D.C.’S VERY OWN Roberto Donna holds a very, um, special place in Food Network history: The jovial chef and owner of Galileo is the first chef to fail to complete all five dishes on the network’s Iron Chef America cooking competition. In his March 2005 showdown with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Donna managed to complete only two dishes. But the Italian chef will have a chance to redeem himself this Sunday during a rematch that airs at 9 p.m.
A viewing party hosted by Galileo is already sold out, but you could always be resourceful and throw your own party to cheer on the hometown chef. For festive decor, toss a little flour around the house (as Donna did in his first appearance) and serve scallops (the secret ingredient that took Donna down). “We are coming Morimoto,” Donna snarls in a teaser for the show. Let’s hope that bravado translates to a win. Allez cuisine!
Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post
» CINCO CELEBRATION: It’s nice when a holiday that revolves around partying falls on a weekend, but before you start making plans for Friday’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, shouldn’t you at least know what exactly you’re celebrating? Contrary to popular belief, it’s not Mexican Independence Day (that’s Sept. 16), but a commemoration of the Battle of Puebla, during which Mexican forces defeated the French. Now that we have that straight, where to find a good margarita? Choose from this list of Cinco de Mayo events, or go the DIY route with these recipes, courtesy of local blog DCFud. But please don’t make sangria, one Mexican restaurant owner tells the New York Times. Instead, mix up a pitcher of agua loco, the “fresher, bolder [and] a poquito bit tougher” Mexican cousin of sangria. Just note that the recipe makes three gallons, which could make for quite a fiesta. [WaPo; DCFud; NYT]
» WORD OF MOUTH: Every now and then, a hole-in-the-wall, mom-and-pop operation grabs the attention of local foodies and, thanks to the proliferation of online chats and blogs, develops a cult-like following. The current darling appears to be Columbia Heights‘ Taqueria Distrito Federal, which is featured in today’s Foraging column in The Post‘s Food section. A trip to this Mexican restaurant could be a nice way to pay homage to our neighbors to the south, if a chorizo taco is more your speed than a wild Cinco de Mayo party. DCist raved about the spot shortly after it opened, and the chatters on DonRockwell.com have been talking it up lately. [WaPo; DCist; DonRocks]