Chiko chef and co-owner Scott Drewno has been prepping for crab week since launching the crustacean-filled event last year at “fine-casual” restaurant’s Capitol Hill flagship.
“It’s like Shark Week, only better,” says Drewno, who wants to dispel the notion that crab feasts are only for those 90-degree dog days. “As the season gets cooler, the crabs get fatter, and the flavor is really amazing as it gets later. We always associate crabs with summertime … so the original idea was we wanted to crack some crabs later in the season.”
The festival kicks off on Monday, October 14, wrapping up with back to back brunches on Saturday and Sunday. All nightly crab specials are made with Maryland blues, including crab rangoons, crab fried rice, and Singapore-style chili crab. Other dishes take cues from Korean flavors (the team is also behind Anju) like Maryland crab juk, a Korean rice porridge with a soft cooked egg. For brunch, the kitchen will steam live crabs for cracking at the table, seasoning them with Chinese and Korean flavors in lieu of the traditional Old Bay.
“For me it’s really rewarding to shine a light on the Bay,” says Drewno.