, learn and create shared agendas for urban food production, sustainability and improved nutritional health. Rooting DC is a day well spent.

When you stepped through the doors of Wilson High School, you saw how the rich community of our city’s growers, composters, seed savers, social justice activists, teachers, students, friends, and neighbors work together. Similar to the complexity and interdependency of the ecosystems that work together throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed, it seems that Rooting DC’s community members find ways to mirror that interconnectedness.

The day began with meandering through different organizations’ booths and talking to innovators and entrepreneurs of all … Read More

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Put On Your Favorite Canadian Tuxedo… You Have Some Tasting To Do!

By Kirsten Bourne, Capital Area Food Bank for Edible DC

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Where else can you eat like the First Family, try dishes from two recently named James Beard Award finalists, savor samples from many of  Washingtonian’s top 100 restaurants and be treated to one of the best ice creameries in the country…all in one place?

The Capital Area Food Bank—the largest hunger and nutrition nonprofit serving the Washington metro area—has pulled together these and others in their biggest fundraiser of the year, the Blue Jeans Ball.

If you nab your ticket now, on Sunday March 13th your taste buds will be guaranteed a journey through the Washington area with bites from 40 local restaurants, from Logan Circle’s Ghibellina to Chevy Chase’s Range, from Dupont’s DGS Delicatessen to Arlington’s Restaurant Eve! Wondering how you’re going to wash the unlimited food down? Christopher McNeal of Bar Dupont, and his mixologist friends from Sotto, … Read More

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