Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Behind the Curtain and Into the Kitchen

 It starts as quiet.  Laughter as jokes and rips are thrown at one another, and a relative calm permeates throughout the kitchen.  And then in a 7-minute period seven tables have been seated and have put in their orders.  Ranging from 2 tops to a group of 22, the kitchen and the people within it are struck by a lightning bolt of energy as the game begins.

 It can be described as a dance, a well-oiled machine, or a bit of a military march, but no matter what it is a team.  Everyone has his or her part and if one person doesn’t make it, then nobody does.  As one person opens an oven door, another person instinctively moves forward; one-person turns, and another moves in to the plate.  It is all fluid motions that come from a well-trained team.  One on the grill, another on vegetables, another on pasta, soup, and hot appetizers, and yet another who runs the tickets, plates the dishes, and makes sure that the other people are on point.  And there is still one person on salads and cheese, desserts, dishwashers, and food runners.

And lastly, there is of course Chef.  He stands over everyone, giving the orders, keeping track of the flow, and coming when help is needed.  Consistently checking that the plate is right: the temperature, the garnish, and the flavor.  This is one of the many reasons that Equinox remains on the top of the DC restaurant list; when the chef is in the kitchen the message of the restaurant remains clear and constant.

The heat is rising in the kitchen and the tickets are still whirring out.  Though the since of urgency has increased, there is still a clear and calm line of attack as everyone continues to move through the orders.  It is a symphony of clangs, sizzling protein, towels wiping plates, water hitting cutlery for washing, and footsteps moving through this “dance”.  It has a hypnotizing effect on me as I try to put together how it all works.  

Finally we have seemed to meet an impasse and the calm sets in again.  Jokes and laughter begin to run through the kitchen as people tease each other on how that was just too easy.  It appears all is calm again, until tomorrow.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tomatoes unite DC food bloggers

It was a great night over at the restaurant as we hosted DC food & garden bloggers for a meet and greet happy hour in honor of the upcoming Mid Atlantic Red Fruit Festival.  The excitement as this event has been coming together has been making all of us giddy, but seeing so many others coming on board and wanting to be a part of this first time event has been taking the "excitement" to a whole new level.  Already we hear people discussing recipes they are thinking of submitting or even trying to pick one out the many already in their arsenal.  And the mix of blogs was great with long time bloggers, such as The Arugula Files and Mango & Tomato, and newer blogs, like One Vanilla Bean, coming together and proving that DC is a forced to be reckoned with in the culinary world.  

But the Mid Atlantic Red Fruit Festival is not just for bloggers, it is for anyone who is a cooking/tomato growing enthusiast.  And I encourage anyone who has a great tomato recipe to please submit.  The more the merrier, as they say.  Or if you would just like to come to the festival and check out the show, that is great as well.  It is going to be an amazing event with great food, chefs, and wine.  So please go to the site for further details on recipe rules and festival event info:

You can also like us on Facebook, follow the twitter, or sign up for a messenger pigeon to come to you daily with updates. Okay maybe not the pigeon, but every other form of technology is available for you to stay up to date on all things tomato. 


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

September 24th: The Mid-Atlantic Red Fruit Festival

I am sending out some serious smoke signals over here to all my fellow lovers of food and home-cook  aficionados as there is an upcoming event that is going to be the talk of the town.  The 1st annual Mid-Atlantic Red Fruit Festival!!!!  But what does this oh so fancy title mean, you ask.  Well the Red-Fruit Festival is a celebration of our current local harvest with a specific emphasis to our lovely, seedy, and blushing produce.  Why?  More like why not!!

This is not the time to delve into minutiae, unless it involves wondering what red fruit is being featured and what will the festival entail....well I am so glad you asked!  This year's red fruit is the tomato and the festival is inviting all creative homes cooks, bloggers, and gardeners to send in their best recipes.  A panel of judges will pick a group of finalists who will be cooking live at the festival on September 24th at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center.  If you are interested please follow the link and read more of the details and rules about recipe entry:

The festival is open to everyone to watch, taste, and be merry as we celebrate this ever versatile fruit and those who have made it into the finals.  So please check out the site for details on tickets and times.  This is going to be a wonderful event and part of the proceeds will be going to Seed for Schools which "collects and redistributes seeds to schools and community gardens in our region that have a demonstrated commitment to engaging children with life science and nutrition". So whether you would like to be competitor or just an avid watcher, the festival is going to be a great event to celebrate DC and all that this season has to offer.  

You can also "like" us on Facebook and receive up to date info on what is happening with the festival:


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

FAIR Fund Garden Bling

Just in my last post I wrote about the charitable doings of Todd & Ellen, and now the Washington Social Diary is talking about it as well!  I would like to think they got the idea from me, but I think that can just be labelled wishful thinking. :) 

If you follow this link,, and scroll down past the Housewives of DC (please!) you will see a very nice article about the recent FAIR Fund charity dinner that the Gray's hosted in their home.