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Rewind: Capital Cooks!

Willow’s Tracy O’Grady prepares samples in a Washington Design Center showroom.

Last night at the 8th annual Capital Cooks! event, 12 chefs—including former White House executive chef Walter Scheib—took over the Washington Design Center’s Kitchen, Bath, and Building Products showrooms in the name of charity. All proceeds went to DC Habitat for Humanity.

I dropped by the party to see what’s new at the Design Center and, of course, to sample the food. Here are a few highlights and pictures.

The Showrooms: As patrons waited in long, winding lines to sample food, they took in the latest designs in cabinetry, appliances, fixtures, marble, tile, and ceramics. Italian kitchen designer Studio Snaidero sparked lots of conversation about its colorful, modern displays. People also lingered in the showroom of Rutt Custom Cabinetry, whose beautiful woods inspired comments like, “Wouldn’t you just love to cook dinner in this kitchen every day?” Foremost Appliances featured seemingly endless rows of cutting-edge wall ovens, ranges, refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers from high-end brands like Wolf, Sub-Zero, and Viking.

A modern, colorful kitchen by Studio Snaidero.

The Design House: The Spring 2007 Design House also was open—and packed. Eight interior designers are featured in this year’s “house,” with rooms decorated in themes of an oceanfront summer retreat. My favorite was Kelley Proxmire’s elegant master bedroom. Decorated in predominantly black and white, the room felt sophisticated but still livable—a trait many of the others lacked.

The Food: My favorites were Walter Scheib’s soup with grilled shrimp and red-curried sweet potato, Citronelle’s chilled eggplant gazpacho, and Willow’s fried crab spring roll with avocado and cilantro puree.

More pictures below.