Adventures in Being a Foodie
I visited the new Washington Convention Center near Chinatown on Saturday for the first time.
I went (very excited) to see my favorite Food Network personality, Giada De Laurentiis, demonstrate at the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show.
Metro certainly has its faults: not nearly enough stations, trains, or hours are among some of my top grievances. Reaching the convention center via metro is effortless though because the Mt. Vernon Square/7th St station exit is also the entrance to the convention center. Tourists should be warned that not many of DC’s metro stops are as convenient.
I used Groupon DC to score a discounted ticket for $25 that ordinarily would have cost $55. Usually the daily Groupon emails annoy me – they tempt with the hope of a fabulous deal and instead offer Glenn Gary’s Parlor Magic Show. Quite the opposite, this one was a great deal evidenced by the 200-meter deep will-call line for Groupon members to pick up their tickets that morning.
The ticket also included admission to the exhibit floor, which was crammed with tastings, workshops, and more demonstrations.
Ran into Top Chef’s Carla Hall
Also, Top Chef’s Richard Blais
Richard demonstrated how to prepare a chicken entrée. He responded to an audience question about why he always looks so tired with, “because I am tired!”
Other Food Network chefs presenting later in the day included Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, Tyler Florence and the Neelys. Guy’s grand entrance resembled a Nascar-themed rock concert, with lights flickering, tons of yelling and music, fan signs waving, and him throwing things(beer cans?) into the crowd.
Giada.was.so.cute. I like her shows and recipes the best of all the television chefs out there. She demonstrated how to prepare pork loin, butternut squash rigatoni, and an espresso mascarpone dessert, all the while answering audience questions. Someone asked for her recommendation of a pasta brand that most closely mirrors authentic Italian pasta. In case you didn’t know, Giada is the spokesperson for the Barilla brand of products. She cringed and hesitated, eventually saying that Barilla is nice even though it’s produced in the U.S., but that Italian imported pasta is ideal. So funny.
I saw an ad last year for a similar type of trade show in New York City featuring several Food Network stars, including Giada. Tickets were unreasonably expensive to merit a special visit to the city, plus they sold out faster than I could make the purchasing decision. I was disappointed and wished DC could be considered for more celebrity events. Maybe less population density – lending itself to an increased chance of getting tickets to your favorite show – is one of the pros for living in DC rather than NYC. Or maybe it’s a veiled con? Convince me, DC.
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