Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't pass the salt.

Celeb Chef Michel Richard Gets Salty Over Condiments

Celeb Chef Michel Richard Gets Salty Over Condiments

Renown chef Michel Richard dished on his condiment consternation last night.

The France-born owner of Citronelle was preparing a meal in the Georgetown home of developer Herb Miller and his wife, Patrice, as part of the nonprofit D.C. Central Kitchen-sponsored Sunday Night Supper series.

As one of a number of celebrity chefs who donated their culinary talent to serve up dinner in 15 of the most prestigious homes in Washington, Richard said he had one request: Don't pass the salt.

"Just taste the food first," he said. "If it isn't salty enough then add salt, but don't hand me the plate and say it isn't salty enough."

And don't even think of mentioning pepper.

"Some chefs don't even use pepper," he said in an accent so thick it took four tries to recognize he didn't mean 'paper.'

"There is no salt or pepper on my tables," he said.

Richard said he does not subscribe to the Julia Child school of thought in which food dropped on the floor is still salvageable.

“No, we don’t do that,” he said, emphatically. “Julia Child got away with that because she was Julia Child. As for me, I have to throw it in the trash.”

Richard also insisted he's not French, but American. "I just serve food with a French accent," he joked.

On the menu: Peanut and chestnut soup with fois gras and chicken stock.

Across town at the Kalorama home of Joan Fabry and Michael Klein, chef Julian Medina of Toloache in New York said he gave up the salt fight five years after emigrating from Mexico. A good thing too, considering a large box of Kosher salt held a prominent position on the counter.

“It bothered me when I was young," Medina said. "It freaked me out, but now I realize that everyone has a different palate. I don’t put salt or pepper on any of my tables in my restaurant though.”

Joan didn’t seem to mind turning her kitchen over to Julian.

“It’s fun,” she said, while waiting for political consultant and commentator Barbara Comstock to arrive.

On the menu:  Margaritas with kumquats for starters.

BY Janet Donovan

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kathy Griffin Jokes: I Am the Next White House Crasher


Kathy Griffin Jokes: I Am the Next White House Crasher

Kathy Griffin Jokes: I Am the Next White House Crasher
Getty Images 
Kathy Griffin greeted fans at her book signing last night and joked about her designs on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

"When I finish here, I'll probably crash the White House," the self-deprecating sassy redhead said.

The stand-up comedian tweeted about the signing of her book "Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin" before she greeted fans at the Borders on K Street NW last night.

"DC! Unlike Palin, I sign every book," she tweeted.

True to her word, Griffin signed every book and posed for every photo op, even tossing in some of her signature humor.

"You're a good looking guy -- but don't take that in a late-night way."

"In L.A. if someone dressed like you we would think you were the Secret Service."

"You girls on a field trip?"

BY Janet Donovan // Friday, Jan 22, 2010 at 10:28 EST

Roland Martin Living the Dream

Jan. 24, 2010

Saturday, January 23, 2010

NBC Washington Niteside: Mark Russell

Seating Chart: Your Peek Into DC Restaurant Week

Take a look inside K Street's Teatro Goldoni to see who was dining out last night as part of Restaurant Week, which runs Jan. 11 to 17:

Booth No. 6: Socialites Diane Kay and Tandy Dickerson.

CNN's Edie Emery, constantly checking her BlackBerry, sat with Diane and Tandy as they gossiped about the Washington, D.C., of yesteryear.  "It was a great night for catching up with old friends and gossiping about the good ol' days," Tandy said. The two spoke of Merrywood, the sprawling estate passed down to Tandy's husband, Wyatt Dickerson.

Booth No. 3: Satirist Mark Russell and wife Alison. Author and long-time columnist Myra MacPherson.

The always endearing comedian regaled the table with some of his latest Obama quips:"The Nobel Committee has bestowed the Peace Prize for 2009 on President Obama, and all I can say is, it's about time. Obama was notified that he was the winner when the folks from Publisher's Clearing House showed up at his door. But most of all -- Barack Obama kept al-Qaeda out of Norway."

Also at the table was political style writer for the Washington Post and Pulitzer Prize nominee Myra MacPherson, who just signed a book contract.

At the bar: Raptor Strategies' David Bass with a bevy of journalist friends.
BY Janet Donovan // Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 04:02 EST

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Listen Up Mr. President


Guests at Helen Thomas' Book Party Hedge Their (Political) Bets

Guests at Helen Thomas' Book Party Hedge Their (Political) Bets 
Guests at the book party in honor of Helen Thomas and Craig Crawford at the Kalorama home of Gloria Dittus last night had a bad case of predictors' remorse: that ever-present reluctance among Washingtonians to forecast the outcome of an election whenever one is afoot.

Politicians and media types celebrated the launch of Thomas' tome "Listen Up, Mr. President" as she signed copies of her book in Dittus' living room.

But the topic of conversation for the mostly media crowd was the Massachusetts election -- and most everyone correctly predicted GOP Scott Brown's victory in the bid for the seat left vacant by Sen. Ted Kennedy, however reluctantly.

Mother Jones' David Corn and CQ's Craig Crawford predicted the win after hedging their bets. CBS TV host Andrew Roane's answer was concise: "Brown."

"It's very exciting," Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said before Brown's victory was announced. "If in fact Scott wins, I think it sends a very strong message to Washington, a message against unfettered one-party rule and for more checks and balances in the system. It reflects how appalled the public feels about the healthcare bill, which is riddled with special interests."

Brown's victory was sealed just hours after the launch of the party, which host Dittus was pleased to arrange for one of her heroes.
 “I’ve know Helen longer than she has known me,” she said. “I had admired her for years and then met her at a luncheon when I first moved to Washington, found my way up to shake her hand and initiated a friendship. She was very gracious.”

So what’s it like to work with Helen?  According to her agent, Diane Nine: “It’s  a laugh a second.”

BY Janet Donovan // Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 05:11 EST

All politicians are toxic.


All Politicians Are Toxic, Claim Authors

All Politicians Are Toxic, Claim Authors
Politicians are toxic and have higher levels of dangerous chemicals in their bodies, according to a pair of authors who studied the ....

"I want to assure you that we tested both liberal and conservative politicians, and it doesn't seem to matter," co-author Rick Smith said at a book party for "Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things" held at Busboys & Poets in the funky U Street corridor.
"It may be caused by their ... diets or the extreme amount of plane travel, so aspiring politicians take note."

Smith and co-author Bruce Lourie, two Canadian environmentalists, set out to discover what effect household chemicals have on the human body. The pair went about their experiment by ingesting and inhaling a host of household items for a week.

“We chose seven chemicals. One for every day of the week, because seven is a good number. This delighted our wives, of course," Smith said. "For two days, I actually drank out of my son's baby bottle."
So what can be done about the harmful chemicals that surround us? The authors drafted a list of 10 suggestions for how to reduce individual intake. No. 10 was contact Congress.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Tim Burger Georgetown Dish Tom Toles Reporters Without Borders
Tim Berger at Journopalooza II
A suspicious package at the National Press Club Friday night didn’t prevent Georgetowner Kiki Ryan of Politico from supporting Tim Burger and Christina Sevilla, whose band was part of Journopalooza II, raising money to benefit Reporters without Borders. Lucky for all, “Suspicious Package” is the name of their band and no arrests ensued.