Some people get excited about the Final Four of college basketball. Many here in DC are happy about the Cherry Blossom Festival and the arrival of spring. I'm hyped for the finale of Top Chef All-Stars. Sure, it's a tv show; it's pre-recorded; it's reality drama. I get it... but, it's FOOD! It's a cooking competition, and that to me is worthy of figuring out the record procedure on the ol' VCR. Haha, just kidding - the DVR was never on the chopping block for the Lenten list. Point is, though, if you know me, you know I have a fondness for what can be done with food. What's more, one of our favorite burgeoning DC chefs is competing for the top prize tonight. Mike Isabella successfully headed the kitchen at our sister restaurant Zaytinya, and he is currently setting up a new culinary enterprise of his own just three blocks to the east, to be known as "Graffiato". Washington eagerly anticipates his return - Top Chef or not - and I, for one, can't wait to try some of that gnocchi.
Now, I could be bitter; little known fact is that I have already competed against (and lost to) the Top Chef hopeful in a less widely publicized event known as "The Perfect Burger" competition held a few years back at Cafe Atlantico. Yes, I represented Jaleo DC with my burger, and I put it up against the creations of chefs from the other Jaleos, Oyamel, Zaytinya, Cafe Atlantico, and Minibar. PS - I AM NOT A CHEF. Now had I thought to use Kobe beef, gold dusted bacon, and caviar as Minibar did, I may have won the day. However, Mike and his burger took home the prize. I'm not bitter. I could have executed better, but whatever. In the trials I had a pretty damn good burger. (Don made the buns.) I'll make it for you sometime.
In any case, good luck Mike. We'll be rooting for you!