The food portions and products of all variations were plentiful for those that LOVE food! Opening day started with chef demos from the one and only Guy Fieri, Carla Hall, Sherry Yard and a few others. Jose Andres hit the stage on the second day with a few cooking demos and a book signing. The first highlight of my day was the BBQ Bash in the Grand Tasting Pavilion. The moment I walked in the event space, the savory aroma soared through the air. Local restaurants such as Hill Country BBQ, Public House, the BBQ Bus and more represented the DMV. Also, features from North Carolina and Southern Virginia too. I must say that it was disheartening to discover that not one BBQ representative had a piece of bread of any kind from any of the vendors I sampled. Perhaps those were the requirements of the competition, but that was wayyyyyyy too much meat for one person to consume for a tasting! I needed bread to soak up the abundance of BBQ I was eating. Don’t get me wrong it was absolutely amazing, but a chick need some substance!
White Swan Bar-B-Q & Fried Chicken had the best spot in the house if you came in to the main entrance of the battle. The southern hospitality from the staff at the event and smiles as you approached them were spot on! Their pulled pork with coleslaw was very good! The pork was juicy, flavorful, and tangy from the coleslaw that’s placed neatly on top! The twang from the coleslaw and the saltiness from the pork was a great combo.
After having cotton mouth, I made my way to the Beer, Wine & Spirits Garden!! Libations make my heart smile . . . lol! Major shout out to the ladies at BYOC (Bring Your Own Cocktail). The presentation and tastings were refreshing. Divine spirits paired with natural juices; this treat is great for any “BYOC” occasion. You can toss it in your purse on the go, great for events, or a gift to your girlfriends, family members, male comrades or the like. Day 1 I purchased the C-Suite Margarita and on day 2, I came back and purchased the District Mule.
Honestly, I couldn’t eat anymore . . . I was stuffed! But you know what? There is always tomorrow! Day 2 what’s good?! I surely wish I could enjoy the BBQ Bash again, but this time I was prepared to give my undivided attention to the vendors at the show. Or better yet, day 2 was a day of tasting and purchasing. Before walking into the hall, I had the pleasure of running into the beautiful Carla P. Hall. You may have seen as a competitor on Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef: All Stars”, and she’s a co-host of ABC’s Emmy award winning, popular lifestyle series “The Chew.” OOOOO . . . MMMMM . . . GGGG!!! Hey Carla! I was beyond thrilled to meet her and I came at the perfect time to snap a photo!
Now that my excitement is over, I can carry on about my day. I took my time enjoying the vendors and mouthwatering samples from Turkey Chili by Healthy Fresh Meals, Jerk Chicken Sausage with Jerk Sauce by Island Bwoy Cuisine, Vodka from Misc. Distillery, Smoked Salmon spread from Wild For Salmon and Artisan Jams & Jellies from Yo Momma’s Style.
As a buffalo sauce lover, I had to try the Buffalo Chicken Jerky from The Jerky Hut. Sounds weird right . . . but it taste just like Buffalo Chicken! It was sooooo good! Scary to know that it’s jerky!
Overly satisfied and in much need of a senior nap, my wonderful time is coming to an end. Major kudos to my girl & Charm City neighbor Cakes by Cynthia. Her cakes were soft, buttery, and melt in your mouth good! Such a kind spirit with a smile that will light up any room. Also, supporting the local favorite and DC staple Capital City Mambo Sauce. Delectable boozy sweets from Honey Cakes Desserts were a great nightcap to end the evening. I eventually made my way back to the Beer, Wine, & Spirits Garden on my way out the door. Sipping beverages of all kinds from beers, wines, vodkas, whiskeys and bourbon spirits. Sip, rinse, repeat! As I made my rounds, I saw that there was one vendor who I deemed to be out of place, however we were in the “spirits” section and her infused cupcakes and treats surely packed a big punch! The Tennessee Whiskey Fried Chicken cupcake was alllllll of that and the whiskey was damn good!
All in all, I had a magnificent time. Made new connections and went home happy. There is something for everyone at this two – day extravaganza discovering new foods, ideas, and having a good time with foodies just like you and me. I’m looking forward to next year and hopefully you will too!
Metro Cooking DC
The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show