Sips & Suppers 2015

Sips & Suppers is an annual fundraising event in Washington, DC held to raise money for DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table. Both organizations have missions to eliminate hunger and poverty in Washington, DC, especially for children and families.

We love this event where various generous folks open their homes to guests and to well-known chefs who come in from all over the country to cook the meals. This year, we attended a dinner prepared by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse ( Alice pioneered what is known now as California cuisine, with its emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. As you can imagine, the dinner was a delectable meal that filled the senses.

We started out with various hors d’oeuvres, including slices of bread toasted in the hosts’ fireplace and topped with cheese or a tapenade, raw oysters, and Jose Andres’s Iberico ham.

The first official course was a saffron chicken consommé with herbs. The consommé was incredibly flavorful and the herbs nicely balanced out the richness of the broth with their astringency.

Next up was a shellfish salad with black truffle, preserved lemon, and garden lettuces. The shellfish consisted of incredibly succulent lobster and scallops. Now, anything topped with black truffle is bound to be delicious, but the freshness of the seafood made the salad even more special.

The entrée was Jamison Farm rack of lamb served with Moroccan spices, couscous, and roasted heirloom carrots. Alice and her staff had converted the hosts’ garden plot into a firepit to roast the rack of lamb. As a result, the lamb had a smoky flavor and a crust that was unbelievable.

The palate cleanser was a citrus and date salad. The date was so fresh and ripe that it tasted like candy.

Dessert was sweet semolina crêpes with honey ice cream. Alice brought the honey from Berkeley, and it had an incredibly delicate floral flavor. Yum!

The guests were also incredibly star-studded, even for Washington, DC. We had prominent journalists, former and current senior government officials, and leaders of other communities, all of whom were delightful and informal. The normal guests were a lot of fun to talk to, too!  (At least, I hope we were.)  🙂

In addition to Alice, the other chefs were David Tanis, Ignacios Mattos, Nico Monday, and Amelia Monday.

You can find out more about DC Central Kitchen ( and Martha’s Table ( at their websites.

Sips & Suppers 2014

We attended one of the Sips & Suppers that were hosted last night.  Sips & Suppers benefits Martha’s Table and D.C. Central Kitchen.  Chefs from across the country (and sometimes from around the world) cook meals in private homes to benefit the charities.

Our dinner was prepared by Scott Drewno of The Source and Peter Chang of Peter Chang (he has pop up restaurants throughout Virginia).  The theme of the dinner was Chinese New Year (which is actually on January 31 this year–the Chinese calendar is based on the lunar calendar so the date changes every year).  It will be the Year of the Horse.

We started the evening with a variety of hors d’oeuvres, most of them very spicy (a specialty of Peter’s).  Accompanying these was a 2005 Vilmart Coeur de Cuvee champagne.

The amouse bouche was a Chinese tea egg custard, consisting of a lapsang souchong tea-smoked egg served with caviar on top.  I am afraid that all I can show you is the empty egg shell because I ate all of it before I thought to take photos (this will be a recurring theme in this blog post).

tea-smoked egg with caviar (empty)

tea-smoked egg with caviar (empty)

The first official course was a quartet of Chinese New Year dumplings.  The crescent shape of the potsticker dumpling is a similar shape to the gold “coins” from the Yuan Dynasty and symbolizes prosperity.  Accompanying these dumplings was a 2007 Louis Latour Corton Charlemagne.

assorted dumplings

assorted dumplings

The second course was a Chinese-style steamed lobster.  Red (the color of the lobster) is the color of joy and happiness in Chinese culture.  The wine served with this course was a 100 point wine, the 1999 Chapoutier Ermitage Cuvee de l’Oree.

Chinese-style lobster

Chinese-style lobster

The third course was a dry aged New York strip accompanied with a spicy five vegetable stir fry.  The five vegetables represent the five blessings of the New Year (longevity, riches, peace, wisdom, and virtue).  You’ll have to take my word for it that the presentation was beautiful, as I was too busy eating the dish to take a photo.  The accompanying wine was a 2001 Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary Red.

The final course was a Chinese New Year tangerine cake and house made fortune cookie served with a banana custard with a blood orange glaze.  The pronunciation of the word “tangerine” in Chinese is similar to the pronunciation of the word “money” and symbolizes prosperity.  There were two dessert wines served with this—a 2009 Doisy Daene L’Extravagant and a 1927 Alvear Pedro Ximenez Solera.

tangerine cake, banana custard & fortune cookie

tangerine cake, banana custard & fortune cookie

The meal was a smashing start to what I hope is a fabulous New Year!