Deck the halls with…liver? Foie La La, a celebration of all things foie gras, starts at nine different H Street restaurants on Monday. Spots such as Boundary Road and Ocopa compete to make the best foie dishes, and diners can vote for their favorites online.
Clementine festival: The annual clementina festival returns to Jaleo on Monday through December 28. Look for dishes and drinks starring the seasonal citrus, including clementine gazpacho with scallops, seared calamari with artichokes and clementines, and a brandy-and-sherry cocktail with the citrus juice. Dishes and cocktails are priced individually.
War of the Roses: Barkeep Owen Thomson of Rose’s Luxury takes on Jack Rose’s Trevor Frye at Compass Rose on Monday, where host/barman Jack Caminos also contends. The challenge: Make a holiday cocktail with a rose as one of the ingredients. Tickets ($20) include one of each drinks, and benefit St. Jude’s and N Street Village.
Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights starts Tuesday, and Washington restaurants and bars offer plenty of ways to celebrate. Browse our Hanukkah guide for family-style feasts, themed cocktails, all-you-can-eat latkes, and more.
A taste of the stars: StarChefs hosts a party on Tuesday at Union Market’s Dock 5 with its Rising Star award-winning chefs, artisans, barkeeps, and sommeliers. Bites and drinks are served by a variety of big local names. Tickets are $125 for the VIP reception starting at 5:45, and $95 for general admission at 6:30.
Bad sweaters, good songs: Republic throws an ugly sweater sing-along party on Saturday with live band karaoke starting at 10. Guests can down house-made eggnog and mulled wine ($10 each) to fuel up for the competition, and the best/worst sweater wins a $100 gift card.
Winter bar party: Iron Gate debuts its patio winter lounge on Monday with a party from 5 to 7. Check out the new furniture, fire pits, and heat lamps while snacking on canapés and two complimentary cocktails ($35 per person). Love drinking outside, even in the cold? Peruse our guide to Washington's al fresco winter lounges.
Pork and brews: The Pig throws an appropriately pork-filled beer dinner on Tuesday with Devil's Backbone Brewing Company at 7. Five courses such as ribs with black truffle barbecue sauce are paired with six brews ($50 per person).
Shop, sip, and snack: Taste of the Nation DC and the newly opened Salt & Sundry in Logan Circle team up for Sip & Shop on Wednesday from 6 to 8. Barman Adam Bernbach and chef Haidar Karoum of 2 Birds, 1 Stone prepare drinks and bites, while shoppers can browse holiday gifts. Ten percent of merchandise sold goes toward No Kid Hungry, and anyone who spends $200 can enter a lottery for free VIP tickets to Taste of the Nation. Punch lovers can head to the Union Market location on Thursday for a class with barman Dan Searing, which includes tastes, recipes, and the oppotunity to stock up on bowls and cups ($60 per person).
Tacky sweaters and tasty brews: Roofers Union gets in the holiday vibe with a tacky sweater and local beer party on Wednesday at 6. There's no fee, though donations are encouraged for the Mary's Center Toy Drive. Don't forget to wear something festively awful; outfit contest categories include best sweater, tie, socks, and mystery outfit.
Calling all kilts: The Black Squirrel channels its Scottish side on Friday at 5 with a kilt party featuring Devil's Backbone Wood-Agd Kilt Flasher. The kitchen whips up dishes like a Soctch-egg burger and oyster stew to pair with the beer and ten other brews from the Virginia producer. Anyone dressed in a kilt receives 10 percent off the bill.
Winemaker dinner: Dino's Grotto chef/owner Dean Gold is pretty jazzed about winemaker Frank Cornelissen's vino, and hosts a dinner with him on Friday at 6:30. Expect plenty of pours from the Italian vineyard and a six-course menu ($145 per person).
A sugar lover's buffet: The Ritz-Carlton Washington DC throws its annual sweets buffet on Saturday from 7:30 to 11 in the lobby (and again on Saturday, December 20). The spread includes plenty of chocolate desserts, holiday candies, a candy "bar," and Champagne cocktails. Reservations are $45.
Bring the kids: Chef Michel Richard hosts Sweet Hope on Saturday from 1 to 3 at Central, a dessert reception benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Bring an unwrapped toy or monetary donation and enjoy desserts from Richard, caroling, an elf balloon artist, and more. RSVP to email@example.com.
More truffles: Chef Roberto Donna whips up a truffle dinner at Alba Osteria on Saturday at 7, starring white truffles over six courses paired with Italian wines. Reservations are $160, and can be made by calling the restaurant.
Pig bomb: Every tried a mortadella-stuffed "suckling pig torpedo"? Now you can during a prix-fixe wine dinner with celebrity chef Jose Garces at Rural Society on Saturday, starting with a reception at 6:30. The five-course meal is limited to 50 guests ($150 per person). Call Robert Esplen at 202-587-2617 for reservations.
Bad-sweater brunch: Don your holiday worst and head to STK for an ugly-sweater bottomless brunch on Sunday between 11:30 and 6. The party includes a dejay, $18 all-you-can-drink brunch cocktails, an à-la-carte menu, and a contest for best/worst outfit (the prize: another brunch for two).
Night of the industry: Graffiato’s monthly Chefs' Night Out returns on Monday. A $10 charitable door fee starting at 10 gets you access to free snacks and drink specials from Spike Mendelsohn, Austin Fausett of Trummer’s on Main, and more.
Feast for a month: The traditional Italian Christmastime meal, Feast of the Seven Fishes, can be ordered all month at Al Dente starting Monday. Tables of two and more can dine on a menu of sautéed clams, shrimp agnolotti, fritto misto, and more ($45 per person).
Drink outside: It may not feel like al fresco drinking weather, but then again most bars aren’t outfitted with fire pits, heaters, and blankets. You’ll find all of that and more at A Bar + Kitchen starting Monday, where guests can sip from a DIY hot-cider bar, order boozy warm cocktails, and assemble s’mores. If you like that idea, check out our guide to other great places to drink by the fire.
Holi-versary: Republic launches a weeklong celebration commemorating both its one-year anniversary and the holiday season. The festivities start on Wednesday with a new weekly happy hour, where pints of local beer are $5 from 9:30 to close. Other plans include a rock dinner concert on Friday with a $50 set menu starting at 8, and a birthday brunch on Sunday with live jazz and two-for-one mimosas.
Drink more whiskey: Washingtonian's annual On the Rocks party goes down on Wednesday at the Maurice Electric Warehouse at Union Market from 7 to 10, and it promises to be quite the spirited affair with samplings of Scotch, whiskey, fine tequilas, gins, vodkas, and more. Tickets are $65.
Festivus: The Renaissance Dupont Circle Hotel commemorates the Seinfeld-ian holiday of Festivus throughout December. Events start on Wednesday with a set, family-style menu of jambalaya, meatloaf, and candy bar cupcakes, plus a Festivus pole in the lobby—and in the spirit of holiday giving, guests can donate to two local charities. Look for nightly specials going forward, including mini Reuben sandwiches and fried chicken bites.
Late-night pop-up: Anju, the late-night dinner series at Mandu's K Street location, caps off its 2014 run on Friday from 10 to 1. Drop in for eats from guest chefs Scott Drewno of the Source and Del Campo’s Victor Albisu, plus soju cocktails and other drinks.
Pappy hour: Jack Rose commemorates Repeal Day and the ability to drink freely with a Pappy Van Winkle “Pappy hour” from 5 to 7:30 on Friday. You’ll find the rare whiskey plus a few other varieties of bourbon and rye poured at discounted prices, and a 1930s-inspired five-course menu for $45 in the dining saloon.
Better than five golden rings: No, not four calling birds: 12 Christmas beers, brought to you by the Black Squirrel. Head in on Friday at 5 and Saturday at noon for a collection of seasonal brews, plus oyster stew and a holiday-themed burger.
Post-Prohibition party: Celebrate the end of Prohibition (81 years later) with the DC Craft Bartenders Guild at the Repeal Day Ball on Saturday at the Carnegie Library. More than 25 of Washington’s top barkeeps pour ample spirits, a live jazz band contributes tunes, and there’s a black-and-white photo booth to capture the 1930s-style fun. Tickets are $120 for VIP admission at 8, and $80 for general admission at 9.
Ho ho hoppy: Drink the District throws a Hoppy Holidays Beer Festival at Union Market on Saturday with bottomless pours of 50-plus seasonal beers, live music, and food truck fare. Three sessions run from noon to 3, 4:30 to 7:30, and 9 to midnight ($40 each).
Pig out: Bourbon Steak hosts a dinner on Monday at 7 featuring WhistlePig whiskeys and plenty of pork. The four-course meal includes tastings of several whiskeys, as well as dishes prepared with rare Mangalista swine. Call for reservations.
Expand the stomach: Get ready for Thanksgiving at Et Voila's "stretch your belly" party on Wednesday during dinner from 5 to 10. Stop by for unlimited mussels and fries or Belgian beef stew for $29.95 per person.
Friendsgiving: Even if your Turkey Day involves tons of family, take a break and head to Republic for a "friendsgiving" on Wednesday starting at 8. Game night meets karaoke happy hour with board games such as Cards for Humanity and Monopoly, $10 seasonal cocktails—including some hot ones if it's chilly—and a karaoke competition starting at 10. Anyone looking to get extra-festive can order "bingers," beer and shot combos.
Popping on up: Buttercream Bakeshop and Ice Cream Jubilee team up for a sweet pop-up on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Navy Yard ice cream shop. Preorder Thanksgiving pies, take-and-bake scones, ice cream sandwich kits, and other holiday-themed desserts. Items are available for pickup from noon to 6 on Tuesday, and noon to 3:30 on Wednesday.
More at the market: Anyone looking for gifts or nibbles to satisfy a home cook can head to Union Market on Wednesday between 8 and 8 for a pop-up from food incubator Mess Hall. Vendors include True Tonics, Cajun Meets Asian, and Buttercream Bakeshop among others.
Thanksgiving: The big Turkey Day arrives on Thursday. Still in need of last-minute sides, pies, or even a whole feast? Check out our roundup of restaurants offering Thanksgiving to go. Looking for a reservation? There may still be openings at some of our 100 Best Restaurants that are serving holiday meals. Even if you're all set, check out these seven weird T-giving Frankenfoods for all your turkey-pop-tart needs.
Thank you-giving: Black Squirrel throws the ultimate low-key Thanksgiving, offering a $7 all-you-can-eat buffet on Thursday as a thank-you to customers. The spread of turkey, ham, roast beef, and sides starts at noon and goes until 2 AM (or when the food runs out). Wash it down with seasonal beers like Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, Champion Goin' Yam, and more.
Small is the new black: Head to Alexandria for a variety of small business-driven Black Friday sales, including a number of deals at food-centric shops such as La Cuisine, Olio Tasting Room, Spice & Tea Exchange, and more.
Shop the District: Skip the Walmart mega-lines on Black Friday and head to DC Brau on Small Business Saturday, which hosts the Made in DC Holiday Marketplace with Think Local First from noon to 5. A number of culinary vendors participate, such as Capital Mumbo Sauce, CrunkCakes DC, Junius Cold Brew Coffee, and more.
One of our more spirited soirees is almost here: On the Rocks, an extensive cocktail party going down at Union Market on December 3. Tickets for the whiskey- and fine spirits-focused event can be purchased at the discounted early-bird price of $45 until Wednesday.
During the party, guests can mingle while sipping an array of whiskeys, high-end tequilas, gins, vodka, and Scotches. Snacks and live music round out the fun.
Passes are still available after the discounts run out, but the cost goes up to $65. Grab your tickets soon, and don't forget to check out scenes from last year's blowout.
Supper club returns: Chez Le Commis is back on Monday, popping up at Le Bon Cafe on Capitol Hill. Reservations have already been booked for the first session, but at 8:30 the doors open for a first come, first served four-course meal ($60, $90 with wine pairings). Don't feel like waiting? Try cassoulet to go starting at 6:30 ($20 for a two-person serving).
Week of booze: RAMW launches its second annual Cocktail Week on Monday. More than 55 Washington restaurants participate, preparing specialty cocktails paired with bites (price varies) through Sunday. Check out the full list of eateries and what they're serving on the event page.
Cookbook party: Award-winning chef Sean Brock of Charleston restaurants Husk and McCrady's heads to America Eats Tavern on Tuesday for a dinner surrounding the release of his new cookbook, Heritage. The meal ($60 per person) begins at 6:30 and includes dishes prepared from recipes in the book—guests take home a copy—as well as Trump Winery wines.
The three Fs: Those would be "funky," "foraged," and "fermented," the theme of a nearly weeklong dinner series at Boundary Road beginning on Tuesday. The kitchen offers a mushroom, cheese, and beer pairing ($30)—such as grilled lobster mushrooms, cabra la mancha cheese, and a five-ounce brew—starting at 5:30 nightly. No reservations required.
Get in the spirit: Wisdom barman/owner Erik Holzherr hosts a discussion and book signing on Tuesday at 7 with author Matt Teacher to mark the release of Teacher's new work, The Spirit of Gin: A Stirring Miscellany of the New Gin Revival. Learn more about the spirit while sipping a specialty flight put together by the duo.
Welcome, Deschutes: ChurchKey welcomes Oregon's Deschutes Brewery to Washington on Tuesday by offering six of its drafts, including chef José Andrés's collaborative Zarabanda beer. Stop in for the brews starting at 6, which can be paired with cheeses and desserts all evening.
Duck dinner: Chef Dean Gold hosts a quack-tastic meal on Wednesday at Dino's Grotto, where guests get a ten-tasting duck dinner with duck rillettes and pastrami, duck-schmaltz matzo soup, duck Bolognese, and more. Various seatings from 6 to 9:45 are either $79 or $89, all-inclusive, plus optional beverage pairings.
Winemakers on site: The team behind Sonoma's Idle Cellars visits Republic for a five-course pairing dinner on Wednesday at 7 ($80 per person). Each dish, such as hamachi crudo or braised short ribs with roasted mushrooms, is paired with a different glass of vino.
Beaujolais est arrivé: Washington welcomes the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau this week. Two great dining options for celebrating the annual release of the French wine on Thursday: Central and Mintwood Place. The latter offers $10 glasses and $40 bottles alongside belly-warming boeuf bourguignon made with the vin, priced at a happy hour discount all night. Over at Central, guests can sip two kinds of Beaujolais as well as pick from a list of discounted Burgundies. The kitchen offers an à-la-carte pairing menu, with dishes such as crispy pork belly with braised green lentils and crepes Suzette. The promotion runs through Saturday. Feel more like a party? Head to Malmaison at 9, which throws a vintage-style soiree with French music, dancing, and an open Beajolais bar.
An evening chez Prune: Gabrielle Hamilton, chef/owner of New York's famed Prune and author of Blood, Bones, and Butter, spends an evening with guests at Buck's Fishing and Camping on Thursday. The meal, cohosted by Politics & Prose, is held in conjunction with her new cookbook, Prune. Chef Amy Brandwein prepares recipes from the book. Tickets start at $150, and include a copy of the book.
Sweet conversation: Cookbook author Dorie Greenspan appears at Sixth & I on Thursday at 6 to discuss her new work, Baking Chez Moi, and sign copies. Tickets are $15, or get two free passes with the $40 purchase of the book.
Free food: Delaware-based sandwich chain Capriotti's celebrates the one-year anniversary of its inaugural Washington location on Friday with a lunch giveaway at the M Street spot. The first 50 people in line at 11 receive a free Bobbie (Thanksgiving-style turkey). And yes, you may see Joe Biden.
Winter beer fest: The DC Craft Beer Festival arrives at the Washington Convention Center on Saturday, with 75 breweries offering tastes of more than 150 local and national brews. Tickets can be purchased for two sessions—2 to 4:30 or 7 to 9:30—and range from $49 to $110 for VIP experiences.
The leftovers: Far less troubling than the Guilty Remnant, but still problematic: Thanksgiving leftovers. Blue Duck Tavern is here to help with a class on Saturday that teaches guests how to turn day-old dishes into a feast of turkey dumpling soup, pumpkin pie milkshakes, and more. Tickets are $65, which includes tastes of several holiday dishes.
Tons of truffles: Sample the luxurious mushrooms at a fairly affordable price during Seasonal Pantry's Dine and Dash on Sunday. Chef Dan O'Brien prepares house-made fettucine with butter sauce and white truffles for $35, plus an optional glass of wine for $5. Seating is limited to 12 at a time between noon and 9, so call early for reservations.
Speed-tenders: Start the week off on a boozy note at the Howard Theatre, which hosts an all-female speed-bartending competition on Monday to benefit breast cancer research. Competitors include the Gibson's Andrea Tateosian, Karen Hernandez of Kapnos, and many more. Tickets are $20 and include drinks and local eats.
Farm to feast: Love to eat local? The FreshFarm Markets Farmland Feast is your big-ticket event for the week, happening Monday at the Ritz-Carlton Washington DC. Guests can buy tickets for a cocktail and oyster reception ($150) or go for the whole shebang with a sit-down dinner afterward from some of the city's top chefs, sommeliers, and bartenders ($300). Ticket prices benefit the FreshFarm Markets and their charitable programs.
Celebrity chef battle: The annual Capital Food Fight returns to the Ronald Reagan Building on Tuesday at 6, bringing a slew of celebrity chefs including Anthony Bourdain, Carla Hall, Daniel Boulud, and more. Local toques battle it out on the main stage in a Top Chef-style competition, while more than 75 restaurants serve food and drinks to guests. Tickets are $250, with proceeds benefiting DC Central Kitchen.
More pop-ups: For anyone who missed two of the big pop-ups last week, there're more coming. On Tuesday, Mike Isabella will serve a limited menu of tacos, guac, and Mexican beer from the Pepita preview at G from 11 to 7. Then on Friday, Tiffany MacIsaac brings back her Buttercream Bakeshop sweets to Cork Market starting at 11.
Chef talk: Catch celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson at Sixth & I on Wednesday at 7 for a discussion of his new cookbook, Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home. Tickets are $35 and include a copy of the book (or get two tickets for $45).
Wine and a movie: Head to E Street Cinema on Thursday for a special screening of the documentary American Wine Story at 6:30, followed by a Q&A and tasting reception with the wineries and owners featured in the flick. Tickets are $50 per person.
Distillery class: Learn to make seasonal gin cocktails where the spirits are made during a Thursday evening class at New Columbia Distillery, which produces Green Hat Gin. Co-owner Michael Lowe also leads a tour of the space and production process. Tickets are $15.
Wine happy hour: Get a taste of Argentina's Bodega Catena Zapata winery at a discount during a Thursday happy hour at Del Campo from 4 to 7. Glasses go for $6 alongside free tastings of some higher-price bottles, and a raffle whose winner gets a rare wine.
Go Nordic: Hop on the Nordic food trend at B Too on Friday, where chef Bart Vandaele—a member of the Norwegian Seafood Council—prepares a three-course menu with dishes like grilled mackerel with pickled potatoes, cod with smoked leeks and shellfish sauce, and cinnamon waffles ($35.14 per person).
Oysters and apples: Friday marks the beginning of Virginia Cider Week, with a variety of tastings, events, and dinners. Most are in the Charlottesville/Richmond area, so plan a weekend road trip if you're closer to Washington. November is also Virginia Oyster Month, so check out five bivalve festivals happening this weekend (also in road-trip distance from the District).
Happy Birthday, DGS: The Dupont delicatessen turns two on Saturday and celebrates by bringing together some of their favorite chefs and producers for a family-style meal. Look for challah from bread king Mark Furstenburg, deviled eggs topped with Bev Eggleston's chicken cracklings, braised beef shanks courtesy of chef Jeremiah Langhorne, and more. The meal is available from 5:30 to 10 for $40, with an optional $18 beverage pairing.
Calling shopaholics: General admission tickets remain for the otherwise sold-out Emporiyum, a food-lover's shopping extravaganza at Union Market on Saturday and Sunday. A national variety of chefs and vendors including Momofuku Milk Bar, Luke's Lobster, Austin's Paul Qui, Mike Isabella, and more sell dishes, drinks, and take-home items (which would make pretty great holiday gifts). General admission tickets ($20) are available online, as well as a workshop with Mast Brothers chocolates ($50). Bluejacket and Red Apron will also run a beer garden with grilled hot dogs that's open to the public.
1805 14th St., NW
Start your weekend on a sweet note with creative treats from pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac, who brings desserts from her new Alexandria bakery to 14th Street. Pick up treat boxes with the likes of pumpkin whoopie pies, Fruity Pebbles cookies, Mexican-chocolate marshmallows, and more from 11 to 7, when you can also sample sweets-friendly wines and bubbly. Preorders have closed for cakes, but you can still snag them at a second pop-up next Friday.
2201 14th St., NW
This weekend is likely your last chance to sample Mike Isabella’s Mexican fare from the upcoming Pepita Cantina before the restaurant opens in Ballston. Drop by Friday and Saturday evening for a four-course menu ($40 per person) with dishes such as red snapper ceviche, barbecued lamb tacos, chocolate tres leches cake, and plenty of margaritas.
Nonna’s Kitchen at Alphonse
1212 U St., NW
Eater DC brings word that U Street’s newest Italian market/cafe is launching a tasting menu on Friday ($90 per person). Chef Justus Frank, formerly of Fiola, serves rustic dishes from various regions of Italy alongside wine and cocktail pairings. The reservation-only meal will run Tuesday through Saturday going forward.
More tacos! (See above)
Late-night chef-tacular at Daikaya Izakaya
705 Sixth St., NW
Skip the bar crawl and head to this Penn Quarter izakaya between 11 PM and 1 AM for an impromptu gathering of big talents: Daikaya chef/co-owner Katsuya Fukushima, Jonah Kim (formerly of Pabu), Bar Pilar’s Jesse Miller, Danny Lee (Mandu), and Vermilion’s Will Morris. On the à-la-carte menu: great late-night fare such as Korean fried chicken, lamb belly and guanciale stew over rice, Filipino pork belly with pig ears and tofu, and “cup-o-pancit,” a cup of noodles with fried salted shrimp. Save room for bungeoppang (cakes shaped like fish) with soft-serve.
1309 Fifth St., NE
The popular biscuit slinger sets up shop for an unspecified time at Union Market starting this week. Look for Southern-style biscuits with sausage gravy and eggs, fried chicken biscuit sandwiches, fresh rounds with pepper jelly, and more. The stall opens at 8 Thursday through Sunday, and serves until the biscuits run out.
550 Penn St., NE
While you’re in the neighborhood, get a taste of the District’s first new Filipino restaurant before it debuts in Columbia Heights. Chef Tom Cunanan serves a merienda (snack-time) meal between 3:30 and 6 with dishes like ukoy, sweet potato-shrimp fritters, and lumpiang, crispy spring rolls. During the pop-up, Dolcezza serves Filipino-inspired gelato and sorbetto.
3720 14th St., NW
Can’t get enough biscuits? Don’t forget about this ongoing pop-up in Columbia Heights, which serves from 11 to 3 on Sundays. On the menu: drop biscuits, egg sandwiches, and a "redneck Benedict" with poached eggs and gravy.
The biggest all-star fall food event in Washington goes down on Tuesday, November 11, with the return of Capital Food Fight at the Ronald Reagan Building. The benefit for DC Central Kitchen draws celebrity-chef emcees Anthony Bourdain and Carla Hall, local toques including Table's Frederik De Pue and Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Ripple battling in a Top Chef-style competition, and judges such as Daniel Boulud and Chopped's Ted Allen. In the audience: 75 Washington restaurants serving bites and drinks to party-goers until late in the evening.
Hall has been a fixture of the event for the past four years, as both a judge and a host. We spoke with The Chew star about highlights from the annual bash, judging with Bourdain, and the best approach for tackling all the drinks and eats.
Food Fight dishes that inspired a restaurant trip:
"After Victor [Albisu] competed, I remember going to Taco Bamba way the heck out in Virginia because I love his food. I've also gone to the Source for Scott Drewno's dumplings, and to Willow with Tracy O'Grady."
"I hate judging. I hate it so much! It's so subjective—it's based on taste, what you like, maybe what you want to have in that moment. I hate boiling down someone's dish that came from their heart. I'd rather host."
The most memorable dish of all time:
"Michael Mina, and it was my first Food Fight. He did a Korean barbecue broth, which was piping hot with mushrooms and all these aromatics. He served it with meat sliced very thinly, and we threw the meat into the broth to cook it."
The best eating strategy:
"I would get there early. Make a loop to see all the restaurants, then go back and decide what you're going to eat. If you're there with four people, divide and conquer. You can't eat everything anyway. If you have four people, each person can go to a line so you can taste as much as you can. Try to do that early so the time the food fight comes about you can get close to the stage so you can see the chefs. And, of course, think about what you're going to bid on."
Hosting with Anthony Bourdain:
"He's very fun, a tall drink of water. I love watching the interaction between Tony and José. I feel like it's the boys' club, and they're more than willing to bring me in. The first time I was working with them I had to pull out the stops with my auctioneering skills."
"I don't get to go! I'm taping the [Chew] shoot Tuesday, so I'm doing the Food Fight, and I have to get on the train to New York at 9. I have to be at work at 6:15 in the morning. I love it so much, that's what I'm doing."
The Washington restaurant where she's a regular:
"One of the places I keep going back to because I love the food is Ris. Every time I see her at an event I'm like 'Ris, you always do the most simple thing, but it's perfect.' She has the confidence to do a salad at an event, or soup and grilled cheese."
What keeps her coming back to the Fight:
"I've done so much with DC Central Kitchen, and I really believe in the way they empower people. I watch the way these people change their lives and change their families. It's an organization that we as chefs feel very much a part of. There're a lot of food and wine events, but we feel a connection. And, of course, the element of competition when we can come together in a fun way to compete."
The Capital Food Fight is on Tuesday, November 11, at 6. Tickets start at $250 per person.
There's a new kind of food lover's festival in town, and it's looking pretty delicious. The Emporiyum, an artisan- and chef-driven marketplace, pops up at Union Market on Saturday, November 15, and Sunday, November 16. The extravaganza has attracted a large roster of well-known local and national names, including NYC's Momofuku Milk Bar—coming soon to DC—Jack Rudy Cocktail Co., the upcoming Thip Khao from the Bangkok Golden team, Black Seed Bagels, Austin chef Paul Qui, Toki's Erik Bruner-Yang, and many more.
While anyone can snag tickets to spend the weekend browsing, shopping, eating, and drinking, we have a pair of VIP tickets to give away for each day. The passes earn early access from 10 to 11 (general admission is 11 to 4), a special gift bag, a variety of free snacks and beverages while you shop, and samples from select vendors. Note that VIP admission is already sold out to the public for Saturday, and is worth $40 per person.
So how can you score entry for you and a shopping buddy? In the spirit of the pre-holiday season, tell us about the best culinary gift you've ever received in the comments below. It could be a kitchen or bar tool, a meal, a cookbook, an ingredient, spirits, anything. As always, thoughtful answers get extra points. The first place-winner will receive passes for the sold-out Saturday spot, while the runner-up can enjoy the same stellar lineup on Sunday.
We'll announce the winners on Twitter at noon on Monday, November 10, so make sure to follow @Bestbitesblog.
Contest question: What is the best culinary gift you've ever received? Leave your answer in the comments below.