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Minibar head chef Jorge Luis Hernandez, Inn at Little Washington chef Patrick O’Connell, and Pineapple and Pearls chef Aaron Silverman at a charity dinner on Wednesday, September 12.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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What Three D.C. Chefs With a Sea of Michelin Stars Served Last Night

A look inside the star-studded fundraiser at Pineapple & Pearls

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Welcome back to Eater Scenes, where photographer Rey Lopez captures a restaurant at a specific time and day. Here, Lopez visits Pineapple & Pearls for an annual Michelin charity dinner for two high-profile food banks.

Three of D.C.’s top restaurants joined forces in one kitchen on the eve of Michelin’s 2019 star announcement to make an elaborate nine-course feast, complete with caviar gummy bears and pours from pricey champagne magnums.

Wednesday night’s $650-per-person dinner at Capitol Hill’s Pineapple & Pearls featured hits from Patrick O’Connell (The Inn at Little Washington), Aaron Silverman (Pineapple & Pearls), and Jorge Hernandez (Minibar by José Andrés) — with seven stars between the power restaurant trio, as of Thursday’s 2019 D.C. Michelin Guide announcement. While Minibar by Jose Andres and Pineapple & Pearls held on to their two-star ratings for 2019, the 40-year-old Inn nestled in rural Washington, Va. attained Michelin’s highest accolade of three stars, signifying “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”

The Inn showcased its team’s talent with a daring dessert dubbed “Apparently a Pear” — a hand-painted fruit filled with poached pear compote and sauced with light amaretto cream. Michelin Guide director Michael Ellis, who was in attendance with his team, told Eater a standout bite that stuck in his mind was Pineapple & Pearls’ silver bowl of white sturgeon caviar, gummy bears, and sprinkles.

The event benefited DC Central Kitchen and Andrés’ nonprofit, World Central Kitchen, which prepared more than 3 million meals for Puerto Rico hurricane victims over the course of three months. He recounts the experience in his latest book, We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time.

Wednesday night’s charity dinner at Pineapple & Pearls had two staggered seatings, beginning at 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Pineapple & Pearls’ chef Aaron Silverman (left) supporting his team.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Pineapple & Pearls was part of D.C.’s inaugural Michelin guide group, receiving two stars for the 2017 guide.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Minibar’s mixologists manned the bar, crafting hot and cold pisco sours.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Clog-wearing chefs showing off their colorful stemware.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Inn at Little Washington chef Patrick O’Connell donning his signature apron modeled after his Dalmatian’s black-and-white coat.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Minibar used the same signature hand sculptures that jut out of its wall to serve soy chicharron appetizers at Pineapple and Pearls.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Jorge Hernandez, chef at Minibar by José Andrés, with his Thinkfoodgroup staff.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Kyley McGeeney, who documents Michelin-starred restaurant experiences on her Mission Michelin blog, with GWU adjunct professor Michael Edwards.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Foie gras nigiri from Pineapple and Pearls.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Inn at Little Washington’s radish tartine.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
High-end champagne pours from Krug and R. Dumont & Fils accented the menu.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Pineapple & Pearls’ foie gras nigiri getting its final touches.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Snail caviar from Minibar.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Pernod and butter poached Alaskan halibut from The Inn at Little Washington. “[O’Connell’s] ability to interpret classic French dishes in a modern way is amazing,” says outgoing Michelin Guide director Michael Ellis.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Prep work at Pineapple and Pearls’ kitchen.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Braised lamb neck from Minibar.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Pineapple & Pearls’ sister restaurant Rose’s Luxury is also a member of the Michelin family and maintained its one-star rating this year.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Pineapple and Pearls

715 8th Street Southeast, , DC 20003 (202) 595-7375 Visit Website
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