The Creative List: Culinary Arts

by Editorial

Here are some of our top culinary professionals. But we can’t list everyone. Who do you think should be here? Paste your comments below.

Spike Mendelsohn

Spike Mendelsohn

Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill serves beef with a conscience without any fuss.

The formula that has made his quick-serve handmade burger operation such a success – yes, Michelle Obama has been there – is part whimsy, part flair. “Farm-raised” grilled chicken breast, for instance, can be substituted for red meat. His Prez Obama Burger (applewood bacon, red onion marmalade, horseradish mayo, and Roquefort), one of nine on the menu at 303 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, won a recent invitation-only “Top Chef” competition. The feat spurred on this C.I.A.-trained under-30 entrepreneur to plan expansion around town and to soon open a New York-style pizza kitchen next door, complete with old-fashioned soda fountain and the promise of curbside service, under a new “We the People” brand. – By Ann Geracimos

The recent partnership between famed Spanish chef Jose Andres and Ridgwells, the old guard Washington caterer, has given social folk a brave new world of creative canapés, including foie gras wrapped in cotton candy.

Chef Cathal Armstrong and his wife Meshelle have revolutionized Old Town Alexandria dining by focusing on the finest local ingredients at Restaurant Eve, Eamonn’s A Dublin Chipper, PX, and Majestic Café.

No wonder local restaurant folks voted Vermillion’s executive chef, Anthony Chittum, this year’s “Rising Culinary Star.” His imaginative, innovative, and delicious seasonal cuisine wins raves from fellow chefs and non-industry patron alike.

Members of the DC Craft Bartenders Guild gather at bars to discuss spirits and the secrets of mixology. Sibling founders Derek and Tom Brown plan to open their own cocktail lounge soon.

Dolcezza owners Robb Duncan and Violeta Edelman use ingredients from local farms to create the best-tasting and most creative gelatos in Georgetown or any town. (Flavors include lemon opal basil, ginger cardamom pistachio, and crookneck pumpkin.)

Tiffany MacIsaac, pastry chef at the new Birch & Barley near Logan Circle, puts a highly individual stamp on her exotic beer pretzel rolls, whiskey vanilla milkshakes, and house-made “Hostess” cupcakes.

Foodies far and wide depend on Amanda McClements’ Metrocurean website for trenchant scoops on the local restaurant scene.

Rest assured that Andy Myers, CityZen’s talented master sommelier, will find just the right wine to pair with your food, whether its a $500 Chateau Talbot or a “quirky” bottle from an “odd locale.” He’s also a drummer in a punk rock band.

Proof’s irreverent wine director, Sebastian Zutant dresses the part and uses colorful adjectives to describe wine to his many highly discriminating patrons.

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