SpiritOfTheFestival

And The Winners Are…

In Festival Highlights on September 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm

…the 350+ event attendees who enjoyed 13 wonderful tomato-inspired dishes on Friday, September 24th!

Brendan Dorr, Lisa Shapiro, Ellen Kassoff Gray, Maria Alvarez & the winning "Maria & Simo's Bloody Mary"

From savory to sweet, the first annual Mid-Atlantic Red Fruit Festival recipe contest finalists’ dishes showcased a variety of creative menu items.  The dishes were prepared and presented by 13 of the area’s top chefs in a festival setting at the International Trade Center & Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, DC.

The winning cocktail concoction featured jalapeno, horseradish, Old Bay, a citrus vodka and fleur de sel plus cucumber and lime ice cubes.

Taking home top prize was  Maria Alvarez for her “Maria & Simo’s Bloody Mary” recipe which was presented by Brendan Dorr of B&O American Brasserie. Runners up included Sandy Ibrahim and Maggie Sklar‘s Savory Sundried Tomato Goat Cheesecake prepared by Chef Michelle Poteaux; and, Jessica Sidman‘s Green Tomato Marbled Goat Cheese Ice Cream prepared by Chef Mike Lund.

Dorr & Alvarez

Maggie Sklar, Chef Michelle Poteaux, Sandy Ibrahim and their Savory Sundried Tomato Goat Cheesecake

Jessica Sidman, Chef Mike Lund, Ellen Kassoff Gray, Jeremy Seeley

Interpreting a home cook’s recipe and preparing it for hundreds of guests to taste presented a unique opportunity for the chefs to make inspired adjustments and enhancements to some of the recipes. As festival attendees approached each station, chefs discussed the key ingredients and preparation techniques while finalists proudly stood by and shared stories about their dish’s origin.


Reviewing and awarding points for taste, presentation, style and originality was a panel of seven distinguished judges.  The event was emceed by festival organizer Ellen Kassoff Gray and Lisa Shapiro (Dining In DC), hosted by the International Wine & Food Festival and in support of Common Good City Farm.

Looking ahead to next year’s festival, Kasoff Gray will soon make a formal announcement about the chosen “red fruit” soon along with recipe contest information, deadlines and details. Many thanks to all of the guests who were part of the first Mid-Atlantic Red Fruit Festival!

Additional event pictures featuring many of the chefs, finalists and tantalizing tomato dishes:

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