The Week in Food Events: Lady Chefs at the Ritz and Disney-Inspired Dishes

Plus: a Valentine’s-themed cocktail party and DC Meat-Free Week.

Rosa Mexicano’s Disney-fied dessert.

This week you can sample Disney-inspired dishes at GraffiatoFiolaRosa MexicanoMeatballs, and Ping Pong Dim Sum. The five Penn Quarter chefs behind these eateries are competing to concoct the “ultimate Disney Dish” in preparation for Disney On Ice: 100 Years of Magic, opening at the Verizon Center on February 15. Minnie, Mickey, and some human judges will ultimately decide the winner, but you can try all of the lunchtime-only selections through February 15 and choose for yourself. Part of the proceeds go to DC Central Kitchen.

If you indulged in last week’s DC Meat Week, repent with DC Meat-Free Week, today through February 13. The lineup of vegetable-y fun includes some serious deals H Street on Tuesday; a vegan cocktail demo and book signing from The Tipsy Vegan author John Schlimm on Thursday; and a raw-food tasting dinner at Elizabeth’s Gone Raw on Friday.

Continue your feel-good noshing this Tuesday at the seventh annual “Turn Up the Heat: A Celebration of Women Chefs” gala, which aims to raise awareness and funds for ovarian cancer. Held at the DC Ritz-Carlton, the event features talented toques such as Amy Brandwein (Casa Nonna), Kate Jansen and Tracy O’Grady (Willow), Susan Soorenko (Moorenko’s Ice Cream), and many more. Tickets start at $250, and can be purchased online.

The International Wine and Food Festival hits town this week at the Ronald Reagan Building, and more than 100 wineries will be pouring their wares at the weekend-long grand tasting ($85 to $90). If you’re booked Saturday and Sunday, other events include a Valentine’s-themed cocktail party on Friday ($55 per person from 7 to 10) with sips from Rachel Sergi of Jack Rose Dining SaloonBen Wiley from America Eats Tavern, and others.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, it’s coming up soon! Yes, it’s a Hallmark holiday, but if you’re in a relationship, ignore it at your peril. Check out our handy guide to romantic restaurants, casual places to go for not-quite couples, where to snag gourmet chocolates, and other helpful info.

In end-of-the-weekend fun, you can become well versed in “Shit Bartenders Say” after taking a bitters class at the Last Exit at 5:30. Blogger Marshall Fawley from Scofflaw’s Den will lead the bitters 101 session, covering how they’re made, the history, and how to use them. Never tasted bitters? Remedy that.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.