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Taste of Prince George’s Wine and Food Festival

One of the most highly anticipated festivals in the DMV showed itself on one of the hottest days of this summer. On Saturday, August 13, 2016 ‘Taste of Prince George’s Food & Wine Festival’ came back for another year at Six Flags. The record setting temperatures did not deter festival goers from enjoying a day of music and food. With the stage and vendors set up right next to the water park, it felt like a huge pool party!

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The real MVPs of the day goes to the food vendors and chefs who endured the heat to prepare fresh dishes. Many local restaurants and chefs use this festival as an opportunity to increase their brand visibility as well as create new customers. You2016-08-13-22-53-40-420 could find pretty much anything you desired to eat, from fresh sushi to BBQ to fine dining. Let me highlight a couple of my favorites of the day.

To beat the heat, my favorite treat was the peach iced tea, sweet and cold, it was the perfect pair to all dishes. Freshly brewed by Cake Wich Craft, this tea was certainly not all they had to offer. If you looked around the festival, the common theme seemed to be everyone walking around with a parfait-like desserts. Once I was able to pin down where these decadent desserts were located, it was easy to see why they were so widespread. Ice cream cupcakes, need I say more? Well, I will- there were seven different cupcake flavors and three ice cream flavors, limitless possibilities. 

Chef Ryan Wallen from Cori’s Modern Kitchen + Bar was impressive with fresh crab cakes and lamb shanks. When you consider festivals, these dishes aren’t what you would typically expect to dig into, but it served as a delicious change to the run of the mill festival fare options. Chef Wallen’s attention to detail from how he managed the small cooking space to plating the dishes really paid off, with the food being fresh and delightful.

My final favorite came from Chadele’s Café & Catering, their booth had great energy and great service. I chowed down on some crab fried rice and regrettably looked at my empty bowl, wishing I had more. They also cooked up two types of chicken wings; root beer and lemon pepper, sounds a bit odd perhaps, but it worked!

Food vendors weren’t the only ones showing off their culinary skills, across the park were food and drink demos given by celebrity chefs like Chef Jumoke Jackson and Chef Padua Player. If you are a fan of any type of competition cooking shows like I am, you had the opportunity to flex your judging talents at the Collegiate Culinary Competition as well as the Sawce Lab Competition.

We all love food, (right?) and Taste of Prince George’s Food & Wine Festival did a great job of allowing food and wine lovers a closer look at the culinary arts. See you next year!

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Capital Solstice: An Epic Experience for an Epic Cause

DC has no shortage of events, from casual happy hours to presidential-like dinners and everything in between. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to look for in an event that stands out from the rest. Well, here it is! This Friday, August 5 there will be a black tie dinner like no other, TTC Pop Ups will be holding their Capital Solstice Gala. For seven hours, guests donned in their classiest black tie apparel will have a full experience of dining, libations, entertainment, fashion and philanthropy. All under one roof. Sounds impossible? Maybe so, but then you meet the man behind the plan and it all makes sense.

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Chef Tim Thompson

Meet Timothy Thompson. When you first meet the 34 year old chef and entrepreneur, you’ll notice his relaxed and confident disposition. Once we sat down and started talking about TTC (Timothy Thompson Concepts) you can feel his infectious enthusiasm in what he does. Thompson is passionate about every area of his events and makes it clear that he and TTC are “food-focused” and does not do any event without a cause. Philanthropic by nature, Thompson knows the struggles of life all too well. Born in California, Thompson lived in foster care until the age of 6 before moving to New York. There, he found a mentor in Frank M., a loyal and strong Italian man that Thompson speaks of dotingly. With kids of his own, that Thompson still calls his siblings, Frank M. always referred to Thompson as his son, and Thompson was quickly immersed into the family business of restaurants. Frank M. owned delis as well as Mama Romano, (which we know today as Macaroni Grill) and started Thompson from the ground up. By the age of 14, Thompson was making his mark in the kitchen. Creating dishes and presenting them to family and friends that would visit the restaurant, Thompson was able to hone in on his skills and take honest advice and critiques to become stronger at his craft.

Fast forward to today, and Thompson is a fervent and motivated business owner with a purpose. His philanthropic passion for young men and boys comes from his personal journey. Enter TTC Pop-ups, “I want people to have an entire experience that makes them want to never miss another,” says Thompson, “each event we have we partner with a local charity that we know is making a difference in the community.”

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Becky Lee, Founder Becky’s Fund

This Friday’s Capital Solstice will partner with Becky’s Fund, an Intimate Partner Violence prevention and education organization started by Becky Lee in 2006, a domestic violence attorney, and 2nd runner up on the popular show, Survivor: Cook Islands. “When people think of domestic violence, they think of how the media has glamorized and made it sexy,” says Lee, “there is a lot of victim blaming, and sadly it is women judging other women.” Becky’s Fund starts preventative education to both girls and boys (through Men of Code) starting at age 9. They teach boundaries, rights, and the different types of intimate partner abuse. Becky’s Fund provides the entire gamut for survivors from safe extraction of their toxic environment to lawyers and therapists, all while understanding the stages and issues victim(s) might face.

With the Capital Solstice approaching, attendees have plenty to look forward to; a 9 course plated dining experience, crafted libations and breathtaking décor.  Guy Lambert WPGC’s ubiquitous radio personality will be the evenings MC, a high end fashion show from Project Runways talented Korto Momolu, and a musical set from Grammy Award nominated crooner, Raheem DeVaughn to round out the evening. It wouldn’t be a true DC event without an after party with music to dance to from DJ Quicksilva and DJ Schemes. A special production will be shown to educate attendees about Becky’s Fund, “We want everyone to have a great time, but it is going to get real so everyone doesn’t forget why they came and who they are helping, that’s what we want!” Explains Thompson.

One thing is very palpable, the key ingredient that makes TTC Pop-ups thrive is passion.

 

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5 Great Happy Hours

Written By Samentha Moore

Washington, DC is the mecca of Happy Hour. In this fast paced city, sometimes grabbing a drink to catch up with friends, unwind, tie up loose ends with coworkers, or meet someone new is the only leisure time we can squeeze in. Finding a reason to enjoy a good libation isn’t the problem, it’s finding a worthy spot that’s daunting! No fear loves, I’m here to help. Here is a head start to planning your next memories with these 5 awesomely different happy hours!

Santé!

Teddy & The Bully Bar 1200 19th Street Northwest, Washington DC, 20036

This distinctive restaurant pays homage to American President, Theodore Roosevelt. The attention to detail is evident in the menu, and the decor is both charming and educational. An extensive drink menu includes anything from the 26 day barrel aged cocktails, to beer and wine. Sheeny’s Ricky—just one of their handcrafted drinks, holds the esteemed title of “The District’s Official Cocktail” by The Food Network.

Want a sip? Head over to their happy hour every day of the week from 3pm to 7pm in the bar area and enjoy drinks ranging from $5 to $9.

Coco Sala 929 F Street Northwest, Washington DC, 20004

If there is anything you should know about me, I LOVE chocolate. Coco Sala is a restaurant with an adjoining chocolate boutique where they make homemade chocolates. Yes, you read that right! Their menu masters implementing chocolate into many dishes and cocktails.

Their “Chocolate & Bubbles” happy hour is 4pm to 7pm Monday thru Friday and 3:30pm to 5pm Saturday in their sultry bar area.

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Provision 14 2100 14th Street Northwest, Washington DC, 20009

When people ask me what I prefer to drink, they are always surprised to hear me say whisky. I love a clean drink with not too much going on and you can certainly find that here.

Head over to Provisions’ bar or patio and indulge in a pre-Prohibition drink, wine, beer or cocktail, Monday thru Thursday 5pm to 9pm and Friday 5pm to 8pm.


Stan’s Restaurant 1029 Vermont Avenue, Northwest, Washington DC, 20005

So, I cheated a little, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. There is no happy hour here, and for good reason—Stan’s has some of the best drinks in town! When I order my gin and tonic, I get 12 ounces of my gin and about 6 ounces of my tonic for $12, which is about 2 drinks in one! The after work atmosphere and dim setting makes every night feel like a Friday night!

A photo posted by Christina (@herfernweh) on


City Perch 11830 Grand Park Avenue, North Bethesda, MD 20852

If you find yourself in the Bethesda area, make your way to City Perch. If nothing, the delicious drinks and small bites are worth it! Their happy hour is from 4pm to 7pm in their bar and lounge area. This area is especially amazing in the spring and summer when they open up the back wall of the restaurant, leading to their outside patio.

If you decide to grab a small bite with your drink, you cannot go wrong with the loaded baked potato croquettes, trust me!

A photo posted by City Perch (@city_perch) on

Bonus: Blue Duck Tavern 24 & M Street Northwest, Washington DC, 20037

I love a curveball, and here it is. This happy hour is not your run of the mill happy hour. It is called “tea time”. This is the perfect place to take someone who is not too keen on the “bar” scene. If you come to Blue Duck from 2:30pm to 5pm, you can sip on your favorite teas, or be daring and try something rare. Their tea game is like no other, traveling around the world obtaining some of the most unique and expensive teas. Munch on some of the amazing charcuterie along with your tea to make it a full experience!

If tea isn’t your thing, not to worry, Blue Duck has an extensive wine and drink menu.

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