Our Events

Photos From Washingtonian’s Talk & Taste, Sponsored by Chubb

Washingtonian teamed up with Chubb for an evening of dining and conversation at the inaugural installment of Talk & Taste. Attendees arrived to sample bites of local restaurant’s most signature dishes while engaging in a one-on-one conversation about the restaurant scene moderated by Washingtonian’s own Anna Spiegel.

On Thursday, November 7, attendees convened at the Gathering Place in Clarksville, MD for a conversation with restaurateurs and siblings Ken and Aki Ballogdajan of Kenaki Sushi. Guest listened about life in a restaurant family, and how doing so gave them an appreciation for the things around them. 

“We have this conversation a lot,” said Aki Ballogdajan. “Most importantly how it taught us to be resourceful problem solvers. Something we’ve taken to heart in our everyday lives.”  Ken Bollogajan reflected back about his first job in the kitchen. “When I was young, I was a dishwasher. I wanted something and my dad made we work for it.” He went on to explain how this initial taste of the restaurant scene helped drive his culinary passions.

On Wednesday, November 13, attendees in Arlington, VA gathered at The View of DC to hear Montgomery County local Sahil Rahman of Rasa talk about being the new fast casual restaurant on the scene. Rahman explains, ”When I was growing up, most people had a simplistic idea of what Indian food is…It’s incredible to see this huge evolution, in particular Indian cuisine in DC, where the West is engaging on what the East has to offer.” 

Chubb’s VP & Manager of Personal Lines, Donna Vail, opened up both evenings with welcome remarks that invited attendees to raise their expectations of traditional insurance companies while learning more about what Chubb could provide.

Thank you to the local restaurants who serving up unique bites:

Columbia, MD: The Ale House, Cupcakes & Creamery, Cazbar, Hudson Coastal, Kenaki Sushi
Arlington, VA: Barley Mac, American Eats Tavern, Bayou Bakery Coffee Bar & Eatery, Rasa, Ambar Clarendon and Ice Cream Jubilee.

Thank you to our sponsor to Chubb for making these events possible.

Thank you to our partner: Bialek’s Music

Photography by Evy Mages and Kristoffer Tripplaar

Donna Vail, Ryan Grant, Judi Godbey, Joanna McNamara, Scott Holbrook and Debra Sawicki
Anna Spiegel and Sahil Rahman of Rasa
Ice Cream Jubilee scooped up delicious, unique flavors for guest to sample.
Aki Ballogdajan, Donna Vail and Ken Ballogdajan of Kenaki Sushi
Aisha Masood and Akbar Masood
Attendees had the chance to try out Rasa’s fast-casual Indian bowls, soon available at their new Mt. Vernon Triangle and Crystal City locations
Jayesh Jariwala and Manisha Jariwala
Anna Spiegel, Aki Ballogdajan and Ken Ballogdajan talking about living in a restaurant family.
Jessica Hunter, Leigh Brent and Bennett Blue
Barley Mac serving up a homemade blue hubbard squash ravioli, mushroom cream, crispy prosciutto, micro arugula and herb salad with shaved white truffle
Tanya Boone, Nancy Hammond, Peter Hammond, Donna Vail and Bob Callahan
Saerone Bae and Lauren Helfrich
One of the newer restaurants on the scene, Anafre, served White Fish Ceviche
DJ Aarock, from Bialek’s Music
American Eats Tavern provided a shrimp and grapefruit cocktail, pimento cheese on toast with Martha Washington chocolate cake for dessert
Guests attentively listening to a one-on-one conversation about the local restaurant scene
Sahil Rahman explaining how the food scene in DC helped change the stereotypical way of thinking about particular cultures


Travis Wolfe
Manager, Events & Marketing