Cochon 555, May 31
Through this event, the organizers hope to raise the profile of heritage pigs. Five area chefs have been given a heritage pig and the challenge to prepare every inch of the beast in different ways for Sunday night's gala. Mio's chef Nicholas Stefanelli estimates that he'll spend around 18 hours working on his hog this week. The chef was loathe to divulge any details of his menu, but expect some slow-roasted preparations and some cured treatments to be among his arsenal. The other chefs are RJ Cooper of Vidalia, Brian McBride of Blue Duck Tavern, Jamie Leeds of Commonwealth Gastropub and John Manolatos of Cashion's Eat Place. A team of 20 judges will evaluate the dishes, but attendees are also asked to pick a favorite. The winner of the competition will be named the Prince of Porc. (Washington Post readers can purchase tickets for $80 -- a discount off the $125 price -- by using this link.)
Chef's Best Dinner & Auction, June 1
Fifty-four chefs, including Massimo Fabbri of Ristorante Tosca, Dani Arana of Taberna del Alabardero and Miles Vaden of Eventide, will provide tastes while you mingle inside the Hilton Washington. At this annual event, now in its 19th year, a must-visit table is that of Patrick O'Connell, chef at the famed Inn at Little Washington. O'Connell is known to create a theme for his table; past year's have included "Gilligan's Island" and "Pee-wee's Playhouse." The $225 ticket raises money for Food & Friends, which creates specialized meals for patients with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other diseases.
Brainfood Grill-Off, June 11
This "Iron Chef"-style event gets nine teams -- made up of five average-joe grillers, a local chef and a graduate of one of Brainfood's cooking programs for high school students -- to square off over open flames. Chefs like Daniel Giusti from 1789, Shannon Overmiller from The Majestic and Jonathan Krinn and Jon Mathieson from Inox will be participating, but this year's star may very well be Granville Moore's Teddy Folkman, who graces the small screen in this season of "The Next Food Network Star." Folkman will also be donating his services to the event's live auction; win this prize and he'll cook at your house. Guests to the event drink from an open bar and nibble on catered food and dishes from the grills. Tickets are $75, and all of the proceeds from ticket sales go to Brainfood's programs, which teach area high school students life skills like time management, leadership and responsibility by teaching them how to cook. (Got an extra three grand lying around? The competition has space for one more team of amateur grillers. These teams are most often underwritten by area companies.)
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