• On Monday, Northern Virginia magazine’s Warren Rojas launched Gut Check, a daily blog about area dining and food news. His inaugural post isn’t exactly locally focused—he rehashes “repasts gone wrong,” clips from ten movies that show “what happens when the simple act of breaking bread breaks really, really bad.”
• On Wednesday, Nongkran Daks, the chef at Chantilly’s Thai Basil, battled Bobby Flay in a pad-Thai cookoff for an episode of his Food Network show, Throwdown With Bobby Flay. Daks, the author of five Asian cookbooks, claims on her Web site that she makes the “most authentic Pad Thai this side of Bangkok.” She told WUSA Channel 9 that Flay garnished his dish with mint, which was perhaps one of the details that cost him the victory. In July, Flay lost a mussels battle to Teddy Folkman at Granville Moore’s. Bobby, be careful when you mess with Washington!
• Tom Sietsema reported this week that Barry Koslow, the former chef at Mendocino Grille & Wine Bar, will take over for Andrew Markert at Tallula. His sous chef, Joey Alvarez, will oversee the kitchen at the adjoining EatBar. Koslow tells Sietsema he’s planning to expand the menu to include fresh pasta, crudo, pâtés, and terrines.
• Todd Thrasher, mixologist at Restaurant Eve and PX, shocked lots of people—including himself—when he bested nine New York City bartenders in a Domaine de Canton Bartender of the Year competition in December. As the regional semifinalist, he’ll compete against other contestants from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and Boston this weekend in Saint Marten. Hopefully he’ll bring home more than a tan.
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