The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

Every Friday, we fill you in on what’s been happening in the local restaurant world.

Judges were announced for the semi-finals of the Bocuse d’Or competition—kind of like the culinary Olympics—coming to Orlando, Florida this September. No local chefs are competiting on the American team (among the contestants are a French Laundry sous chef, the chef de cuisine at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, and Top Chef winner Hung Huynh), but Patrick O’Connell of the Inn at Little Washington and Laurent Tourondel of the BLT empire will join the list of judges. After the semi-final, the qualifying chef team will compete in the international competition, held in Lyon, France.

Metrocurean has the details on the Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s first DC project, Birch & Barley (1337 14th St., NW) and its beer-focused upstairs bar, Churchkey. Frank Morales from NRG’s Rustico will be in charge of the food (wood-fired pizzas, crab mac' and cheese), and beer guru Greg Engert will put together a list of over 550 beers.

The Jockey Club, which was the clubby dining spot of choice for the old-guard social set until it closed in 2001, is coming back. The Westin that houses it is changing its name back to the original Fairfax Hotel, and they’ll attempt to recreate the restaurant’s worn-in leather-and-wood, banquetted decor. Expect to travel back in time with dishes such as steak Diane and “Nancy Reagan chicken salad.” Nathans owner Carol Joynt, who was a regular at the Jockey Club, is skeptical: “I think it’d be like trying to rebirth Marilyn Monroe.” 

Lest you needed any more proof: Julia Child was one of the coolest people ever.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.