The magazine bearing the name of everyone's mom's favorite TV chef Rachael Ray has published a lengthy spread about the wonders of the DC culinary scene in its July/August issue. Hitting newsstands right about now, Every Day With Rachael Ray describes DC as, "A New Culinary Capital." The piece likely isn't going to be posted online, but Eater got a sneak peek and can report that, yes, it's pretty much everything one would expect, meaning a lot about celebrity chefs and the Obama family, plus the obligatory expression of shock that DC maybe isn't so lame after all. Here are some of the highlights:
1) Rachael Ray on Rasika: "My buddy Spike Mendelsohn introduced me to this spot—his favorite for Indian food."
2) Surprise! DC isn't a terrible place full of boring restaurants: "If your last visit to D.C. included the words 'field' and 'trip,' you might be surprised to see how trendy the town’s dining scene has become."
3) Of course, pepperoni sauce gets a mention in a portion about Graffiato.
4) José Andrés talking about DC as a culinary scene: "Everyone thinks of D.C. as being the political capital of the world, but it is so much more than that. New chefs are coming to open burger joints and high-end restaurants, so we are in the right place at the right time."
5) Of course Tyler Cowen is interviewed for the ethnic food section, in which he recommends Zenebach Injera for Ethiopian.
6) The food truck explosion explanation: "It’s a scene that repeats itself on major corners around the city now that the national gourmet meals-on-wheels revolution has finally reached the district—lagging behind the mobile options of other metropolitan hubs. Why was D.C. so behind the curve? Three words: government red tape."
7) The Obamas-as-food-lovers section: "Whether it’s an intimate dinner for two, a quick stop for a pizza slice or a simple supper with the family, one thing remains constant: The Obamas like to dine at locally owned, small-business restaurants."
8) One reason why travelers should stay at the Donovan House: "Hungry? you can order dishes from Zentan, the hotel’s fusion restaurant from Top Chef Masters finalist Susur Lee."
And according to people who work for Rachael Ray, there are four reasons to go out to eat in DC: celebrity chefs, our selection of ethnic food, food trucks and the possibility that Barack and Michelle Obama might walk into your restaurant at any given moment. The celebrity chef herself also pitches in with a list of "Rach's picks" for DC dining: Zaytinya, Art & Soul, Ben's Chili Bowl, Old Ebbitt Grill and Rasika.