More Hungry Mouths to Feed

Now, that's a busy kitchen: DC Central Kitchen, a community meal-provider, has taken on the staggering task of providing three daily meals for the next three weeks to Hurricane Katrina evacuees at the D.C. Armory.

The nonprofit's 35 staffers, together with volunteers, are making close to 1,500 meals a day for the evacuees, in addition to their usual 4,000 meals a day for local people in need, says DC Central Kitchen rep Katherine Newell Smith. The meals sound pretty tasty: gumbo on Thursday, salmon with dill sauce for last night's feast. Yum.

Chief Operating Officer Michael Curtin said the extra meals aren't a burden, but "it's definitely a stretch." Last night's dinner alone involved 700 to 800 pounds of food.

The kitchen uses unserved fare from local restaurants, grocery stores and such, as well as contributions. "We're getting wonderful donations," Smith noted.

Curtin said he is grateful the kitchen can feed the evacuees, but pointed out that the nonprofit does this work daily. "People are hungry in our city 365 days a year," he said. "I really hope this awareness carries on."

Happiness Is a Warm Puppy

With dogs, as with relationships, it never hurts to shop around.

Enter Yappy Hour. Wendy Diamond, editorial director of Animal Fair magazine, created a traveling cocktail party where potential dog owners can pay $50 to "rent" a pup from an animal shelter for the evening. People and pooches feast on hors d'oeuvres -- filet mignon and salmon treats for the dogs -- during the evening as they visit.

Diamond, who authored "What a Lucky Dog! How to Understand Men Through Their Dogs," said she had the idea for the party three years ago in New York after a breakup. "Everyone started comparing men with dogs," she recalled. "We would have parties and everyone would bring their dogs so we decided to bring in the rescue groups."

Now she takes Yappy Hour to major U.S. cities. Washington's turn is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Hotel Monaco. Attendees pay $85 in advance (includes cocktails and hors d'oeuvres), and proceeds benefit the Washington Animal Rescue League.

While partygoers can spend the evening with a pooch, they have to go through the shelter to adopt. And like a good mate, a good pet can be snatched up quickly.

Scratching His Way to the Top

A Rockville DJ will compete against seven others in a national DJ/turntable competition tonight in Los Angeles -- sharing the stage with hip-hop stars Common and Talib Kweli.

Art Sriboonrvang -- aka DJ As-One -- was picked as an East Region grand finalist in the seventh Guitar Center Spin Off contest after winning four preliminary rounds. "I'm very excited, but I'm always nervous about every competition," said the 23-year-old, who has been DJing since he was 14.

Sriboonrvang said competitors will perform a five-minute routine using two turntables, a mixer and "whatever records you bring with you." Contestants will be judged on originality, technique, style, stage presence and overall performance.

So what are his chances of snagging the top prize of a new car, DJ equipment, phones and other goodies? Sriboonrvang, who practices up to an hour a day "if I'm lucky," said he's very aware that at least three of his competitors have performed on a national level, but DJs are "all pretty much supportive of each other." He added, "This is something that we love and would do in our bedrooms regardless."

-- Compiled by Korin Miller

from staff reports

Chef Eldridge Simms and DC Central Kitchen volunteers cook up last night's dinner: Salmon with lemon dill sauce, green beans and