Forget sweaters and changing leaves. Here are ten telltale signs we know it’s fall in DC. Cupcake Challenge 051

1.       Dinner switches from gazpacho to roasted chicken

2.       Mike gets reacquainted with the Big Green Egg

3.       After a summer of crabs at Quarterdeck and Tangier Island, our go-to seafood is oysters at Johnny’s Half Shell and mussels at Granville Moore’s.

4.       Elizabeth starts baking again

5.       Pumpkin beer!

6.       We’re on the hunt for savory recipes starring leeks and butternut squash

7.       We say good-bye to the basil lemontini and hello to the warm duck Rueben at the Poste bar

8.       Too many local apples, not enough apple recipes

Apple Cake 0349.       Kiss the sunglasses good-bye. We go from al fresco dining to cozy lounges and tea houses.

10.    Fall colors bring road trips and local discoveries like Wasmund’s single malt applewood smoked whiskey.

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Image Courtesy Food Network

Image Courtesy Food Network

Sure, the contrived environment and sleep deprivation that food competition contestants go through are hardly the best conditions for showing off your cooking chops.  But with everything Teddy Folkman’s got going on here in Washington, his stint on the new season of The Next Food Network Star must have felt like just another month in the life of the Flay-slaying mussel man.

In addition to his duties at Granville Moore’s, Folkman has partnered with entrepreneur Joe Englert to take on consulting chef roles at both the H Street Country Club (opening tonight) and the Capitol Lounge.  He’s also working with Englert on a number of new restaurant concepts to debut over the next year or two on H Street, NE, and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.  As if that weren’t enough to exhaust him, he is also a frequent participant in charitable events like last week’s Brew at the Zoo in Baltimore and the upcoming Brainfood grill-off.

So what was it like to go through the Food Network wringer?  After reading some of the notices responding to his bio video and Joe Yonan’s advance look at the first episode over at All We Can Eat, it sounds like Teddy may be rubbing some folks the wrong way…we wonder if the pressure may have had something to do with that (and we hope it’s a temporary condition).  Eager to get his take on the experience, we were lucky enough to score one of the first interviews with Teddy as the debut of the show (Sunday, June 7th at 9 PM) approaches.

We’ve been quite open about our friendship with Teddy and our desire to see him succeed, but it bears repeating.  We’re not even going to pretend to be impartial throughout this season.  Even so, we scheduled this interview through the Food Network’s PR people, just like every other food writer out there:

Teddy_1_-_Ep_1

Image Courtesy Food Network

Capital Spice: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, Teddy!
Teddy Folkman: No problem, thanks for reaching out.

CS: So…what does it feel like to be DC’s Most Crushable Chef?
TF: I heard you guys did this while I was away…but I’ve just been telling myself that you meant ‘crushable’ as in “the chef you’d most like to tackle,” so I’m honored to know so many people want to crush me!

CS: That works.  So who’s your most crushable chef?
TF: No doubt – Ann Cashion.  She’s been a mentor and an inspiration throughout my career.

More Q&A with Teddy – including some teasers about what to look for on-screen and in-town when the episodes air – after the jump. (more…)

teddy-crushable…Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore’s!

And – as we suggested yesterday – it was a decisive victory.  Teddy received more than 1400 votes out of a total 2300 votes cast, making him the clear favorite!  He easily outpaced his nearest opposition, the dreamy (and newly-announced chef of the forthcoming Blue Ridge restaurant in Glover Park) Barton Seaver.

So what was it that put Teddy over the top?  Was it his boyish smile, his easygoing charm, or his killer mussels and frites?  Needless to say, it was all of these and more.  In the comments, Molly called Teddy “a great person,” an assessment that seems almost universally shared among those who meet him.

She’s also quick to point to his “awesome knife skills”…not the kind of thing you’d expect to look for in crush material, but who are we to argue?

peter-smith-ps7While we’re sharing the love for Teddy, we also need to give an Honorable Mention nod to Peter Smith of PS7’s.  A local boy made good (his family settled in the area when he was six), Smith helmed the kitchen at Vidalia for almost a decade before striking out on his own.  Along the way, he’s made quite a few fans with his locally-focused cuisine and his attention to his customers.  He received several write-in votes via email and your comments, including one that called him a “boy-next-door good guy.” 

The moral of the story?  Our readers like their crushes friendly and accessible, serving up good food with a big smile.  Gordon Ramsay, consider yourself warned.

Want to celebrate Folkman’s win?  Stop in to Granville Moore’s for a beer and his signature moules fromage bleu, or check out the recipe over at Metrocurean and try your hand at making them yourself.

Our love for Teddy is well-known – we cheered him on at his Throwdown with Bobby Flay, and we’re still convinced that he would make a great Food Network star if given the chance.  For now, Teddy’s our most crushable DC chef, and we’re happy to join him for a great Belgian beer and some moules frites whenever we get the chance.  We’ll try to keep the sighing and the goofy smiles to a minimum, but we make no promises.

food-network-starMaybe it’s wishful thinking, but we here at Capital Spice can’t help but think that Teddy Folkman, H Street’s own celebrity chef, is headed for a shot at becoming the Next Food Network Star.

On December 28th, the aptly-named Food Network Addict posted a blind item in which he revealed that one of the very recently chosen contestants on the upcoming fifth season of the Next Food Network Star has “previously been on Food Network.”

By itself, this post doesn’t exactly set off any alarm bells, we know.  But stick with us on this one.  More clues after the jump. (more…)

It is a glorious Saturday and we’re spending as much time outside as possible. Hopefully without an intervention from the DC fire deparment like last weekend… Here are some foodie news and stories to warm up your morning:yes-we-carve3

In case you haven’t heard, Taylor Gourmet is now open for business on H St. NE.

Dunkin Donuts is twittering.

Still celebrating Obama’s victory? Join the party this weekend. Before you go, check out the President-Elect Obama’s favorite snack foods.

Get buff with Pepsi’s new muscle milk

If you’re planning to check out some VA country fall foliage this weekend, swing by Three Fox Vineyard on Saturday night. They are staying open an extra hour and making s’mores to celebrate the close of their harvest season. You can even toast your marshmallow on one of the spears from the vines.

Rocklands will be selling smoked turkeys for Thanksgiving this year. Personally, we prefer to do the smoking ourselves.

Cupcake challenges, Virgina vineyards for sale, and Darth Vader toast after the jump!

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Three months ago, I broke the news on DCFoodies and Endless Simmer that DC’s own Teddy Folkman was competing against Bobby Flay in an episode of ‘Throwdown!’ that was filmed on Tuesday, March 18th.  Though we were told to expect an air date in late May or early June, no one heard anything from the Food Network until a few weeks ago.  Now, sixteen weeks later, it’s finally showtime!

On Tuesday night, July 8th, the Food Network will be airing “Mussels & Fries” at 9 PM.  Filmed on location at the Argonaut (a bigger space – the better to accommodate the film crew and the crowd), the Throwdown gives Teddy a chance to show off the Moules Fromage Bleu and hand-cut, twice-fried frites that have been earning praise from pretty much everyone who tries them since Folkman started as executive chef at Granville Moore’s last September.  More about the taping and Granville Moore’s allure after the jump. (more…)